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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

The Crow and the Sparrow

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

Once upon a time, there was a crow and a sparrow. The crow collected salt while the sparrow collected twigs. Together, they collected a lot of salt and seeds over several days and nights. One day, the sparrow made a tent for itself out of those sticks while the crow made a little room from mud. The sparrow's house was much bigger than the crow's.

The two lived in their newly-constructed homes. Now, the sparrow had two babies while the crow did not. One day, her babies were hungry. She had few seeds but no salt. So she went to the crow and asked for some salt.

The crow told her, “I mixed all the salt I had with mud to make my house, I don't have any left.”

The sparrow came back and cursed the crow in her tiny heart. She prayed, “Oh Allah! Please send a storm which takes away the crow’s house along with it.”

That night, it suddenly began to pour. The water washed away the mud and the salt, destroying the crow’s home. However, the sparrow's home remained intact because it was made of sticks. The crow started wondering if the sparrow would give her some place in her house. He went and asked her, “I’m very cold. Please let me in. Please spare me some space in your house.”

The sparrow retorted with a taunt.

“Your face is as black as tawwa! (a flat, black metal pan used to make flatbread), you turned me down when I asked you for salt. I haven’t forgotten, but you can have a place in my house!”

The crow spent the night at the sparrow's place, and then another, and another. It made the sparrow and her babies very uncomfortable because they became cramped for space and had an outsider living at home. However, they didn't say much as they knew he was homeless.

One night, a wicked thought crossed the crow’s mind. He thought to himself that if I burn the sparrow and her babies, this house would become mine. He flew away, found some hot coals, and returned to throw it at the sparrow and her babies while she had taken them outside to play to usurp the house.

The story finishes with a lesson: there are a lot of people who wouldn’t think twice before taking advantage of you and harming you, even if you have done a lot for them.

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