The Sparrow and the bush

Robert Nisbet Bain September 16, 2015
Ukrainian
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5 min read
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    A sparrow once flew down upon a bush and said, “Little bush, give good little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the little bush. Then the sparrow was angry, and went to the goat and said, “Goat, goat, nibble bush, bush won’t give good little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the goat.––Then the sparrow went to the wolf and said, “Wolf, wolf, eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give good little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the wolf.

    ––Then the sparrow went to the people and said, “Good people, kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give good little sparrow a swing.”––“We won’t!” said the people.––Then the sparrow went to the Tartars and said, “Tartars, Tartars, slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give good little sparrow a swing.”––

    But the Tartars said, “We won’t slay the people!” and the people said, “We won’t kill the wolf!” and the wolf said, “I won’t eat the goat!” and the goat said, “I won’t nibble the bush!” and the bush said, “I won’t give the good little sparrow a swing.”––“Go!” said the bush, “to the fire, for the Tartars won’t slay the people, and the people won’t kill the wolf, and the wolf won’t eat the goat, and the goat won’t nibble the bush, and the bush won’t give the dear little sparrow a swing.”––But the fire also said, “I won’t!” (they were all alike)––“go to the water,” said he.

    ––So the sparrow went to the water and said, “Come water, quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give good little sparrow a swing.”––But the water also said, “I won’t!” So the sparrow went to the ox and said, “Ox, ox, drink water, water won’t quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the ox.

    ––Then the sparrow went to the pole-axe and said, “Pole-axe, pole-axe, strike ox, ox won’t drink water, water won’t quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the pole-axe.––So the sparrow went to the worms and said, “Worms, worms, gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won’t strike ox, ox won’t drink water, water won’t quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give little sparrow a swing.”––“We won’t!” said the worms.

    ––Then the sparrow went to the hen and said, “Hen, hen, peck worms, worms won’t gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won’t strike ox, ox won’t drink water, water won’t quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give little sparrow a swing.”––“I won’t!” said the hen, “but go to the sparrow-hawk, he ought to give the first push, or why is he called the Pusher!”

    ––So the sparrow went to the sparrow-hawk and said, “Come, pusher, seize hen, hen won’t peck worms, worms won’t gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won’t strike ox, ox won’t drink water, water won’t quench fire, fire won’t burn Tartars, Tartars won’t slay people, people won’t kill wolf, wolf won’t eat goat, goat won’t nibble bush, bush won’t give little sparrow a swing.”

    Then the sparrow-hawk began to seize the hen, the hen began to peck the worms, the worms began to gnaw the pole-axe, the pole-axe began to hit the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the Tartars, the Tartars began to slay the people, the people began to kill the wolf, the wolf began to eat the goat, the goat began to nibble the bush, and the bush cried out:

    “Swing away, swing away, swi-i-i-i-ing!
    Little daddy sparrow, have your fli-i-i-ing!”

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