The Heron, the Fish and the Crayfish (Ukrainian Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, Ukrainian Folk Tales1224

The Heron, the Fish and the Crayfish (ukrainian folk tale)There was once a Heron who lived by a pond. Time passed, the Heron grew old and had no more strength to catch fish. So he began trying to think of a way of outwitting them.

Said the Heron:

"You don't know what is in store for you, Fish. I heard some men say that they mean to drain the pond and catch every last one of you. But I know that there”s a nice little lake just beyond the mountain here, and I'd gladly have helped move you there if I weren't so old and frail and could fly as I once did.”

The Fish were frightened and began to plead with the Heron to take them to the lake.

"Very well, I'll try," the Heron said. "I think I can do it if I carry you one at a time.”

At this the Fish began pleading even harder, and there was not one among them who did not cry, "Take me first, Heron!"

The Heron did not wait to be asked again. He began lifting the Fish out of the water one after another, carrying them to a nearby field and eating them up there. And this went on till he had eaten up a great many.

Now, in the pond lived an old Crayfish. He watched the Heron taking away the fish and said to him:

"Come, Heron, you must carry me to the lake too."

The Heron picked up the Crayfish and away they flew! They reached the field, and the Heron was about to drop the Crayfish but the Crayfish was too quick for him. Seeing the bones of the many Fish the Heron had eaten strewn over the field, he seized the Heron by the neck with his claws and killed him. And then he crawled back to the pond and told the Fish that were still there all about it. And they all lived in the pond ever after and never again wanted to go anywhere else.

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