The Sparrow and the Crow

There once was a sparrow and a crow and they were very good friends. They shared the nest together. One day they both were flying and crow found some rice and the sparrow found some legumes. So they said they will come home and cook rice and legumes and enjoy it. So they came back home to their nest and the crow cooked the rice and legumes soup and realized they didn’t have any salt. So the crow told the sparrow, “There’s no salt so I’m going to go to the market and bring some salt. You just wait for me.” So the sparrow said ok and the crow flew out to get the salt. The sparrow was feeling hungry and the aroma from the soup was making her more hungry, so she ate everything without salt. And then she put water in the containers, tied a headband, and laid down. So when crow came back, he knocked on the door and she said, “Come in, the door is open, I have such a bad headache. I’m laying down.” So crow came in and opened the vessels and there was only water. And he said, “What happened to the rice and legume soup?” And she said, “How do I know, I’ve been having a severe headache, I was lying down.” And crow said, “That’s not possible you’re not telling me the truth.” And sparrow said, “NO, I’m telling you the truth.” The crow said, “So we will go to the truth swing over the well, and if you’re telling the truth, you will not fall in the well, but if you’re lying you will.” So they go out and crow puts sparrow on the swing and swings it and the swing immediately tilted and the sparrow fell in the well. Because she was lying. So the moral of the story is: the truth is the most strong ground you can stand on.

My grandmother told me this story, another fable told to her by her own mother when she was growing up in India. My great-grandmother had eight children, so she really tried to make sure a lot of her fables and stories emphasized honesty and integrity and other moral traits in her children, but this is a story that my grandmother also passed down to her three daughters when they moved to America at ages eight and eleven. She said it’s an Indian fable, but not only Indian. I asked her this when she was recounting old stories or fables she remembered from when she was growing up.