My dialogue with this informant started right after I finished collecting from another informant. He was insistent that he had a story his dad had told him a few times when he was younger, and for some reason he always remembered it. The informant is a freshman at USC and grew up in Southern California. This is what he told me.
Alright, so the story started out with this great warrior that had just finished a long and gruesome battle. He was tired, hungry, and thirsty and wanted to get home as quickly as possible so he decided to separate from the group and take his own way home because he new the land very well. But the warrior wasn’t traveling alone because he had his hawk with him that traveled with him everywhere. After walking for a while the warrior found a stream and decided to stop and take a drink because he was so thirsty. But the stream was moving super slow so the warrior could only get one drop at a time. While the warrior was waiting to fill his cup his hawk flew above him, probably looking for prey. Finally the warrior filled his cup, but as he raised it to his mouth his hawk swooped down and knocked it from his grasp. This happened a second time and the warrior was so pissed he drew his sword and threatened to kill the hawk if it spilled his water again. A third time the hawk knocked the cup free, only to be struck down and killed immediately by its master. The warrior was so impatient, he decided to climb the rock and find the water source. When he finally reached the top, he saw a poisonous snake lying dead in the water. He realized that he had killed his best friend, when the hawk was only trying to save his life. From then on he would never act out of rage.
After hearing this story I felt like I recognized it but couldn’t quite pin point where from. I thought it was interesting that the number three showed up, which is so common in children stories. Unfortunately the informant had no idea where his dad had heard it from so the origin is tough to trace. However I did do a search online and found pretty much the exact same story but with Genghis Khan so maybe it originated there, or at least we know its at least that old.
Here is the link: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=baldwin&book=fifty&story=king