Jataka Tales by Ellsworth Young

Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt

The Monkey and the Crocodile by Ellsworth Young

Jataka Tales
by Ellen C. Babbitt

Foreword and Publisher's Note

The Monkey and the Crocodile

How the Turtle Saved His Own Life

The Merchant of Seri

The Turtle Who Couldn't Stop Talking

The Ox Who Won the Forfeit

The Sandy Road

The Quarrel of the Quails

The Measure of Rice

The Foolish, Timid Rabbit

The Wise and Foolish Merchant

The Elephant Girly-Face

The Banyan Deer

The Princes and the Water-Sprite

The King's White Elephant

The Ox Who Never Envied the Pig

Grannie's Blackie

The Crab and the Crane

Why the Owl Is Not King of the Birds


More Jataka Tales
by Ellen C. Babbitt

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Why the Owl Is Not King of the Birds

WHY is it that Crows torment the Owls as they sleep in the daytime? For the same reason that the Owls try to kill the Crows while they sleep at night.

Listen to a tale of long ago and then you will see why.

Once upon a time, the people who lived together when the world was young took a certain man for their king. The four-footed animals also took one of their number for their king. The fish in the ocean chose a king to rule over them. Then the birds gathered together on a great flat rock, crying:

"Among men there is a king, and among the beasts, and the fish have one, too; but we birds have none. We ought to have a king. Let us choose one now."

And so the birds talked the matter over and at last they all said, "Let us have the Owl for our king."

No, not all, for one old Crow rose up and said, "For my part, I don't want the Owl to be our king. Look at him now while you are all crying that you want him for your king. See how sour he looks right now. If that's the cross look he wears when he is happy, how will he look when he is angry? I, for one, want no such sour-looking king!"

Then the Crow flew up into the air crying, "I don't like it! I don't like it!" The Owl rose and followed him. From that time on the Crows and the Owls have been enemies. The birds chose a Turtle Dove to be their king, and then flew to their homes.

Babbitt, Ellen C. Jataka Tales. Ellsworth Young, illustrator. New York: The Century Co., 1912.


Available from Amazon.com

Three Wise Birds by Zohra Kalinkowitz

The Rumor: A Jataka Tale from India by Jan Thornhill

The Monkey and the Crocodile : A Jataka Tale from India by Paul Galdone

The Rabbit Who Overcame Fear by Eric Meller

The Little Brown Jay: A Tale from India by Elizabeth Claire, Miriam Katin (Illustrator)

Great Gift and the Wish-Fulfilling Gem by Tarthang Tulku

 

©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
E-mail: surlalune@aol.com
Page last updated June 28, 2005
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