“A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME …”
“A little bird told me …” is a common saying in the American English language. It denotes that the speaker has learned something that he wants to tell the listener but doesn’t want to divulge how, where or who gave him the information. In Aesop tales there are lots of stories where birds “sing” out the moral lessons to the uninformed.
Here is a brief list of some of the tales.
The Cock and the Pearl … In this fable the rooster finds a pearl lost in the hay and because it is something shiny he is pleased it is his. The other chickens would rather have barley-corn, something they can eat. The message being …”Precious things are for those that can prize them.”
The Swallow and the other Birds … In this tale the Swallow warns the other birds to pick up every one of the seeds being sown by the man or else they will repent it. The birds pay no heed to the Swallow’s warning and the seeds grew into hemp that is made into cord, and the cord into nets that catch the birds to their demise. “Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.”
The Jay and the Peacock … In this story a Jay finds several Peacock feathers and ties them all to his tail. He struts among the Peacocks who note right away that he is a fraud and drive him away. When he returns to the Jays who have also witnessed his behavior he is shunned. “It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.”
The Peacock and Juno …This tale tells of a Peacock that petitions the Juno to have a voice of a nightingale in addition to all his other attractions. The Juno refuses his request. “Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.”
My favorite is the fable of The Crow and the Pitcher.” The Crow that is half dead with thirst comes upon a Pitcher which has water in it. The water however is in the bottom third of the pitcher and the neck of the pitcher is to narrow for the Crow to reach the water. The Crow finds a pebble and drops it into the pitcher. He continues to drop pebble after pebble, one at a time into the pitcher until the water rises to a level that the crow is able to quench his thirst. “Little by little does the trick.”
In my collage the little bird is a Chickadee. A song bird that loves the forest. This puts me in mind of W.C. Fields and Mae West in the movie called “My little Chickadee.” Mae West often wrote her own lines for the movies, W.C. Fields did too. There are many funny lines in this old movie from 1940 worth repeating.
Cuthbert J. Twille: W.C.Fields
Flower Belle Lee: Mae West
Cuthbert: “… Whom have I the honor of addressing, M’Lady?”
Flower Belle “Mmm, they call me Flower Belle.”
Cuthbert “Flower Belle, what a euphonious appellation. Easy on the ears, and a banquet for the eyes.”
Cuthbert: “I’ve been worried about you, my little Peach Fuzzy. Have you been loitering somewhere?”
Flower Belle: “I’ve been learning things.”
Cuthbert: “Unnecessary! You are the epitome of erudition … a double superlative. Can you handle it?”
Flower Belle: “Yeah, and I can kick it around, too.”
(Last line of the movie – each saying a line associated with the other)
Cuthbert: “If you get up around the Grampian Hills – You must come up and see me sometime.”
Flower Belle: “Ah, yeah, yeah. I’ll do that, my little Chickadee.”