The Raven Who Was Anxious To Be Married

A little sparrow was grieving for her husband who had not returned. She was fond of him because he used to catch worms for her. As she sat weeping, a raven came up to her and asked, "What are you crying for"? "I am crying for my husband who has not returned. I was fond of him because he caught worms for me", said the sparrow. "Weeping is not seemly for those who can hop about on the top of the blades of grass. Marry me – me, with my lovely high forehead, broad temples, long beard, and large beak. You shall sleep under my wings, and dainty dung shall be your food." The sparrow replied, "I will not marry you, just because you have a high forehead, broad temples, long beard, and large beak – and because you offer me dung for food".

So the raven went his way, and went to make love to the wild geese. And he was so sick with love that he could not sleep. The wild geese were just about to fly away when he reached them. "As a silly sparrow had rejected me, I should like to marry you", said the raven to two geese. "You arrive just as we are about to fly away", said the geese. "I will come with you", said the raven. "But see, that is impossible for anyone who cannot rest on the sea. There are no icebergs that way", replied the geese. "Never mind! I will sail through the air". And so the raven took the two geese as his wives. Then the wild geese set off and the raven with them, but it was not long before he began to drop behind, he was so tired and drowsy. "Something to rest upon! Place yourselves side by side!" he cried. And his two wives placed themselves side by side on the water while their comrades went on. The raven settled himself upon their backs and fell asleep. But when his wives saw the other wild geese getting farther and farther away, they shook the raven off into the sea and flew on. "Something to rest upon!" shrieked the raven, as it fell with a great splash into the water. At last it sank to the bottom and was drowned. Afterwards it broke up into small pieces, and its soul became little "sea ravens" (black pteropods).