W is for Wounded Wiles

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.


From Armenia

Storks are plentiful in Armenia. Some locals call these congregating spots of storks as villages. These same storks are protective of sparrows. As this story features a sparrow that is constantly being helped (and taking advantage of people’s kindness), I find it interesting that no storks are in the story.

But how did sparrows get so crafty and full of wiles? Well, Chess is required to learn and take in school. Yes, this is for human youth. But perhaps the sparrows watch as the game is taught and played?

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Most of us have a hard time asking for help. Then there’s Sparrow. He took advantage of people’s kindness. Once he figured out the “rhythm,” he could take something, knowing that people would get tempted, and then demand payment. Hmmm.

So the cute and little Sparrow can be conniving and wily. And carry a sheep or bride, mind you. Much more than he appears.

Yet, when we are two-faced, we should not be surprised when karma comes to get us. I admit, there was satisfaction in the Sparrow getting a thorn again at the end by sitting on a prickly branch. But I feel guilty, because even then, I don’t like anyone coming to harm.

Does that make me two-faced?

50-word-or-less summary:

Thorn! Sparrow begged. Woman tossed thorn in fire. Sparrow insisted – HIS thorn. Payment! Given bread. Took bread to man to “watch” while away. Ate bread. Payment! Given sheep. Wedding. “Watch” sheep. Guests ate. Payment! Given bride. Minstrel “watch” bride. Distracted by own songs. Bride runs. Given lute. Branch. Thorn!

Finding the Story: 

Book entitled “The Greedy Sparrow” – found here

Study Guide and Questions for Story – found here

Video of LIza Manoyan reading the story in Armenian – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

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One thought on “W is for Wounded Wiles

  1. That was cool. And I learned about storks. Thanks for this post.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

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