How The Wren Became King Of The Birds
How the wren became the King of the birds
Long ago, when the first trees were young, the birds held a meeting to decide who might be considered King of the Birds. Word spread on the wings of the butterflies and through the scurrying of the woodland creatures and the birds gathered from all across the lands. They decided to hold a contest to see who could fly the highest and this would determine who would be named King.
On the day of the competition, dawn broke and all in the woods gathered round to watch the spectacle. The birds took off into the air and it wasn't too long before the smaller birds tired, unable to fly higher. The larger stronger birds continued to fly high until one by one they too gave up and only the eagle remained soaring towards the sun. The eagle looked around him and saw he was the only bird remaining and arrogantly started his descent. To his alarm he heard a little voice above him and saw the little wren fluttering high above him chirping, “I did it! I am the King! See me soar!” Realising that the little wren had stowed away in his feathers, the eagle was furious. When the birds all came together, the larger birds complained that little wren had cheated while the smaller birds complained that the competition favoured the strong. Wise little wren called for another competition to be held as she knew her cunning and wisdom could outsmart the bigger birds.
The new test was decided upon to see who could swoop the lowest. The birds all started to lie low to the ground, swooping down as close to the earth as they could. Looking around little Wren saw a mouse hole and dived straight into it shouting, “I am the King! I am the King!” This was too much for the proud, larger birds. They determined that whilst little Wren may have won the competition, she would never rule them. They took turns guarding the mouse hole promising to kill her if she tried to climb out.
Little wren bided her time waiting for dawn to break. She knew that as wise as the old owl was, he would not be prepared for the bright sunrise and would have to blink or be blinded. As she scurried out of the mouse hole and into the thicket, little wren resigned herself to the fact the bigger birds would always hunt her, because she had hurt their pride when she outsmarted them.
However, little wren is still named King of the Birds. You will often spy her flitting through the thickets, hedges and undergrowth, not staying in one place too long and chattering to other wrens. The other birds acknowledge little wren’s wisdom in outsmarting the bigger birds and often go to her for advice.
- a retelling by Carys Martin
Total height of bird sculpture is approximately 50cm.