There once lived a man with his wife. They were
very poor and always hungry. The man often went to the forest,
but he was a bad hunter and sometimes brought home only a small
One day he went to the forest again. But it was a very bad
day for him: he did not find even a small bird. He was tired and
sad. He sat down to rest under a tree. Then he heard a sweet
song of a bird.
He looked up and saw a very small bird whose feathers were
red. The bird said, "I see that you are poor and hungry. I want
to help you. I'll give you one of my feathers. Take it home and
cook it. You will have a good dinner. Come back tomorrow, and
I'll give you another feather."
He thanked the bird and went home. He put the feather into a
pot and told everything to his wife.
"Silly, how can the feather become food?' You must catch the
bird and kill it. Then we can cook the bird and eat it."
He did not answer, but looked into the pot and saw there a good
Every day he went to the forest, and every day the small
bird gave him a red feather that made a dinner for the man and
But his wife was very greedy. Every day she said to the man, "We
must not have only the little red feather. We must have the bird.
Then we can cook two, three or four feathers every day and we
shall have as much food as we like."
"But the little bird is my friend. I shall not kill it."
One day the woman followed her husband into the forest, but
he did not see her. The woman heard the sweet song of the little
red bird. She took a stone and killed it. The bird fell down off
the tree. The man was very sad, but the wife said, "Now we shall
have much food every day."
They went home. At home the woman pulled one red feather off
2 the bird and put it into the hot water. She cooked and cooked
it, but the feather was just a feather. And from that day on
they were again always hungry.