When I was flying over the forest I saw a freshly killed ox lying in the clearing. What good fortune! I swooped down, landed on the carcass, and began to peck at the flesh.
Just then a fox caught me in his mouth and ran with me to a lion who was sitting at the roadside, along with a wolf and several other animals. They were gathered around the carcass of a man.
The lion said, “We will not kill you if you promise to fly to the town where there are three wells of healing. Bring the water back so that we can restore the life of our dead prince.”
Off I flew to the wells. I dipped my beak in the well of healing, the well of strength, and the well of swiftness. Then I returned to the dead man and dropped the water straight from my beak to his lips.
To everyone’s amazement, he sat up, stood up, and walked back and forth! Did we ever cheer!
Now I’ve gone back to the ox and I’ve filled my belly. The sun has set and I should be settling down myself, but I can’t stop cawing.
I have so much to crow about!
Crow Who Saves a Prince in The Three Princes and Their Beasts, Violet Fairy Book. Picture by Arthur Rackham.