Thursday, August 2, 2007

The King of All Roosters (Tatar)

In a chicken coop on a large farm, there once was a rooster which never failed to whoop it up each morning. This in itself is not strange, but this particular rooster was very noisy indeed. Come every sunrise, he'd cock-a-doodle-do from one end of the farm to the other, and, believe me, when he crowed, everybody heard it.

"Wo, wo, wo!" he'd cry. "I'm the king, the emperor, the sultan, the khan of all chickens, be they black, white, yellow, golden, red or all the above! I am your sovereign, your monarch, so obey me!"

And many chickens--hens and other roosters alike--believed him. They would gather around him, chanting, "You are our king, our emperor, our sultan, our khan! You, O Khan, are our eternal leader! May you live a long, long life!"

He'd then reply, "On earth, whose roar is louder than a lion's? Whose legs are most powerful and majestic? Whose feathered robes are most exquisite? Who is simply most awe inspiring?"

"You are the one, O Majesty!" they'd all cry back.

"And tell me, O subjects, whose crown is the largest?"

"Yours! Yours! Yours, O Majesty!"

This went on morning after morning. On one particular morning, it had happened once too often. When the cook was woken up just a bit too early on this morning by all the blustering, he muttered to himself that he had had quite enough, thank you. He stomped out to the chicken coop, grabbed the self-styled king, emperor, sultan and khan by his feet and whisked him off to the chopping block, where he was chopped up for that night's big dinner.

"Delicious!" the master of the house and farm declared as he tasted that night's chicken soup. "This chicken is tender, fresh and absolutely delicious!"

(from The Wonderful Treasure Horse)


Xinjiang minjian gushiji, p. 457-459

This is a variant of AT 114A, "The Proud Cock." Motifs: Q331.2, "Vanity punished."

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