"I demand half your kingdom," Sparrow shouted.
King Eagle laughed. "If you can drink this pot of palm-wine, half the kingdom is yours."
"I'll do it," Sparrow said, "if I can drink water too."
Sparrow hid his relatives by the river.
Then, he drank some wine and flew to the river for water. A relative returned in his place; to Eagle, they all looked alike.
Then another relative, and another, until all the palm-wine was gone.
King Eagle gave half the kingdom to Sparrow.
When you hear sparrows chattering nowadays, they're talking about how they outsmarted King Eagle!
[a story from Liberia]
Inspired by: "Eagle and Sparrow" in Folktales from Liberia (in Journal of American Folklore) by Richard C. Bundy, 1919.
Notes: You can read the original story online. In the original story, Eagle refuses to concede so the birds depose him.
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