The Origin of the Robin
The son assented; and covering himself more closely, that he might shut out the light which prompted him to complain, he lay till the eleventh day, when he repeated his request.
The father addressed Iadilla as he had the day before, and promised that he would himself prepare his first meal, and bring it to him by the dawn of the morning.
The son moaned, and the father added:
"Will you bring shame upon your father when his sun is falling in the west?"
"I will not shame you, my father," replied Iadilla; and he lay so still and motionless that you could only know that he was living by the gentle heaving of his breast.
At the spring of day, the next morning, the father, delighted at having gained his end, prepared a repast for his son, and hastened to set it before him. On coming to the door of the little lodge, he was surprised to hear his son talking to himself. He stooped his ear to listen, and, looking through a small opening, he was yet more astonished when he beheld his son painted with vermilion over all his breast, and in the act of finishing his work by laying on the paint as far back on his shoulders as he could reach with his hands, saying at the same time, to himself:
"My father has destroyed my fortune as a man. He would not listen to my requests. He has urged me beyond my tender strength. He will be the loser. I shall be forever happy in my new state, for I have been obedient to my parent. He alone will be the sufferer, for my guardian spirit is a just one. Though not propitious to me in the manner I desired, he has shown me pity in another way—he has given me another shape; and now I must go."
At this moment the old man broke in, exclaiming:
"My son! my son! I pray you leave me not!"
But the young man, with the quickness of a bird, had flown to the top of the lodge and perched himself on the highest pole, having been changed into a beautiful robin red-breast. He looked down upon his father with pity beaming in his eyes, and addressed him as follows:
"Regret not, my father, the change you behold.