Northern Khanty

The cuckoo

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A folktale relating why cuckoo birds do not build nests and get other birds to raise their young. According to the legend, long ago, a woman lived who had three sons. She did everything for them, but they cared very little in return. One day, she got sick and begged them for water. When the sons didn’t bring her water, she turned into a cuckoo and abandoned her children forever.

Recording: The tale was recorded in Kharsaim in 1993 by Irina Nikolaeva.