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Birds in Legend Fable and Folklore
– June 1, 1968
Angus Mac-ind-oc was the Cupid of the Gaels. He was a harper of the sweetest music, and was attended by birds, his own transformed kisses, which hovered, invisible, over young men and maidens of Erin, whispering love into their ears. WHEN we say, A little bird told me, we are talking legend and folklore and superstition all at once. There is an old Basque story of a bird always a small one in these tales that tells the truth; and our Biloxi Indians used to say the same of the hummingbird. Breton peasants still credit all birds with the power of using human language on proper occasions, and traditions in all parts of the world agree that every bird had this power once on a time if not now. The fireside-tales of the nomads ofO riental deserts or of North American plains and forest alike attest faith in this power; and conversation by and with birds is almost the main stock of the stories heard on ourS outhern cotton-plantations. You will perhaps recall the bulbul bazar of the Arabian Nights, and, if you please, you may read in another chapter of the conversational pewit and hoopoe of Solomonic
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