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Created On 27 July 2002
Last Updated On 27 July 2002
Copyright © 2002 Simon E. Phipp

How the Mosquito Lost His Tongue [1] See also The Little Black Dog

A long time ago [2], when the lands were flooded, Anaxial gathered together all the people and animals and set them upon a great Ark that floated upon the waters. The mouse was there too and started to gnaw at the bottom, he gnawed and gnawed until he had bitten a hole clean through to the seas below. The grass snake noticed and stuck its head through the hole, blocking it until it could be repaired. Anaxial wanted to repay the grass snake and offered it a reward. "I would like a meal of the creature with the tastiest blood on the Ark" the grass snake said, so Anaxial asked the mosquito to find out who had the tastiest blood. The mosquito flew around from creature to creature, tasting the blood of all the living things on the Ark, and at last decided that human blood was the tastiest. He flew back to Anaxial and was glad, for he never liked man. Anaxial asked "which has the tastiest blood?", but the swallow pitied the man, for he sheltered the swallow beneath his eaves, and he flew in and pecked out mosquito's tongue, that is why the mosquito buzzes. The grass snake was so angry that he bit through the swallow's tail, which is why the swallow's tail is forked.


1. This is based on the Bashkiri Folk Tale "Why the swallow's tail is cloven"

2. This is a folk tale of the Dara Happan peasants. The nobility, of course, have no memory of such minor deeds and do not tell such tales.