Stories For Thing

Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!

There once lived a rich farmer in a small village called Bastipur.  He had vast fields that he grew all kinds of crops in, and he was blessed with land that was fertile. Every year, he would harvest tons of crops and sell them in the City.

A group of birds lived in the trees on the hills surrounding his village. They would fly down to the farmer’s land every day and pick up small amounts of grain in their tiny mouths to feed their children. The farmer had enough to feed them all, and still make his money.

Sadly, the farmer wasn’t as kind-hearted as they would have hoped. He noticed that his grain was being stolen by birds every day. He was furious! He decided to use a pot-on-a-stick as a scarecrow. This scared the young birds and they stopped visiting his fields. The older ones, however, were smart. They understood his ploy and continued to pick his grains.

The farmer could not stand it anymore. Late one night, when everybody was asleep, he laid out a net in his field. The next day, the birds came as usual, and started picking on the grain. Soon, the oldest among them realized something was wrong.

“We must leave soon,” he said. “I think there is a trap set up for us today!”
The birds always listened to their elders, and decided to take flight. All but one bird was escaped from the net.

“Aha!” said the farmer. He was sitting behind a banyan tree watching the whole episode. “I have caught a culprit and I will make her pay!”
He bundled up the net with the bird trapped in it and carried her over his shoulder.

“Tchee tchee!”  came a sound.  The farmer turned around. It was the trapped bird.

She started singing:
“Farmer, farmer, please set me free,
I will not trouble you daily.
I have three children living on the tree.
Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!”

“No! You will be food for my children today, you little thief!” said the farmer coldly and started on his way home.
A little farther off, there was a shepherd returning home with his herd. The bird saw an opportunity.

“Shepherd brother, shepherd brother, listen to me,
this farmer has me trapped, please set me free.
I have three children living on the tree.
Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!”

The shepherd was a kind man, and asked the farmer to set the poor bird free. The farmer thanked him for advice, but said that he’d rather not lose out on a delicious dinner.

As they went further, they came across the Milkman. The bird broke into her chorus once again.

“Milkman brother, milkman brother, listen to me,
This farmer has me trapped, please set me free.
I have three children living on the tree.
Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!”

The milkman loved birds. He had a heated argument with the farmer to set the bird free. Sadly, he was poor, and had borrowed some money from the rich farmer. He had to leave when the farmer threatened to double his interest rate.

They came across a group of schoolchildren, an old lady, the postman, and the Village Priest as they the farmer walked home. Each time the bird broke into the chorus of “Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!” and each time the farmer was requested to let go of the bird. But he was a shrewd and wicked man. He managed to get to the gate of his house with the bird.

As he opened the gate, though, he was startled. There was a huge group of birds hovering over his house, each squeaking “Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!”

It was an astounding sight. They soon flew towards the farmer and started pecking him all over his body. They pecked him on his nose, ears, knees: everywhere.

“Aaaargh!” the farmer screamed. He lifted both his hands to hit the birds and make them go away. They scattered and flew away.

As he started towards his house, the farmer noticed that the weight on his shoulder had reduced. In the entire ruckus that was created, the trapped bird had got away!

As she flew home to her children, she sang to the farmer:
“Farmer farmer, listen to me,
Learn to live peacefully.
Mind your own business, let others be.
Butter tee tee! Butter tee tee!”

(This is the translation of a Bhojpuri folk tale my grandmother used to tell me when I was little. I loved it so much, I broke into its chorus in my sleep once. I was thinking about her today, so I gave her a call and asked her to tell me this story again.)

by Sleepy

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