A Tamil Folk Tale

A frog was once so enamoured of the cuckoo's sweet voice that he begged the bird to teach him to sing.

"My only ambition in life is to be able to sing like you," croaked the frog, hope bulging in his eyes.

The cuckoo was not immune to flattery and he agreed to take on the frog as his pupil. Day after day, he sat on a bough overhanging the pond and instructed the frog:

"Saa, ree, gaa...," the cuckoo would trill melodiously.

"Saa, ree, gaa...," would croak the frog, trying hard to soften his harsh voice.

A week passed and then two. The cuckoo persevered, though all his pupil emitted by way of song was a series of croaks in different notes.

Soon, the cuckoo began hearing his pupil in his dreams. He would wake up shivering and a feeble croak would escape his beak. One day, the cuckoo's nightmare turned into reality. In the midst of a lesson, his once-lovely voice emerged as a guttural croak. He stopped and as his stunned pupil watched, tried again. All that came out was a ear-splitting "Caaw...caaww...!"

Which is how, crows came into being.