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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
Why the peetweet cries for rain.
From The Book of Nature Myths by Florence Holbrook.
Start of Story
"Come to me, every bird that flies," said the Great Father. "There is
work to be done that only my birds can do."
The birds were happy that they could do something to please the Great
Father, for they remembered how good he had always been to them. They
flew to him eagerly to ask what they should do for him. "O Great
Father," they sang all together, "tell us what we can do for you."
"The waters that I have made know not where to go," said the Father.
"Some should go to the seas, some should go to the lakes in the hollows
among the mountains, and some should make rivers that will dance over
the rocks and through the fields on their way to the sea."
"And can even as small a bird as I show them where to go?" asked the
"Yes," said the Father, "even my little humming-bird can help me."
Every bird that flies had come to the Father, but the peetweet had come
last because he was lazy.
"I do not really wish to fly all over the earth," said he, "to show the
waters where to go."
"Oh, I wish I were a bird," said a butterfly. "I should be so glad to do
something for the Father."
But the peetweet went on, "I should think the lakes could find their way
into the hollows of the mountains by themselves."
The Father heard the lazy peetweet, and he said, "Do you not wish to
show the waters where to go?"
"They never showed me where to go," said the lazy bird. "I am not
thirsty. Let whoever is thirsty and needs the water help the lakes and
The other birds all stood still in wonder. "He will be punished," they
"Yes, he must be punished," said the Father sadly. Then said he to the
lazy peetweet, "Never again shall you drink of the water that is in
river or lake. When you are thirsty, you must look for a hollow in the
rock where the rain has fallen, and there only shall you drink."
That is why the peetweet flies over river and lake, but ever cries
eagerly, "Peet-weet, peet-weet!" for that is his word for "Rain, rain!"