The Cuckoo’s Song

Genre; folk/fairy tale, short story


It is said the cuckoo’s call brings good fortune to those who hear it. Some even turn their wallets upside down, hoping to find sudden riches.
But the cuckoo’s fortune is not that of material coin but of what is your heart. This story tells of two persons who experienced that firsthand and decided to share it with the world.


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Once upon a time, in a small village in the darkest depths of the Black Forest, there arrived a peddler and bard. He accounted a rather peculiar tale to all who wanted to hear him.

Early that morrow, on the first Spring day when the land was yet covered in white snow, he came upon a cuckoo, perched high upon a tree branch, concealed among the tender and yellow-green leaves. The little bird sang its sweet song, welcoming the new day. Upon hearing it, the bard recalled how his darling daughter waiting at home would always sit in the garden to listen to her own pretty birds. Moved by the thought of his little girl, the bard wanted to reach for the hair ribbon she gave him, but remembered he lost it along his travels. Not wanting to linger on that sad thought, he continued his way. After an hour or so, the bard came upon a crossroads. Wanting to take some rest in the village, he took out his coin purse to see how much money he had left. And lo and behold, there was the hair ribbon!

Many dismissed the tale, of course, believing it naught but a mishap in forgetfulness. Yet there was one among the villagers who took heart in the bard’s words. A lonely clock maker, separated from his musical twin who lived in the big city, set out into the woods and found the tree the bard had seen the cuckoo in. He heard it’s song and reminisced about the good times he had with his brother. How he missed him!

Suddenly, the clock maker thought of a way that he could connect with his brother again. He hurried home and sent a letter, telling his brother of his plan. Much to his own surprise, the man arrived in the village not three days later. They ventured into the forest together, carrying all sorts of equipment, and only returned well after dusk. The villagers were curious as to what the brothers were up to, but they admitted no one to enter their home.

All day long they spent in the forest, while all night long they labored. And finally, one week later, they shared their work with their friends and neighbors. It was a quaint little wooden clock, with the most intricate design. They asked all to wait until the clock chimed and then…


The clever brothers had captured the cuckoo’s song! Many of the villagers stood in awe of this wonder and asked to buy the clock. But the clock maker, having asked the bard to stay for a while, gifted his work to him and his daughter.

The cuckoo’s song reminded the bard and clock maker of their loved ones. ‘T Was good fortune that lead them to discover that their loved ones were where mattered most – in their heart. And now, if one hears the cuckoo call, it is said that sweet melody reminds the heart that nobody is left behind.

Or forgotten.