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The bittern and the hoopoe
Grimm Märchen

The bittern and the hoopoe - Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm

Reading time for children: 2 min

„Where do you like best to feed your flocks?“ said a man to an old cow-herd. „Here, sir, where the grass is neither too rich nor too poor, or else it is no use.“ – „Why not?“ asked the man. „Do you hear that melancholy cry from the meadow there?“ answered the shepherd, „that is the bittern; he was once a shepherd, and so was the hoopoe also,–I will tell you the story. The bittern pastured his flocks on rich green meadows where flowers grew in abundance, so his cows became wild and unmanageable. The hoopoe drove his cattle on to high barren hills, where the wind plays with the sand, and his cows became thin, and got no strength. When it was evening, and the shepherds wanted to drive their cows homewards, the bittern could not get his together again; they were too high-spirited, and ran away from him. He called, „Come, cows, come,“ but it was of no use; they took no notice of his calling. The hoopoe, however, could not even get his cows up on their legs, so faint and weak had they become. „Up, up, up,“ screamed he, but it was in vain, they remained lying on the sand. That is the way when one has no moderation. And to this day, though they have no flocks now to watch, the bittern cries, „Come, cows, come,“ and the hoopoe, „Up, up, up.“

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Informations for scientific analysis

Fairy tale statistics
NumberKHM 173
Aarne-Thompson-Uther-IndexATU Typ 236
Translations deutsch
Readability Index by Björnsson26.4
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index86.9
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level5.1
Gunning Fog Index7.9
Coleman–Liau Index7.4
SMOG Index7.7
Automated Readability Index5.1
Character Count1.253
Letter Count943
Sentence Count15
Word Count239
Average Words per Sentence15,93
Words with more than 6 letters25
Percentage of long words10.5%
Number of Syllables293
Average Syllables per Word1,23
Words with three Syllables9
Percentage Words with three Syllables3.8%

Image sources: © Andrea Danti / Shutterstock

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