Note: You will only see this box once.

We would like to invite you to sign up for the completely free Newsletter! Join our other 480,975 readers.

Subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas, printables and more. Stay informed of all our new resources as they're developed...we have some exciting features coming in 2018!

P.S.. To officially become a newsletter subscriber, be sure to confirm your subscription by responding to the email we send you.

We respect your privacy!
Home Kids Safe Search for Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter! Add this site to your favorites folder Sitemap - Contents of Website Contact Us
Home of - Elementary lessons, stories, poetry, vocabulary worksheets, children's book reviews, craft ideas for teachers.
Thematic Book Reviews Fun Printable Coloring Sheets Holidays Events and Occasions Teacher Worksheets
Thematic Books Color Holiday Fun Teacher Printables
An Educational Resource Site for
Teachers and Homeschoolers
  December 04, 2023
Featured Themes

Online Short Stories for KidsOther Short Stories



Bird Day Short Stories for Kids
Printable Children's Literature


Home > Holidays > Bird Day > Kids Short Stories > The King of the Birds

Legends and Short Stories to Share on Bird Day

The King of the Birds

by The Brothers Grimm
German Household Tales

One day the birds took it into their heads that they would like a master, and that one of their number must be chosen king. A meeting of all the birds was called, and on a beautiful May morning they assembled from woods and fields and meadows. The eagle, the robin, the bluebird, the owl, the lark, the sparrow were all there. The cuckoo came, and the lapwing, and so did all the other birds, too numerous to mention. There also came a very little bird that had no name at all.

There was great confusion and noise. There was piping, hissing, chattering and clacking, and finally it was decided that the bird that could fly the highest should be king.

The signal was given and all the birds flew in a great flock into the air. There was a loud rustling and whirring and beating of wings. The air was full of dust, and it seemed as if a black cloud were floating over the field.

The little birds soon grew tired and fell back quickly to earth. The larger ones held out longer, and flew higher and higher, but the eagle flew highest of any. He rose, and rose, until he seemed to be flying straight into the sun.

The other birds gave out and one by one they fell back to earth - and when the eagle saw this he thought, "What is the use of flying any higher? It is settled - I am king!"

Then the birds below called in one voice, "Come back, come back! You must be our king! No one can fly as high as you."

"Except me!" cried a shrill, shrill voice, and the little bird without a name rose from the eagle's back, where he had lain hidden in the feathers, and he flew into the air. Higher and higher he mounted till he was lost to sight, then, folding his wings together, he sank to earth crying shrilly, "I am king! I am king!"

"You, our king!" the birds cried in anger. "you have done this by trickery and cunning. We will not have you to reign over us."

Then the birds gathered together again and made another condition, that he should be king who could go the deepest into the earth.

How the goose wallowed in the sand, and the duck strove to dig a hole! All the other birds, too, tried to hide themselves in the ground. The little bird without a name found a mouse's hole, and creeping in cried -

"I am king! I am king!"

"You, our king!" all the birds cried again, more angrily than before. "Do you think that we would reward your cunning in this way? No, no! You shall stay in the earth till you die of hunger!"

So they shut up the little bird in the mouse's hole, and bade the owl watch him carefully night and day. Then all the birds went home to bed, for they were very tired - but the owl found it lonely and wearisome sitting alone staring at the mouse's hole.

"I can close one eye and watch with the other," he thought. So he closed one eye and stared steadfastly with the other - but before he knew it he forgot to keep that one open, and both eyes were fast asleep.

Then the little bird without a name peeped out, and when he saw Master Owl's two eyes tight shut, he slipped from the hole and flew away.

From this time on the owl has not dared to show himself by day lest the birds should pull him to pieces. He flies about only at night-time, hating and pursuing the mouse for having made the hole into which the little bird crept.

And the little bird also keeps out of sight, for he fears lest the other birds should punish him for his cunning. He hides in the hedges, and when he thinks himself quite safe, he sings out, "I am king! I am king!"

And the other birds in mockery call out, "Yes, yes, the hedge-king! the hedge-king!"


Email this page to a friend Email this page to a friend


Follow Us...

Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow Us on Pinterest

Online Short Stories for Kids Other Short Stories

Bird Day Activities for Kids - Children celebrate bird dayBird Day Activities

About Bird Day

When is Bird Day 2019?

Bird Coloring Pages

Thematic Book List

Bird Stories

Bird Poetry

Bird Memory Match

Word Search Puzzle

Fun Holiday Activities and Games for Kids


Holidays and

Teaching Themes

December Teaching Activities & Worksheets

Winter Theme Unit of Study - Winter
Christmas Thematic Unit - Christmas Fun
Christian Christmas Theme Unit of Study - Christmas - Religious Christian Christmas
Hanukkah Thematic Unit - Hanukkah
Kwanzaa Theme Unit of Study - Kwanzaa
New Year Thematic Unit - New Year
December Calendar of Events - December Teaching Ideas - Other December Teaching Ideas

Sample Thematic Activities & Teaching Ideas

Letter Activities, Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Games - Letters of the Alphabet Games
Community Helpers Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Community Helpers
100th Day of School Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - The 100th day of School Activities
Seasons Thematic Unit - Summer - Summer
Seasons Thematic Unit - Fall - Autumn - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Fall
Seasons Thematic Unit - Winter - Winter
Seasons Thematic Unit - Spring - Spring
U.S. Presidents Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Timelines, Books, Poetry, Stories, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Presidents
Dr. Seuss Thematic Teaching Unit - NEA Read Across America - Read Across America - Dr. Seuss' Birthday
Native Americans Thematic Unit - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Native American Study
USA States - U.S. Geography Thematic Unit - U.S. Geography
ADD, ADHD, Literacy, ESL, Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, Gifted, Health Ed, Early Childhood Education   
Home Search About Us Contact Compensation and Affiliation Affidavit Getting Started Privacy Policy Terms of Service Sitemap is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities:
first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade teaching materials and lesson plans.

Copyright ©1999-2020
Owned and operated by Webstantaneous Web Marketing, LLC