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The Arabic Folk Tale “الطِّيرْ الأخْضَر” Part One Posted by on Oct 7, 2020 in Uncategorized

In this post, I thought we’d read the first part of a short Arabic folk tale of Palestinian origin called “الطِّيرْ الأخْضَر” meaning “The Green Bird”. It is about an زَوجة أب شَرّيرة evil stepmother and a boy who becomes a green bird. It is a tale of وَحْشِيّة cruelty, حُبّ love, and سِحْر magic. There are several slightly different versions of this story. The one in this post is written in Modern Standard Arabic and includes a variety of vocabulary for different levels. I have also included a translation and an audio reading of this story so you can listen to the pronunciation as you read along. Enjoy!

Image via Pixabay

الطِّيرْ الأخْضَر

.كَان في قَديم الزَّمان عائِلَة سَعيدة مُكَوَنة مِن رَجُل وَزَوجَتِهِ ولَهُما وَلَد وبِنت، وعِندهُم أيضاً بَقَرَة صَغيرَة صَفراء اللَون وكان الوَلدان يُحِبانها كَثيراً وهُما مُتَعَلِقان بِها

في يَوم مِن الأيام، ماتَت زَوجَة الرَّجُل فَتَزَوَجَ امرأة أُخرى لَكنَها كانَت امرأة شَرّيرة لَم تُحِب الأولاد، وكَرِهَت الوَلد بالأخَصّ إضافةً لِكَرِهها لِلبَقَرة، فَبَدأت تُفَكِر في طَريقة للتَخَلُّصّ مِنْهُما

 تَظاهَرَت زَوجة الأب بالمَرَض، وأرسَلَت بِطَلَب أحَد الأطِباء مِن أصحابِها لِعلاجِها، فَطَلَبَت مِنهُ في السِّر أن يوصَف لَها لَحم البَقرة الصفراء كَدواء بِحيث لا تُشفى إلا بَعدَ أن تأكُلَ مِن لَحمِها وتَدهَن جِسمَها بِدمِها. فَوَصف الطبيب لها هذا أمام الجَّميع. عارَضَ الأولاد قَرار الطبيب إلا أنَّهُم اضطُروا للمُوافَقَة عليهِ لِعِلاج زَوجة أبيهِم. وبَعد أيام قَليلة ادّعَت أنّها شُفيَت مِن المَرَض، وقامَت مِثل الغَزالة فَفَرِحَ الأب بِشِفائِها

بعد أن تَخَلَّصَت مِن البَقَرة الصَّفراء، صارَ هَمَّها أن تَتَخَلَّص مِن الوَلَد، لَكن عارَضَ الأب وتَمَسَّكَ بِولدهِ الوَحيد. ولِذا، قَصَدَت المرأة ساحِرة شرَّيرة صَنَعت لَها سَحراً أسوَدَ تَتَحَكَّم مِن خِلالهِ بالرَّجُل، فَصارَ الأب يَكرهُ ابنه

تَظاهَرَت زَوجة الأب بالمَرَض مَرَّةٍ أخرى، فَطَلَبَت مِن زوجها أن يَذْبَحَ ابنهُ ويُطعِمَها مِن لَحمِهِ، فَقامَ الرَجُّل مِن ذَبح الوَلد فَطَبَختهُ و أكَلَت مِن لَحِمِه وادَّعَت الشِّفاء، ورَّمَت عِظامه في حَديقة المَنزِل


The Green Bird

Once upon a time, there was a happy family. A man, his wife and their son and daughter. They also had a little yellow cow which they loved very much and were attached to.

One day, the man’s wife died and so he married another woman who turned out to be evil and did not like children. She especially hated the boy and the yellow cow. She began thinking of a way to get rid of them.

The stepmother pretended to be ill and sent for one of the doctors she knew to make her better. She secretly asked the doctor to prescribe her the cow’s meat and to rub her body with its blood as the only remedy that would cure her. The doctor then prescribed this in front of everyone. The children opposed this decision but were forced to agree to heal their stepmother. In a few days, the stepmother pretended to be all better and she rose like a deer. The father was happy she had recovered.

After she was rid of the cow, she turned her attention to the boy, but the father refused and held on to his only son. Therefore, the woman went to an evil witch who made her black magic through which she could control the man. The father began to hate his son.

The stepmother pretended to be ill once more and asked her husband to kill his son and feed her his flesh. The father than killed his son and she cooked and ate him and pretended to be healed then threw his bones in the garden.

To be continued…


What an evil stepmother! The first half of this tale is indeed a bit dark and gruesome, yet it does lighten up and has a نِهاية سَعيدة happy ending. Stay tuned for the second part of this story in next week’s post. 📖


Till then happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.

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