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Pedro Andi, "Squirrel Cuckoo: A Bird That Lies and Sometimes Tells the Truth"

From interviews with Tod D. Swanson

English subtitles only.

Cite video as:
Tod D. Swanson, "Squirrel Cuckoo: A Bird That Lies and Sometimes Tells the Truth.’" Youtube video. 2:40. Feb 28, 2021



Not available.

Kichwa Transcription

Not available.

English Translation

When the squirrel cuckoo speaks it tells the truth, but if it wants to lie it can lie. It lies sometimes? Yes, it lies. If it wants to tell the truth it tells the truth exactly. But if it feels like lying it lies too. If it wants to lie it happens like this. Sometimes when our great hunters are going out to hunt, even though the game is close by…. Maybe a peccary is close by, or maybe a deer is close by, or there is a monkey or birds, it says, [then it says], “Chikwán, chikwán” [which means there is no game]. They had been going along paying attention, excited to hunt. Now as they are going along they have their guard down. "Aw, there is nothing there! I am wasting my time coming out here." Then, as they are going along with their guard down, they suddenly they run into peccaries. When they see that they say the bird didn’t tell the truth. If it wants to let them know that there is game near by then, when the hunters are about 100 meters away, he tell them, “Chik, chik, chik, Chik, chik, chik.” Then after a little while it goes “Chiiiillll, chik chik chik chill.” That is the sound the meat makes after you kill it and you are roasting it over the fire and the juice drops into the fire. It goes "chiiil." That is the sound that the bird makes. What is the sound that the bird makes [again]? First it goes “Chik, chik chik Chiaaaaoll. Chik, chik chik chiaaaaoll,” it calls from its throat. [It's the sound of the juice] w hen you make a rack to smoke the game and the blood drips into the fire, it sounds “Tsa, ra, ra, ra, ra. Tsa, ra, ra, ra, ra” when it spills into the fire. That is what [the bird] says when that's going to happen. [When the hunter hears this], he says [the game] will be right over here and so he begins to follow the game. And sometimes they find that game. So they believe it when it says, “Chik, chik, chik,” it is saying that there will be game. So it is trying to make the sound of roasting meat? Yes, It knows the sound of roasting meat. That is the sound it makes? Yes, that is what it wants us to hear. In your opinion does the bird just make a mistake or does it lie? Well, on this they say that sometimes, even though the game is right there, sometimes it says, “Chiwan, chikwan.” Although the game is there it lies saying there is no game. There is no game? Meaning that there is no game. But does it lie or does it just not know? He lies. Even though it can see the game it lies. It wants to send (the hunters) back to their house. The reason it says there is no [game] is so they will go home!” If it said, "chik, chik" they would keep going farther to find game. So since it does not want to tell them that the game is there it lies.

Spanish Translation

Not available.


Not available.
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