Sanzuwu: a Totem

~Han Dynasty, China~

sanzuwu
Larry Vienneau, Three legged Birds, Etching.

In Chinese legend, the Sanzuwu, or three-legged crow, is not a trickster or bad omen. He and his brothers were responsible for drawing the sun across the sky each day.

threeleggedbird_han_dynasty
A Han Dynasty mural painting of a three-legged crow from the Henan province, northern China.
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The Crow and the Pitcher: A Fable

~ From Aesop’s Fables, Robinson edition, 1895~

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A Crow, ready to die with thirst, flew with joy to a Pitcher, which he saw at a distance. But when he came up to it, he found the water so low that with all his stooping and straining he was unable to reach it. Thereupon he tried to break the Pitcher; then to overturn it; but his strength was not sufficient to do either. At last, seeing some small pebbles lie near the place, he cast them one by one into the Pitcher; and thus, by degrees, raised the water up to the very brim, and quenched his thirst.”