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"The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly" by Hwang Sun-mi

#Books on Demand l 2019-05-21

Books on Demand

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Sprout used to look longingly out to the yard everyday and imagine herself free to do whatever she wanted. 



“I had one wish. I hoped to brood an egg and see a chick hatch. My dream came true. I had a hard life, but it was also happy. I want to fly away now. Like Greentop, I want to fly far, far away.”


“한 가지 소망이 있었지.

 알을 품어서 병아리의 탄생을 보는 것.

 그걸 이루었어.

 고달프게 살았지만 참 행복하기도 했어.

 이제는 날아가고 싶어.

 나도 초록머리처럼 훨훨, 아주 멀리까지 가 보고 싶어.”



Interview by children’s literature critic Kim Yu-jin

It is natural for all animals to preserve themselves and procreate. Sprout and the weasel all feared for their babies. It may be described as motherly love, but I would like to say that they’re following their instincts. At the end, Sprout wants to fly and follow Greentop. That’s how Sprout completes her life. 



“You go ahead and eat me. Yes, fill you stomach for your babies.” 


Sprout closed her eyes. At that moment, she felt her neck being tightened. She imagined it would be much more painful, but it felt rather good.


“She bit into me. Finally.” 


When Sprout opened her eyes, she could see the clear blue sky. She was fully alert and everything felt light. Sprout looked down as she soared through the wind with her big, beautiful wings. She could see the reservoir, the snowy field, and the weasel. The hunter weasel plodded along with a limp, skinny hen in its mouth.


“자, 나를 잡아먹어라.

그래서 네 아기들 배를 채워라.” 

잎싹은 눈을 감았다.

“나를 물었구나. 드디어......”


눈을 뜨자 눈부시게 파란 하늘이 보였다.

정신도 말끔하고 모든 게 아주 가붓했다.

크고 아름다운 날개로 바람을 가르며 잎싹은 아래를 내려다보았다.

저수지와 눈보라 속의 들판, 그리고 족제비가 보였다.

비쩍 말라서 축 늘어진 암탉을 물고 사냥꾼 족제비가

힘겹게 걸어가고 있었다.




Hwang Sun-mi (Born in 1963, in Hongseong, Chungcheongnam-do Prov.)

: Debuted with “Flower Planted in the Heart” in 1995

Published “The Hen who Dreamed She Could Fly” in 2000

Translated versions published in 29 countries

Published in 5th grade textbook in 2011

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