Did you know sparrows could lick their l … err … beaks? Can’t say I’ve ever seen a sparrow’s tongue before, but I seem to recall they might be a medieval delicacy. Hmm, turns out the Romans were fond of peacock tongues and maybe flamingos. And maybe hummingbird tongues as a dish is a rumour.

According to Google, sparrow tongues can refer to small pasta from Northern Africa, the size of a grain of rice, or Que She (sparrow tongue), a type of tea.

And there is the “Tongue-Cut Sparrow” — a Japanese fable featuring a kind old man and his avaricious wife who chopped out the tongue from a starch-stealing bird. Apparently, the story explores greed, friendship and jealousy. I must track down a copy.

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A sparrow tongue


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