In No. 16 of the Burmese collection of tales entitled Decisions of the Princess Thoodhamma Tsari—which has been translated into English by Capt. T. P. Sparks (Maulmain, 1851), and again by Chr. J. Bandow (Rangoon, 1881)—a youth is changed into a small parrot by a magic thread being tied round his neck, and in that form is captured by some bird-catchers in the king's garden, and presented as a pet to the princess, who discovers and removes the thread, when he becomes once more a handsome young man. Early every morning the princess replaces the thread and he is again changed to a parrot; at night she takes off the thread; and thus she continues to amuse herself until the consequences could not be any longer con­cealed, but in the sequel the youth is publicly acknowledged as her husband.

Sometimes the hero of a popular fiction has the power of transforming himself into a bird or of quitting his own body and animating that of any dead animal, as in Mr. Natésa Sástrí's Dravidian Nights Entertainments, pp. 8-18, and the idea is also known to European ballads and romances. For instance, in Prior's Danish Ballads, iii, 206, we are told how a knight, to gain access to a lady's bower, becomes a bird and flies in. In his notes, Prior refers to the ballad of ‘The Earl of Mar's Daughter’ (Buchan, i, 49):

“I am a doo the live-lang day,
A sprightly youth at night;
This aye gars me appear mair fair
In a fair maiden's sight.”

He also refers to the Netherlandish ballad, ‘Vogelritter,’ where a knight goes to Cyprus and wins the king's daughter, whom he had previously visited in the form of a bird, having in his possession a stone which effects transformations; and to the ‘Lai d'Iwenec’, by Marie de France.