Monday, October 31, 2005

My Halloween Conversation with a Raven

For Halloween, I thought I would share this tale with you. It actually happened, just as I tell it…

I took my early morning cup of tea out onto the balcony, and sat down to admire my favourite tree. A raven flew down and perched on a branch. He turned a beady eye on me, and I, as is my wont, bid him good morning. I don’t actually talk aloud to birds, you understand – I direct my thoughts at them.

Having bid him good morning, my mind wandered to the line from Poe - ``Quoth the Raven, nevermore…”

The raven at once turned his back on me.

``Ok,” I thought, ``Poe didn’t go down too well.” I hummed a few bars of the Scottish ballad, Twa Corbies.

The raven still resolutely refused to look at me.

I now leaned forward and directed my thoughts in a more concentrated manner – but this time I thought before I thought, if you see what I mean.

``OK,” I said, ``ravens have had bad press from Poe and folklore – you’re sick of hearing that stuff. Tell you what I’ll do – I’ll write a song, a poem, in praise of ravens – of all black birds. I’ll sing of their beautiful shining black feathers, the perfect way their wings fold back against their bodies, their courage, their protectiveness – I’ll sing of the way ravens have helped people, and how they take it upon themselves to be a warning, to be associated with bad luck, because they are noble birds that do not think of themselves first…”

By now the raven had turned round. He was looking at me, disconcertingly, from either side of a slender twig, two bright yellow eyes looking at me…

``I’m not as famous as Poe,” I thought at him, ``and not a great poet, but my words are sometimes heard and sometimes travel over vast distances, and I know a woman who loves ravens and will be glad to let others know of my song.”
He hopped around the branch, closer to me, his bright eyes still fixed intently on me.

``I will sing of the beauty of the raven,” I promised. ``You are surely the handsomest bird of all.”

We continued to observe each other in comfortable silence for a couple of heartbeats, and now, here is the spooky bit.

``You have my word on it,” I said. ``From now on, I will sing in praise of ravens. No more quoting Poe, I promise. You can go about your business now.”
And he flew away.


At 5:48 AM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

This was great to read. What a wonderful moment of transformation. I love their blue black, and they are so big and loyal to their mates....much maligned they are and there isn't much truth in it I found. Fantastic stuff.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Vi Jones said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Vi Jones said...

Thank you, Gail, for this. A raven came to me when I was so sick last year and he was there through my long recovery. Ravens hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for your wonderful piece.



Post a Comment

<< Home