Category Archives: Mythology

The House that Fish Built: Far Seeing One…

France & Vincent

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…As the spencers rose to serve the food, the charioteer of Connor Cruel-Crest stood up and addressed the king, “O Far Seeing One,” he said, “many are the feats of Connor; majestic and commanding his gait, clashing swords he brings together, and in front of them he strides in glory to destroy all before him; in battles of blood, the pride of armies he hews, mowing down hosts of his foe-men; ever hostile is his hand, and many the mighty victories he has scored for Albion.

Do you assign to Connor the Champion’s Portion, he alone is entitled to it before all the other heroes of Albion?”

“That is not so !” Cried the charioteer of Long-Horn O’Leary, leaping to his feet, “to O’Leary should the Champion’s Portion be assigned, he alone before any other man of Albion is deserving of it: sprung from loins that are royal, fostered…

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Field-Mouse…

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Field-Mouse was out gathering wild-beans for winter when Buffalo came down to the meadow to graze.

‘He will mow down the long-grass with his prickly tongue and there will be no where left to hide,’ thought Field-Mouse, ‘I will offer him battle, like a man would do.’

“Ho, Buffalo!” squeaked Field-Mouse, “I challenge you to a fight.”

Buffalo went on grazing.

Field-Mouse repeated his challenge but still Buffalo went on grazing.

With his third challenge, Field-Mouse laughed contemptuously at Buffalo’s inaction.

“You had better keep still, little one,” said Buffalo, still grazing, “or I will come over there and step on you.”

“You can’t do it!” squeaked Field-Mouse in defiance.

“If you don’t be quiet I will certainly put an end to you,” said Buffalo, quietly.

“I dare you!” said Field-Mouse.

Before Field-Mouse had quite finished, Buffalo charged at him…

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Swans…

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‘Birds-of-the-Beyond’, Mountain-Ana called them.

She bought us a book.

The picture of the Lir-Clan huddled on a rock in the middle of a raging sea, slipping into Swan-Vests still remains, clear as each new day that dawns.

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“They’re here!” she said, her eyes aflame.

“What are?”

“The-Birds-from-Back-of-Beyond.”

I smiled at her memory, “They’re where?”

“Our-Back-Field!”

“Not possible,” I said grabbing my coat.

But I was wrong.

It had rained heavily overnight and two swans now swam on an impossible lake in the middle of Our-Back-Field.

We watched them all morning and wept when they flew away.

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The Prisoner…

 

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Beauty dived into the bushes led by Prince then gasped as one of the thorns from the brambles traced the delicate skin of her inner arm.

The blood came in spurts and rivulets.

“No wait,” she cried, pausing to peer back through the leaves.

The first yelps of the Bull Mastiffs could be heard on the breeze and soon Hog-Headed guards would swarm the grounds.

“Strange…” She mused, “how even the most well appointed buildings can be used as a prison.”

Prince smiled, turned, and moved off, deeper into the wood…

Behind him fell a glistening trail of crimson.

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Anomalies…

colours

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In the Land of the Living Heart, Angus was playing ball.

The sphere of light span and soared in and around and about his aura, as he juggled, and laughed… like tiny bells, chiming.

Just then, the Dagda went by, enveloped in cloud…

He stopped frowning when he saw Angus, “On my head, son!” he said.

With a flick of his fore-finger Angus propelled the sphere of light towards the Dagda who rose, majestically, through the air… and missed it!

The sphere splattered against the Rainbow Bridge, momentarily colouring the atmosphere…

Angus shrugged, “It’s not like we can ask for it back.”

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Tom Banjo…

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Down the dark stairwell,  a silent progress plotted.

‘Twas death in that  house were Tom but spotted.

…He reached the door, a tree clad Owl hooted.

Three seconds more and Tom was Seven League Booted.

One stride it took to clear that grim ravine.

By the dimly waking watchers, Tom was never seen.

A toe hold caught the receding lip of night.

Poor Tom was spilled out, and tumbled into flight…

*

In the glow

far, far below…

High keening Kites.

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*Tom Banjo is a character who appears in the Grateful Dead song entitled ‘Mountains of the Moon’. About two-thirds the way through the song, and upon hearing of the Marsh King’s daughter, Tom mysteriously disappears…

Sun, Moon and Stars…

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… “Before Ogma, I swear.
Before Sun and Moon and Stars,
before Sky, Land and Sea, I swear.
Before the Sidhe-Folk, I swear…

Defenders of the land,
victory and defeat are created in each of you.

What I ask of you in dealing with this foe
is not the work of cowards.

Our hosting in this conflict
will defeat those who have destroyed
the prosperity of the land.

Circling leftward I curse them!

*

Rod of Aspen
End Measure
Sod of End
Fuagh!

May the foe-men be hindered.
May fear be heard among them.
The End-Time has taken form.

Ravens will come upon our foe with doom,
and be their shared torment.

Their end goes before us to the foe;
they are mournful and doomed.

*

O, my Warrior Band;
my most warlike host,
in the burning fields of battle,
High-Folk will sustain your form in the clouds of the sky.

O you, my Glorious Ones,
a nine-fold brightness is upon us,
through the powerful skill of our men-of-art,
the battle fire will not falter until victory is won.

My Troops, greatest of sea-like hosts,
here in the beauty of the land,
a frenzy of battle invites you to embrace fate.

With mighty waves of golden, powerful, burning fires,
and battle lust may you seek out your foe upon the field,
embracing fate in a frenzy of battle.”

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Crocodile Man…

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Crocodile Man was married to Whistle Duck and they had two daughters…

“We’ll have fish tomorrow night,” said Crocodile Man, “I’ll go out early in my bark canoe.”

So next morning Crocodile Man set off, and his two daughters went to collect swamp grass to go with the fish.

Whistle Duck also left camp making sure her daughters did not see her.

The two sisters collected the swamp food and returned to camp.

The younger of the two girls saw their father returning and called out to him, “Father we will come and collect the fish!”

“No!” said Crocodile Man, “just send your elder sister to collect the fish.”

So the elder daughter went down to her father who had beached his canoe at the edge of a creek. When she started to unload the fish Crocodile Man copulated with her. The girl’s younger sister saw this and so did her mother who remained hidden, watching.

The fish was cooked and eaten and Crocodile Man and his family fell asleep.

The next morning Crocodile Man again set out in search of fish whilst his daughters went to collect swamp food.

This time, while they were gone, Whistle Duck collected dried grass and began to roll it on her thigh in order to make a rope.

Upon the return of her daughters to camp with swamp food Whistle Duck hid the rope she was making in a hole and covered it with paperbark.

All proceeded as before with Crocodile Man returning to the creek  fish-laden and calling for his eldest daughter with whom he then copulated.

Before eating the communal meal Whistle Duck set aside some of the food that her daughters had collected.

On the third day Crocodile Man and his daughters again set out in search of food as before.

Every day they were going farther and farther afield to find food and it was taking them much longer to return to camp.

Whistle Duck worked on her dried grass rope while they were gone and on the return of her daughters she again hid it and added lily roots, which was some of the food they had collected, to her growing store.

Crocodile Man returned late, called for his eldest daughter and copulated with her before they all sat down to eat.

The next morning after Crocodile Man had set out in search of fish, Whistle Duck  sent her daughters to pull up a banyan tree and return to her when they had done so.

“What are we to do with the banyan tree?” asked the younger daughter upon their return.

“Your father is always copulating with your sister,” said Whistle Duck, removing the grass rope from under the paperbark.

“What are we to do?” asked the elder daughter.

“Look at this Dreaming,” said Whistle Duck, “it is the Milky Way Rope.”

The two daughters looked at it and became giddy.

Their eyes span around in their head.

When they had recovered they knew what to do.

They collected the store of food into baskets and took up the shade of the banyan tree.

Whistle Duck threw the grass rope into the sky and her daughters quickly shimmied up it.

The elder daughter climbed first with her younger sister and then her mother behind.

They all sat down under the shade of the banyan tree with their store of food and Whistle Duck pulled up the rope to form the extent of the Milky Way in the sky.

When Crocodile Man returned from his fishing trip he called out from his canoe but no one answered.

He clambered ashore and walked up the creek to his camp but there was no one there.

Only the sound of crows could be heard…

“Waag…Waag…Waag…”

‘What has happened to those girls,’ thought Crocodile Man.

‘Has someone abducted them?’

‘Has someone killed them?’

‘Has their mother taken them away?’

Crocodile Man called out for Whistle Duck.

He ran around the camp, searching, and found only ant tracks…

Crocodile Man’s younger daughter called down from the sky, “Father, I am here!”

“What should I do?” said Crocodile Man.

“Go fetch the fish and bring it up here,” said the younger daughter lowering the grass rope.

So Crocodile Man brought the fish and began to climb the grass rope.

Whistle duck reached behind her ear, pulled out a large mussel shell, and began to cut the grass rope.

The younger daughter did not want her father to fall so she grabbed the large mussel shell and hid it from her mother.

But Whistle Duck pulled a small mussel shell out from behind her other ear and carried on cutting the grass rope.

The grass rope frayed and snapped just as Crocodile Man was nearing the top with the fish. Before he fell Whistle Duck grabbed the fish from him.

The place where Crocodile Man fell back to earth is his Dreaming.

He crawled off back to the creek on his injured knees and became a crocodile.

Whistle Duck and her two daughters remained in the Milky Way.

Adapted from R.M and  C.H Bernt, The Speaking Land.

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The Marsh King’s Daughter II…

 

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‘…The Earth will see you on through this time…’

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…There always is.

The Marsh King sinks back beneath the waters with the unnamed Egyptian Princess in his thrall.

Some time later a green shoot with a water-lily bud appears above the slime.

The bud unfurls to reveal a small girl-child.

The child is spotted by a watching Stork and is taken to a barren Viking couple who, quite naturally, are enthralled with the gift and immediately besotted with the child.

Children normally display both the physical and temperamental characteristics of their ancestors, predominantly their parents, and usually in more or less equal measure.

Here, these tendencies are pronounced.

Helga, for this is the name the Viking couple choose for her, is a beautiful girl-child during the day, albeit displaying a strong blood-thirsty streak, whilst as the sun sets she turns into a compassionate, toad-like monster!

Is the name significant?

How important is it that Helga is the only named character in the story?

Could any device be better chosen to make us consider the diurnal polarity of Day and Night and their profound affects upon our consciousness and its natural tendencies?

Cold mountain…

Warm earth…

If we are in any doubt as to what we are to make of these devices we are introduced to the somnambulistic nature of both Denmark and the nether regions of Marsh-Land later in the tale.

To make matters worse, Helga’s apparent beauty beguiles all those who gaze upon her and blinds them to the reality of her brutish day-time nature.

It is only her adoptive Viking mother who witnesses and begins to see and realise the true nature of the problem presented to both her, and by extension us, in the form and expressions displayed via the mysterious Marsh King’s Daughter.

There is more…

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