Tag Archives: mythology

Bent-Black-Sun-Day…

 

*

“There is one thing that still troubles me,” said Wen who really seemed to have the ‘Rapunzel’ thing stuck in her craw.

“Yaas,” said Don, in his most irritating drawl.

“Shouldn’t the seasons be sisters?”

“On what grounds?”

“Well, I’m presuming that Mother Nature is an Enchantress precisely because of things like her ability to transform the world through her seasons.”

“This is true, Little Grub,” said Don with the kind of tired air which suggested he would not be around for very much longer, “but the seasons are really contrived in so far as they are useful for sustaining our life through crops. Agriculture is a technology. A very ancient technology but a technology nonetheless. In that sense the seasons are man made.”

“And that’s why we can have the debate over whether or not there are really three or four seasons,” said Wen.

“Or even two. In the four season year there are really only two pivotal points and their inverse or reflection.

Wen considered this idea for a bit and then pressed on with her original line of thought, “so the brothers are really alchemists?”

“The first alchemists, adding their art to nature, I like that, Little Grub, can I go to sleep now?”

“Only if you give me something to ponder while you’re gone.”

“You seem to be doing rather well in your pondering without me.”

“But it’s not the same.”

“Why, oh why, my Little Grub, would the day of the king’s death be now known to us as Bent-Black-Sun-Day?”

*

A short time later Don re-entered the temple room somewhat bleary-eyed.

“Better?” asked Wen doing a poor job of camouflaging her excitement.

“You have been grubbing,” stated Don by way of an answer.

“The bent twig of darkness grows the petals of the morning and shows to them the birds singing just behind the dawning.”

“Ah, Little Grub, ’tis music to my ears.”

*

Parsley and Partiality…

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*

… “I’ve answered two of the questions,” smiles Wen.

“You mean you’ve found solutions to two of the problems, and which would they be then?”

“I know where the tower is situated.”

“Ah, I thought you had the air of one who has been grubbing about in old books about you.”

“If by ‘grubbing about’ you mean research, I feel no sense of shame about that,” says Wen.

“Petrosinella!”

“You already know about it?”

“I know of it, yes, but I wouldn’t like to steal your thunder.”

“The tower is built in a wood.”

“Would your second ‘answer’ have anything to do with how the tower was constructed, by any chance?”

“It might,” says Wen, “and we needn’t have done any ‘grubbing’ for this one, we could have worked it out.”

“Ah, Little Grub, ’tis music to my ears… Pray explicate! Pray explicate…”

“As the Old Woman is an Enchantress, in the Grimm version, and an Ogress in Basile’s, the tower was constructed around the girl and then raised by enchantment.”

“A woman wearing a tower, naturally, I know not how I missed it, but why is the owner of the herb garden… the Enchantress… the Ogress, or even, the Sorceress, an Old Woman, and without resorting to names, who is she?”

“More problems,” says Wen.

“I am afraid so.” …

*

…and Red-Fox.

*

…In another part of the meadow Red-Fox was hunting mice for breakfast. He saw one and jumped on him with with all four feet but the little fellow got away.

In his disappointment Red-Fox heard a distant call, “Bring a knife!”

He started in the direction of the call and as it got louder he continued.

By and by he came across the body of Buffalo lying on the ground with Field-Mouse still standing atop it.

“If you dress this Buffalo for me I shall give you some of the meat,” said Field-Mouse.

“Very well,” said Red-Fox, and he dressed the Buffalo while Field-Mouse sat on a mound nearby looking on and giving orders.

“You must cut the meat into small pieces.”

When Red-Fox had finished his work Field-Mouse paid him with a small piece of liver. He swallowed it quickly and smacked his lips, “May I have another piece?” he asked.

“Why, I gave you the largest piece,” said Field-Mouse, “How greedy you are. You may have some of the blood clots.”

So poor Red-Fox took the blood clots and licked the grass. He really was very hungry, “I have six little ones to feed at home, may I take some more meat?”

“You can take the four feet of Buffalo,” said Field-Mouse, “that ought to be enough for your little ones.”

“And what of my wife,” said Red-Fox.

“Why, she can have the head,” said Field-Mouse.

Thereupon Red-Fox jumped on Field-Mouse who just had time to let out a faint squeak before he disappeared.

*

…Buffalo…

*

…Buffalo trampled the grass and tore up the earth with his front hoofs but when he looked for Field-Mouse he was nowhere to be found.

‘That’s put an end to him,’ thought Buffalo.

Just then he felt a scratching in his right ear, so he shook his head as hard as he could and twitched his ears to and fro.

But the scratching in his ear became a gnawing which went deeper and deeper until he was mad with pain.

Buffalo pawed with his hoofs and tore up the sod with his horns. Bellowing, loudly, he ran as fast as he could in circles but at last he stopped and stood still, trembling.

Out from his ear jumped Field-Mouse and said, “Will you now admit that I am master?”

“Never!” bellowed Buffalo and again charged at Field-Mouse in an attempt to trample him under-hoof.

But the little fellow again disappeared and moments later Buffalo felt a scratching in his left ear. Once again he was driven mad with pain and he ran about the meadow in a frenzy, sometimes leaping high in the air. At last he fell to the ground and lay stock still.

Field-Mouse crept out of his ear and stood proudly on his dead body.

“Hi-Ho,” he said I have killed the greatest of beasts, “this will prove to all my master-ship.”

Field-Mouse began to call lout loudly for a knife to dress his game…

*

Field-Mouse…

*

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…

*

Broken Fortress…

HM15 1281*

PC 963 Kraas turned and walked head-long into the sea breeze.

Her hair flicked in the wind like rampant flames.

“You know, I can’t help feeling we’ve missed a trick with this one.”

“It’s mentioned in the book,” replied Jaw-Dark pensively, “and in any case it’s a pleasant enough spot.” He paused and bent down to look through a large eye-shaped ‘blow-hole’ in the promontory.

“What’s that?” said Kraas.

“Well, that depends…” said Jaw-Dark.

“That depends upon what?”

“…Upon your perspective,” finished Jaw-Dark.

“Nothing is ever straight forward with you is it?”

“The Irish name for this and other similar landscape features is Poll na Seantuinne.”

“Which means?”

“‘Hole of the Old Wave’.”

Just then the sea crashed beneath the promontory and the foaming waves, in the mouth of the sea cavern, a hundred feet below could be clearly seen through the ‘chasm-hole’.

“Seems an apt description,” said Kraas, “if a tad un-nerving.” Her gaze followed the slow drag of the tide and then lifted to the sky where wisps of grey cloud scudded on the wind, “in the beginning,” she said, “everything was chasm and chaos.”

“There is though another interpretation.”

“Which is?”

Poll na Sean Tiene means ‘Hole of the Old Fire’.”

“Okay, I can see where that might fit in with some of their concerns. Especially with all this baleful eye stuff.”

“Personally though I prefer the third alternative…”

“Ever the story teller,” smiled Kraas, “Well, I’m waiting!”

Poll na Seantuine,¬† is the ‘Hole of the Old Woman.”

Kraas’ smile turned to a grimace, “Well, I wouldn’t go shouting that particular preference from the cliff tops if I were you,” she said through the grimace, and then added more seriously, “so which one is it?”

“Unfortunately for us and also quite possibly for them too, it is more than likely that it is all three of them.”

*

Stepping Stones?…

*

Three days of fog and endless trek…

Suddenly the mists cleared to reveal a shrouded figure struggling with his boat.

“Sprung a leak, dammit,” he said scratching within the folds of his hood.

The sound of bone on bone.

“…Course, you normally have to pay,” he said, eyeing me and snorting, “but as you’ll be crossing under your own steam…”

I looked down at two large pennies in my hand.

“…you can keep ’em.”

A low snort again rang out…

The thin, black draped arm, was theatrically withdrawn to reveal the stones.

On the far-bank the sun was rising.

*

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.

*

Brain Fog…

*

Months it has taken.

Months of meticulous research…

Meetings in the darkest of disreputable corners where conspiracies are born and take fevered flight across stormy nights.

All roads lead to the lair of the Black Beast.

That fell apparition has stalked a thousand and one fetid nightmares…

But no longer.

Somewhere in that fog she lurks.

Poised and ready to pounce.

Her eyes like red saucers.

Her yellow fangs bared over a snarl.

But I have a secret weapon.

As I lope into the grey my fingers curl around and clutch, the luminescent fuzz on…

The Ball of Power!

*

Betwixters?…

*

“We still don’t know how they did it, or why, or even if they really did it or not…

…We do know that for at least two thousand years these sort of monuments were a preoccupation, were the preoccupation of a world wide culture.

And then they were not!

The traditional supposition is climate change.

But there is another way to look it.

One that involves teleology…

And a change of state…

An evolution.

Amphibians can live in water and on land.

What would we call a creature that lives neither in nor out of time but somewhere between?”…