Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pieces of a Clay Jar

The robin did as he was told. A week later
the brothers made a fire, and the robin flew above it.
The fire grew very large, and then it was nothing at all.
Out of the darkness walked Brue and Joseph.
The two brothers were delighted to see each other.
The rest of the brothers were afraid though.
Only Brill was not afraid.
"Go back to the uncharted forest and seek
an explanation for this strange event," they begged Brill.
Brill took the third brother's spear and did as they asked.
Brill followed the river back to the place where he
had taken leave of the crow. At the river's edge he noticed
a shattered clay jar. A crow with a red breast was picking
at seeds among the scattered pieces. Brill was not afraid.
"Oh red breasted crow tell me what I must do,"
Brill demanded.
"Oh Brill, brother of Brue, take the pieces of this broken
clay jar that your brother Joseph drank out of to become
an insect before he was eaten by your brother the robin,
take these pieces, return to your brothers and make a fire.
Throw the pieces of the broken clay jar into the fire,
and behold."
A week later the brothers made a fire. Brill threw the clay
pieces into the fire as the crow had instructed him. Behold,
the movies of the enchanted woods came to life in the flames.
The boughs and meadows of the Elfin home waxed green
before the enchanted band of brothers. A giant crow
with a red beak appeared out of the smoke and pierced
the Elfin land so that the flames became flames of red blood.
All the brothers but Brue were afraid.
"What is the explanation of this crow?" the brothers demanded.
"The crow is a holy animal to the Elves," Brue told them.
As he spoke the flames turned from red back to the greenery
of the enchanted woods. The brothers had no reason to be afraid
now. The next day Joseph collected the clay pieces from
the ashes. The next night the brothers made a fire again.
"Cast the clay pieces into the fire," they told Joseph.
Again, the soft song of the Elves danced around the flames
until daybreak. This time no crow came. The brothers held
a council. They decided Joseph must travel with the clay pieces
to the far reaches of the wide plains. He must build fires
for the people, casting the clay pieces into the fire,
and stay with them throughout the night until the enchanted
green pictures stopped.
"Tell them about the crow, but under no circumstances
tell them about your life as an insect," the brothers instructed him.
"Comfort them if they are afraid. It is important that the people
stand brave in front of these wonders."
The next morning Joseph wrapped the clay pieces in a wool blanket
and took food for three days journey.
"Follow the river, and pay attention to what the birds are telling you,"
the brothers instructed. "The people will be glad to give you food
and shelter when they see these wonders."


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