Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Fire Ring

He told his brothers everything that had happened
when he got back home. "Perhaps the people of the land
aren't ready for the appearance of the elves," he concluded.
"Yes, perhaps our decision was hasty," said Brue.
"Yes, perhaps we need to be wise first before we enlighten
the people," said Brill.
"Explain," said the third brother.
"We must spend more time with the clay shards.
You did bring them back, didn't you Joseph?"
Joseph patted the package of the wool blanket tied around
his waist under his tunic that he had not taken off during
the entire journey.
"Excellent," said Brue. "We will spend every other night
with the fire as it was before so we have time to sleep
and process our dreams."
"But let us first celebrate your homecoming," said Brill,
and the brothers ate of the surplus of food they had
from the land because the land was fertile.
The next week Brill said, "Come let us build a fire."
Joseph untied the package of the wool blanket from his body.
He cast the clay pieces into the fire. Again, the brothers
had a movie. This time a circular wall of fire arose
out of the flames. Again, the boughs and meadows
of the Elfin home were revealed though each brother
saw a little different version depending on where he was sitting
in the campfire ring. However, the chant of the Elves
was the same all the way around the cylindrical ring of fire.
Brue dreamed first, for he had been a robin, and he was a great
dreamer. "I dreamed that we placed the clay fragments
in a circular ring concentric to the fire ring, and each piece was hot
though it had not been in the fire."
The third brother said, "Yes, I dreamed that the clay pieces
were in a line, and I took the third piece."
"Yes," said Brill. "Let us count the clay pieces."
Joseph counted them, and there were twelve. The next week,
the brothers built another fire. Again, Joseph cast the broken clay
pieces into the fire. This time twelve crows appeared flying
through the flames. Midway through the watch, the crows appeared
as real birds in a circle around the fire ring. The flames died away,
and the crows flew away. The third brother dreamed first,
for he had been in Brue's dream, and Brue had once held one
of his brothers in his robin body as an insect.
"I dreamed that a crow alighted on Nezzurd's hut although
I have never been to the land of the men with beards,
and I do not know what their huts look like."
"Yes, that is a strange dream," said Joseph.
"I know what the dream means," said the fourth brother,
for he was without a spear, and he was watching all kinds of birds
as Joseph had when he yearned for his oldest brother.
"Another brother, not Joseph, must go to the land of the men
with beards and speak with Brizzly and Nezzurd,"
said the fourth brother.
"No," said the fifth brother, for he was still with spear and warlike.
"What I mean to say is we should seek out other people in the land
of the wide plains, people other than Brizzly and Nezzurd."
The brothers held a council. They decided that each brother
would pick one of the twelve clay pieces. They would see if only
one clay piece caused the movies to come, and they would do it alone.
Joseph took the first watch. The brothers all helped build the fire,
but when it came time for Joseph to cast in his clay piece,
the rest of the brothers retreated to their hall. That night Joseph
saw nothing. Then it was Brue's turn. He reported seeing
a great Elf lord half consumed by flames for the briefest of moments.
The brothers were encouraged. It was the first time an Elf
had appeared in the movies.
"Perhaps Joseph took the wrong clay fragment. I mean maybe
each one of us is destined to use a certain piece,"
spoke the sixth brother.
So for the next year the brothers by trial and error matched each
one of themselves up with the corresponding clay piece.
The sixth brother had been right. Again, they held council.
Brue spoke first because he had been without dreams this entire year,
and he was getting nervous. "Our hall has become stale," he said.
"I cannot dream. It is time for each of us to go out into the land
of the wide plains and meet people. So far, Joseph was the only one
to talk to the two known inhabitants of the wide plains."
The rest of the brothers grumbled, but eventually they agreed
that Brue was right.
"There is no rush," they agreed. "We will each take turns sitting
with our respective clay piece in the flames of the fire until
the fire movies have revealed a vision suitable for sending
the respective brother out into the far reaches of the great plains.
And let us be open about discussing our visions until the time
comes for us to part ways."
The fifth brother, the warlike one, was the first to report feeling
ready to leave. "I have seen a man with the trunk of a crow
and the legs of a man. My spear pierced the crow's chest,
and then he disappeared, and the flames turned to green."
"That is a great vision," agreed the brothers. "Be on your way."
The next to leave was the fourth brother, the one who watched birds
as Joseph had. "I have seen a sparrow rooting for seed
alone in a meadow."
The brothers agreed that it was a great vision. The next to leave
was the third brother, the one who had been inside Brue's dream.
"I have seen an insect crawling up an old growth tree."
The brothers agreed that it was a great vision. Finally, it was Brill's
turn to leave. "I have seen six spears standing in a circle.
They turned into six of our brothers."
The last of the six brothers, who were still with spear, interpreted
this dream. "Brue as the oldest and wisest of our clan, you will stay
until all of us have been sent on our way."
They all agreed it was to be this way.                        

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