Tag Archives: mythology

The Celebration of Mister Fox: more and less…

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…More, because our Foxes are one-third Man

And also less, because our Foxes are one-third Man.

Huh?

Man’s individuality makes them more yet,

By its very nature,

That individuality has to be less than whole.

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Unlike Animals all the species of Man,

And there are many, can be traced back to one common ancestor,

And they have named her Lucy, which means ‘light’…

‘We did too, see Foxes,’ objects my Companion, ‘proper ones!’

Well, quite…

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The Celebration of Mister Fox: bestial cluster…

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Bear and Wolf,

And Dog and Fox are all closely related.

It is tempting to imagine a common ancestor;

Bigger than Wolf but smaller than Bear.

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But the official line has something

Much less rapacious originally slink down from the trees.

To replace what?

The Dinosaurs whose more agile brethren had taken to the air.

I wonder what Linnaeus would make of the Mister Fox procession,

As it snakes its way through the alleys and walkways

Of the Saturday night revelers, encouraging all to join its wake.

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“We saw Foxes!” says my companion.

Well, yes and no…

We saw something less

And something more than Foxes…

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Free Day III …

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… Our-Father, Lady, Countess-Grae passed light and demure across the softly shifting shades of a turquoise beach.

Formless as beauty likened to the morning mist, her presence cleansed and refreshed the air as she danced; flitting capriciously between the stark but numerous clumps of white seaweed which lay sprawled like bleached and dying spiders: upturned and struggling in the yet cool but rapidly warming, morn-time sun.

They straddled the beach like shredded robes with their puckered strands wafting playful death throes in the sea breeze and as robes which had been wrenched, torn and wildly flung to lie forgotten upon the rising mounds of the blue dunes they appeared to have been discarded and scattered amid the sea’s insatiable passion for the sand.

And in her innocence, in her uncertain, whimsical passing Our-Father, Lady, Countess-Grae’s ruby feet caressed that same dry and now sullied sand: with all its succulence spent and with its surface baked-dry in the aftermath of the sea’s relief.

Yet cajoled and enticed by the arch of her feet and the spring in her step as she ran, the sand was compressed and spilled forth a deeper moistness; the dark clammy grains of which clumped and clung in a rich blue pulp and which squashed and squelched between the niches of her toes; cold, and invigorating as the new day which dawned all around.

A girl again, her laughter bubbled between short gasps, gurgled, giddy and pure as she moved; her reckless spirit sprightly and unabashed, flowing swifter and swifter, until, exhausted from running but still in playful mood she succumbed, collapsing onto the blue-green terrain beside a large vermilion boulder which squatted upon the lip of a small rock pool: its shade only vaguely unsettling her as she fell, splaying out her pale, slender limbs in limp, abject surrender to her surroundings.

As she gradually began to recover and her breath grew more even, her fingers scratched and gently scraped at the purple moss that spread like speculative boredom in dark, sporadic patches across the rock’s hunched and brooding form.

But she remained unmindful of the delicate intricacies and patterns which she so idly created for she was lost in the emerald-green sky and there she bathed her resting soul in the lushness of its translucence…

Earl Grae slumbered sardonically in his shell.

“…Still on your mind then?”

“Is what still on my mind?”

“Samuel.”

“I don’t understand.”

“The ‘he’ look, behind you.”

The etchings which she had scratched in the moss spelled Samuel.
“I still don’t understand.”
“The ‘He’, that is his name.

That is what he is ‘called’. That is what he is ‘known as’ or ‘goes by’.

That is his title; ‘hearkened unto’, or ‘requested by, the Lords’.

“Oh!” She read the name pronouncing each letter “… Who decided?”

“You did.”

“I did?”

“Just then…”

“Oh!”

“…When you were bathing…”

“Sa-M-U-El… mmm, I like that.”

“I like it too. A commendable choice…”

“Why, thank you, it was nothing… but, does Sam-U-El struggle, does Samu- El hurt?”

“Yes, of course he does but he loves it to death.”

“Oh death, Samuel has touched death then?”

“Grasped dear, grasped.”

“Sorry, grasped. How do you know?”

“I read it somewhere…

Here, tell me what you think.”…

The Aetheling Thing

The Marsh King’s Daughter…

 

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‘…Hi-ho the Carrion Crow, Fol-de-rol-de riddle…’

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Although the second longest of Anderson’s Fairy Tales, The Marsh King’s Daughter is relatively little known and perhaps, even, considered to be one of his ‘lesser’ tales.

It is a huge, sprawling epic of a yarn, which like most of his stories draws liberally from the ancient sagas, legends and folk tales which Hans imbibed in his youth.

Unlike some story tellers, although Anderson approaches the traditional devices with free reign, he never loses sight of their psychological and spiritual import and consequently, whilst sometimes apparently piling device upon device in wild profusion, there is always a satisfying, not to say, profound pay off to his seemingly more fantastical meanderings.

In these posts then, rather than retell the story, we intend to focus on aspects of the tale in order to investigate and elucidate the psychological and spiritual components of the story as a whole.

The Marsh King himself, though central to the plot, plays a comparatively minor role in the story, appearing just once, initially disguised as a tree stump.

It is a cunning disguise which gives the foul fellow the opportunity to drag an unsuspecting princess to her apparent doom beneath the marshes.

But wait, how did such a delicate, pretty one find herself on the edge of a marsh in Denmark?

She was sent from Egypt by her dying father to look for the antidote to his wasting disease.

And how did she get there?

She donned a feathered cloak and flew there as a swan.

Then, why didn’t she simply re-don the cloak and fly away when the Swamp Man revealed himself to her?

Because her jealous sisters, who had flown with her, stole her cloak and destroyed it…

Spatially, the construct is no less dazzling.

Here, as in most traditional stories the horizontal polarity of Egypt and Denmark constitutes a world and its other-realm.

The Outer, wasteland, can only be re-invigorated from the Inner depths which appear to be somewhat murky.

The healing herb reputedly grows in a bog, the domain of the Marsh King.

Already, the mix of natural metaphor and deep psychological insight  begins to weave its ancient magic.

But there is more…

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Signatures…

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Back in the low slung car I stare into the gloom.

A quiet has descended with the mist.

It is the silence that preludes any portentous event.

The car lurches and veers suddenly and we bounce up a dirt track and skid to a halt at the foot of Dragon Hill.

“You didn’t mean to come this way did you?”

“This way, that way…what does it matter?”

“Who knows?”

It is my turn to look mysterious as we set off up the hillock.

The chill snags my breath as we climb and the mist swirls and eddies, clinging to our legs and arms like star stuff.

I nearly lose my balance a number of times for no apparent reason, a sure sign if one were needed that we are approaching the numinous…

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Skunk seeks medicine: Whistle…

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… Rice-Bird now knew the thing that Skunk feared and he began to throw his voice in a whistle from Skunk’s back-pack.

“Ugh!” cried Skunk when he heard the whistle and he turned and fled in the opposite direction.

But Rice-Bird threw his voice into a whistle again and again stopped Skunk in his tracks.

“Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” cried Skunk.

But whichever way Skunk fled, Rice-Bird threw his voice into a whistle which sounded like it was coming from up ahead and it was not long before Skunk was exhausted from running in circles without getting anywhere.

Skunk collapsed onto the ground, prostrate. “I am tired,” he said to himself, “it is too much for me to be carrying such a weight on my back, I will hang up my brother, here, while I go on and then return for him later.”

So Skunk stripped off all Rice-Bird’s adornments, for Rice-Bird was again playing dead, and hung him up on a thorn bush.

As Skunk turned to leave, Rice-Bird emitted a low whistle, and Skunk swiftly scampered away from the thorn bush in fear.

With one long, strong, final blast of a whistle, Rice-Bird sent Skunk far and away up the valley at a pace before he finally disappeared in a cloud of dust.

“That’ll teach him,” laughed Rice-Bird, unhooking himself from the thorn bush.

He had lost the beads from around his neck but at least he was still alive…

to be continued

Skunk seeks medicine: Fear…

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… “There is nothing I fear!” sang Skunk going his way, “there is just nothing I fear! Should a boulder roll at me as I pass I would squirt it with musk and blast it into a thousand pieces, there is nothing I fear! Should a pine tree fall over me I would squirt it with musk and split it into a thousand splinters, there is nothing I fear!”

Just then Skunk stopped in his tracks for a thought had come to him.

A long buried memory of the one thing that he did fear.

“Just one thing I fear,” went the song before Skunk could stop it, and that made Skunk even more nervous. He started running to and fro from one side of the valley to the other, “Only one thing I fear,” went the song as Skunk wheedled his way up the valley.

 Rice-Bird, who had been feigning death in Skunk’s back pack the whole time could hear all his prattling.

“Oh, I do wish Skunk would name his fear,” thought Rice-Bird.

“There is one thing I fear so I will have to name it,” went on Skunk.

“Oh good,” thought Rice-Bird.

“The thing I fear is whistling, the thing I fear is whistling!”

With his fear out in the open of the wide valley, Skunk became even more frightened and he bolted at top speed up the valley…

to be continued

Lands of Exile: Beck ‘n’ Call ~ A new book from France and Vincent!

France & Vincent

PC 963 Kraas saw the figure first and instinctively backed away from it, principally because it was there and unexpected but also because it was tall and hooded, and its face could not be seen.

Bark Jaw-Dark was busy watching the rain with a ‘we may be sheltering here for some time look’ still inhabiting his visage but finally realising something was up, he started to turn and as he did so the figure spoke.

“This is the way…”

“I beg your pard…” started Jaw-Dark.

“… Step inside,” finished the figure.

A scrawny arm with a hand clutching a flyer was presented to the pair, who looked at the flyer then at each other momentarily and then at the rain now hammering the pavement before returning their gaze to the figure and then… they both did as they had been told.

Although neither of them could know it, the arrangement…

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The Eye-Guy’s Eye…

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…”I don’t get it.”

“In Geometry, before one can draw a human eye, one has to draw a cat’s eye.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“It’s a process.”

“And in any process things have to happen in a certain order…”

“You said that without using your brain.”

“…First one thing, and then another.”

“And that.”

“But what thing and what other?”

“Ah ha! In this case, Night and Day.”

“Cat’s-Eye and Human Eye!”

“There’s more to it than that though.”

“In what sense more?”

“In a magical sense.”

“Old magic?”

“Well, it would have to be, very old magic.”

“Whoo-Hoo!”

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