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Heart

There was once a land in which lived two peoples where one lived to be very full, and the other lived only a half-life. This was due to a dark and menacing creature that scoured the land, greeting each person who lived there with its fearsome presence. For there came a point in each of their lives when they would call it.

            Onyx black, undulating and without form, it came, and when every person saw it, they crumpled in a heap for all the fear it inspired in the very core of them. But it was only those who looked to find its eyes that rose again from the encounter. For it was in the search through the rippled terror that they saw their own hearts beating back at them, and the creature no more than a subtle melody that spoke of sorrow.

And at its hearing, they stood again, and found the weight of living bearable.

The Crow

There is an eagerness to the sound of a crow’s caw. Something about the bobbing of the head and the black, sleek body that draws the eye. I suppose it could make you think dark, foreboding thoughts or of ill omens or something equally horrible. But perhaps those are only the kinds of things that grownups spin in their minds, having had too much tainted lore and too much time to think.              For in one crow’s case, there is a little girl, who when she sees him, is utterly fascinated.             It is on a cloudy winter’s day, where the air hangs heavy and the clouds ominous that she first sees the bird. She has seen crows before, but there is something about the tilt of this one’s head, the keen look in his gaze, and the wise way in which he stands, on one leg and then the other, watching. And so, she leaves a crumb of bread for him on her window’s ledge.             The next day, the crow comes again. And the little girl leaves out other crumbs.             So goes the fo

As Goes the Way of Immortality

There was once a tree that bled a sap so pure that one taste could offer the drinker immortality.             The secret was bound by the creatures of the forest within which the tree dwelled for a long time. Most of the creatures within the forest boundaries had tasted from the tree, and so led their happy lives in routine simplicity, welcoming season after season. Order was kept by the great stag of the forest, who ruled with justice and mercy. But a chance sighting of the forest king by a wayward hunter overturned this delicate balance. For by word of mouth passing from hunter to hunter, news of so wondrous a creature spread throughout all the realms.             Many came looking for the stag, though few could find him. But those who caught the barest glimpse by the height of moonlight—for it was then that he was most visible—kept the word of his existence alive. As year turned to century, and still the stag lived on, rumor spread of a forest of immortal creatures. And as searc

A Note on the Wind

 There's a wind on a hill that sings.     Sweetly when the world is gentle and at peace.     Furiously when there are grave catastrophes and worse horrors.     And now?     The wind is raging.     But it is still singing.

A Fairy Tale of Kindness

Once, on a day when winter rain fell from the sky and the air pierced the skin with a bone-seeping chill, an old ragged woman sat on a log alongside a crossroads in the middle of a forest. She was haggard and shivering, the patches in her ancient woolen cloak soaking her through, and just when she didn’t think she’d be able to bear it any longer, a girl in a red-hooded cloak came traipsing up to her.             ‘Grandmother, you are so very cold,’ she said. ‘Won’t you come with me to my mother’s house and warm yourself?’             ‘Ah, child, I would that I could, but I have made a promise to keep the rain company as long as it falls, for once when I was young, I made a vow that I would do so.’ The old woman’s voice rasped and the use of it set her throat to coughing.             The girl cocked her head, and then turned and ran away along down the path. But not more than half an hour passed before she returned, a steaming bowl of stew in her hands.             ‘Eat this, gr