RE: The Blackbird.


Loyal Freddie
Jan 30, 2004
War comes to Albion, great battles are fought, Keeps Fall, Soldiers Die……..yet there is more to it than that. I leave to you this Albion folk tale, taken from our present time.

The Blackbird fluttered its wings as it bobbed across the crisp snowy ground, and it disappeared, as if by some instant spell, into the warped and twisted branches of the thorny undergrowth that covered the forest floor. If we hadn’t off been watching it, we might never have known it was there.

The small, trail of bird feet prints was obliterated by several armoured feet, snow sent arcing and cascading through the air by the thudding impact. Then, as quickly as the shadowy shapes had appeared, puffing and bashing past in the snow, they departed.

Calling its shrill, quick call in the undergrowth, the Blackbird hopped out again into the centre of the snow covered path. Standing, looking around itself, it cocked its head as it stood in one of several large footprints. The forest was darkening, and the roost would soon have to be found for the night but the blackbird was intrigued by what it saw. About where it stood, dwarfed by the impact this passing group had had on its little world, it stood puzzled.

Around this bird, and about the footprints, little scarlet blots had landed on the snow, spreading out and seeping from ice crystal to ice crystal. Warm blood had become snow cold, yet it still seeped and travelled as if it held its fiery heat. This created a growing visible pattern as the blots expanded to their full extent, freezing solid and defying further spread. The slow moving, heavy forest air tinting ever so slightly with a merest hint of iron.

Across from our blackbird, a wooden object had fallen, up against the briars on the other side of the narrow path. Hopping over, our little friend leapt deftly onto the rim of the shield, housing its wings comfortably by its side. Adeptly, tucking its tail in, it turned its head down to view the full circle of the shield, holed and dented as it was. The shield was decorated, through the dents and despite them, with a resplendent Dragon, black against a purple background. Not fully understanding the object, but looking at it for us still, the bird twisted this way and that as it tried to make sense of it. By now, the sun was setting with the cooling air, and light now lanced sideways into the forest. Our little bird blinked.

Rather than leaving the scene in the dark, the setting sun actually highlighted a few things that lay strewn, reflecting the light from the path. Forgetting the cold rim of the shield, it hopped down to investigate another curious object. Pecking at it, it found a soft, if oddly tasting object. Lying on its side, about as big as the bird, was a little sack, with a drawstring. Playful, as ever, the little bird tugged at the drawstring, and tasting it with its tongue. From within this pouch, were revealed several gold coins, with the face of a man, crowned and marked “REX ANGLORUM DUE ET MON DROIT”. Of course, to the bird, these were nothing but new things to look at and peck at on the forest floor. It otherwise, to us, meant someone was fifty gold coins poorer! Having shed them in their movement, dash or panic through the evening forest.

Upset, if un-perturbed for the lack of food for him, our friend continued his wary observation of the path around him. He was a sharp bird who wasn’t going to fall victim to any predator! He was just a little hungry that’s all, and it was getting very cold. Now, the underbrush was becoming more active as more birds, large and small, a thrush here, a starling there, fluttered for refuge within the warmer, thick, lower part of thorns. The crescendo of chirps, and chirrups increased as our investigator hopped about the path. Beside him, another Blackbird landed, and with a flash, he had darted and sent the new arrival striking away into the evening light. No one was going to get his patch!

Having fully explored the path, finding nothing but the coin, blood and broken shield we may interpret the use and understand the meaning off so well, the Blackbird fluffed its feathers adamantly and hopped off towards the its roost. The bird hopped past what was another patch of red blots, well, it thought they were red blots. It turned completely round in a tight wheel and bounced lightly back to the spot. Blinking, these weren’t the same scarlet, tainted spots. A branch lay among them, which, when pecked at moved around, revealing more redness.

Berries! It had found a frond of freshly broken off brush, a branch that still held waxy skinned red berries, ripped and hurled out from the impenetrable depths of the tangled undergrowth where even the smallest bird could not get! Head down, the berries were shortly gone. Sated, full, and ready for a good nights rest in what would appear to be a cold, frosted forest, the Blackbird hopped into the dark shadows of the undergrowth, to wait for tomorrow’s dawn.

Is there a moral tale to this story? Well, perhaps yes. For the little Blackbird, the biggest events of its day can take over and seem like the all, and it is the smallest changes and happenings in the scale of the event that can be the most important, and overlooked.

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