Monday, 2 January 2017

A Gewessi tale - part 5

Magpie becomes glad

Now Mr Magpie's fame spread over the world. He didn’t do the things that Magpie's normally do - he followed the way of the nine. In a great Parliament of Magpies held on one sunny Yule day he was declared Leader of the Magpies. However sometimes people still looked at him as just an ordinary magpie, not the great magpie he was, and would call him names or sometimes even throw sticks at him.

On those days he would hop to his branch overlooking the sunset and his tail would droop, whilst his eye would not be as bright as before. He would sigh and say
"Even after all this time and living the life I have, still I wish I was as bright as the sunset and golden as the dawning day, for everyone loves those things."

Sometimes Logi would hear him and from his house up in the clouds he would smile a little smile to himself and say "It's not supposed to be easy Mr Magpie. If you became golden you would have to leave your life - then what would happen to your kids and wife?"
Mr Magpie would hear his words on the wind and sigh an acknowledgement "I think you may be right."

Finally one day Mr Magpie felt the cold of winter come over him. He thought about his life and all that he'd done and he became rather angry that Ostara and her clan had not kept their promise. For sometimes people still looked at him as just an ordinary magpie, not the great magpie he was, and would call him names or sometimes even throw sticks at him. The weather was dark, stormy and sharp stones of ice were hitting his old body. His tail started to droop for the last time and the light in his eye was fading away. As he lay down dying he said
"Have I not done enough to change?"

Logi heard him and from his mountain home sent his spear of magic lightning crashing down. It pierced the Magpie leaving a pile of cinders. Much like scraped charcoal from burnt toast. Mr Magpie was dead!

Logi came to the heap of ashes and stirred them, finding an egg. The egg had a crack in it. Through the crack came a beak. Then a piece of eggshell fell. In no time at all Logi was holding a tiny red and gold bird in his hand. The gold was where the white on a magpie is and the red shimmered blue, green and purple just like the black on a magpie does. In no time at all the bird in his hand had grown as big as an eagle and yet, curiously, it still had a magpie shape. Logi whispered to it
"See I've kept our oath, from now on you shall be known as the Northern Phoenix and you will be a symbol of hope. When the people see your colours in the golden dawn and the bright sunset they shall think of you and everyone will love you." He then raised his hand and cast the new Phoenix skywards, shouting this magic poem to fulfil his clan's oath…


He knows his time is out! and doth provide
New principles of life; herbs he brings dried
From the hot hills, and with rich spices frames
A Pile shall burn, and Hatch him with his flames.
On this the weakling sits; salutes the Sun
With pleasant noise, and prays and begs for some
Of his own fire, that quickly may restore
The youth and vigour, which he had before.
Whom soon as Sunna spies, stopping her rays
She makes a stand, and thus allays his pains......
She shakes her locks, and from her golden head,
Shoots one bright beam, which smites with vital fire
The willing bird; to burn is his desire.
That he may live again; he's proud in death,
And goes in haste to gain a better breath.
The spice heap fired with celestial rays
Doth burn the aged Phoenix, when straight stays
The Chariot of the amazed Moon; the pole
Resists the wheeling, swift Orbs, and the whole
Fabric of Nature at a stand remains.
Till the old bird anew, young begins again.

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