A REEDSY PROMPT
Write a myth to explain a mysterious part of life (such as what happens after death).
Image Courtesy of pixabay.com
by John Yeo
I heard it from my Father, who heard it from his Father. The origins of the tale go far back in the mists of time. Apparently, the saying goes that a horse with a horn situated in his nasal area, actually raised his head and spoke. Of course at that particular period in time, nobody understood what he had tried to say.
The Shaman, as the wisest person present, led the creature into a small field attached to his hut. A little later a loud whinny was heard by the assembled villagers. A sound that was enough to send shivers down the spines of the hardest-hearted person there.
Soon the Shaman came into view and sternly said ‘It is finished.’
Wiping the blood from a huge sacrificial knife, he said. ‘We must end the line of animals that presume to be equal to us by talking.’
The Chief of the village then came forward and addressed his subjects. ‘Kill any horse born with a horn. Especially the creatures that have the temerity to attempt to speak.’
There was a murmur of approval and cheers from the assembled villagers.
Following this major event, almost every horse born with a horn was slaughtered.
I say almost, as there were survivors. A group of three of these unusual animals were corralled and secreted in a valley surrounded by dense jungle.
Danito, who lived with his woman and lifelong partner Marita were isolated from the rest of their neighbours and treated these lovely creatures as equals. Marita even learned to speak to them in a basic but quite fluent way.
The Shaman was quite sure that the Chief’s instructions had been carried out and the unusual creatures were gone.
Until the special day, Marita’s Father decided to pay her a visit to celebrate her birthday. Marita knew her Father was a mystical man, although she hadn’t seen him for many years, she welcomed this visit.
Unbeknown to Danito and Marita the person who arrived was the Shaman, who happened to be Marita’s Father.
Suffice to say, when the Shaman had greeted his daughter, there was a huge welcome and a feast was consumed. With wine served from the horns of a strange animal.
‘What meat is this?’ asked the Shaman.
Marita replied, ‘This is the meat of our friendly animals who die and return to us supplying an endless supply of food. We have grown to know them and they have proved there is life after death, by returning in many different forms. Sometimes they come back with wings and fly away. Father, there will always be life after death in one form or another, once we leave this husk of a body behind.’
The Shaman was overwhelmed with this and kept the secret of his daughter’s location.
So the story of life after death began as the slaughter continued and the creatures came back in many forms. Sometimes absolutely unrecognizable.
Thus was born the myth that is fine to eat the meat of animals as they always come back to life after death, in another form.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
A REEDSY PROMPT
‘The urge to dance was overwhelming.’
The Piper’s Legacy
by John Yeo
The two brothers, Donny and Flip were out playing in the fields, wandering around at the bottom of Piper’s Hill. This steep local hill was suffused with local legend and magical tales were told about many mysterious occurrences throughout the ages. The two brothers were as alike as chalk and cheese as the old saying goes. Donny was tall and thin with a shock of black hair and piercing blue eyes; he was the oldest of the two by eighteen months.
Flip was shorter, much to his chagrin, with brown straight hair and brown eyes to match. A daredevil, always game for anything.
The one thing the brothers had in common was their quick wits and friendly demeanor.
Flip was acting as a hunter and racing along ahead of Donny.
‘Slow down Flip, we don’t want to lose track of each other, it’s getting late and we don’t want to get lost.’ shouted Donny.
‘It’s OK, I know exactly where we are. That’s old man Grieves’s farm over there.’ replied Flip. A startled Blackbird flew up as he continued to run, making the familiar squawking sound that is the Blackbirds cry of alarm.
Then he suddenly shouted, ‘Hey Donny, come quick.’
Donny pushed his way through some bushes at the bottom of the hill and suddenly saw Flip standing in front of the strangest wizened wrinkled old man he had ever seen. This man was wrapped up in an incredible multi-green coat, covered with streaks of brown that looked suspiciously like mud. The old man had a twinkle in his green eyes that were almost dazzling when he looked directly at Flip and Donny.
‘Hello,’ he said, What do I see here? Two young escapees from humdrum, looking for adventure? Sit on this handy log here and I will tell you a story.’
Donny sat down straight away and signaled to Flip to join him. Both of the boys were captivated by this strange old man with his merry grin.
The old man picked up an intricately carved wooden tube that was lying at his feet and waved it in front of the boys.
‘You see this lads? This is an ancient tube, in the right hands, it makes the sweetest sounds you have ever heard. I inherited this from its mysterious owner many years ago. When I was your age, our town was plagued with vermin. The town council hired the man who owned this magical tube to get rid of them. A price was agreed and the fun began.’
The man then suddenly picked up the tube, put it to his mouth and blew once. Soon every tree and bush in the vicinity was covered with hundreds of birds of all shapes, sizes, and varieties.’
The strange old man continued.
‘This musical man dressed in a strange multi-coloured costume was leading the thousands of assorted troublesome vermin from the town. My Mother and Father watched with glee, as the Piper worked his magic. Just as he had predicted, his music was hypnotic to the ears of the vermin and his assignment to clear the town was an instant success. I was 7 years old at the time, and the sight of these vermin leaving the town produced loud cheers and much happiness from the townspeople.’
The old man continued, laughing loudly. ‘What do you think happened next?’
Both boys were dumbstruck and simply shrugged their shoulders.
Flip piped up and said, ‘Can I have a blow on that whistle?’
Donny kicked him in the shins and said,
‘Shut up Flip! Please carry on with the story.’
The old man smiled. ‘Well, the mayor decided not to pay the agreed fee and tried to cheat the piper.
The piper was angry at this and blew a strange tune on his whistle. A tune that got into the ears of every child in the town. I remember beginning to dance along with hundreds of my friends. The urge to dance was overwhelming. We followed the piper, dancing to the merriest tune you have ever heard. We danced to this very hill and suddenly two huge cave doors appeared and we all danced inside, to find a Wonderland. A place where dreams come true in the blink of an eye.’
The boys were overwhelmed with curiosity.
‘Why have you come back?’ Asked Donny.
Then Flip interjected. ‘Can we come with you to see this place?’
With a shake of his head and a wave of his hand, the ancient traveler suddenly disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Then Flip bent down and picked something up, something long, tubular, intricately carved, with holes in. ‘Look, Donny, he’s left the pipe behind.’
Donny grabbed the pipe and put it to his lips but nothing happened. Flip tried to get a sound from the flute without success.
Both boys then returned home with their treasure. They tried many times over the years to get a sound from this pipe, without any success.
The boys didn’t let on to anyone about their magical meeting with the little old man on Pipers Hill.
However magic certainly came from the meeting as Donny became a talented well paid Flautist and Flip made a name for himself by playing the Saxophone in a famous orchestra.
The brothers became renowned as a duo that rocked the jazz world.
Written by John Yeo, (With apologies to ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin.’)
© ~ All rights reserved.
This is a piece of Flash Fiction for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Bells.
by John Yeo
The afternoon had been warm and sunny as Peter and Rosie happily wandered through the green fields and lanes that ran around the outside of the village bordering their Father’s farm. Peter dragged his younger sister along by her hand. At eleven years old, Peter was two years older than Rosie and he was expected to look after her whenever they went out together. There was no mistaking they were siblings, both of the children had a shock of black hair and unusual piercing blue eyes.
‘Don’t pull me so hard, please Pete, you are almost pulling my arm off.’
‘Sorry Rosie, but it’ll be getting dark soon and Mum wants us to be home.’
Suddenly as they got close to the woods, the evening sunlight reflected off a sea of blue and green that stretched deep into the woods.
‘Look Pete, beautiful Bluebells. Oh, please let’s pick a bunch to take home to Mum.’
At that moment two Magpies began chasing each other in the low overhanging branches on the nearby trees.
‘Two for Joy,’ shouted Rosie happily.
‘OK Rosie, good idea! They won’t be angry if we take them some flowers.’ Peter replied, he knew his sister would be upset if he said, No!
They soon began to pick armfuls of Bluebells to take home. Suddenly, there was a rustle at the far end of the glade as a Brown speckled Doe, dashed for cover. This made them both jump, as the sudden noise took them by surprise.
Peter nervously said, ‘C’mon Rosie, it’s time to go home now.’
‘OK, Pete’ replied Rosy.
The children soon reached the ramshackle collection of buildings that surrounded the cosy farmhouse. As they arrived, Trusty the farmhouse guard dog barked loudly, overjoyed to see them both. Their Mother appeared looking quite worried, her expression softened, immediately, when she saw the Bluebells.
‘Come in quickly, you two! Your Granddad is here and he has been waiting for you for ages.’
‘OK Mum,’ said Peter.
As soon as their Granddad saw the Bluebells he said,
‘Have you two heard the legend about Bluebells?’ he asked with a smile.
‘Well, some years there are White coloured Bluebells among the Blue ones like you have here. This means there is bound to be a White Christmas coming up and if you listen carefully sometimes these special Bluebells actually ring when they are tossed by the wind.’
‘Oh! Come on Grandpa. How can flowers make a noise?’
Granddad smiled as he said, ‘Ah! You have to listen carefully and believe, if you want to hear the music of the Snowbells.’
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved