Gift 2 - The Raven's Tale.


The Raven’s Tale. ( Corvus Crater Hydrae.)

[ “ Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. “ ]

Once upon a time a young raven was circling around the southern heavens, looking rather glum. A voice addressed him; “Why so glum Brother Raven?”

The raven turned, and there amongst the stars was a man with a bow and arrow and the body of a horse.

“ Well, it wasn’t always like this you know.” The raven said. “ Things used to be quiet good but then there were some complications with my boss’s girlfriend and that business with that big cup there and this troublesome sea serpent creature / monster thing, to both of whom, I now seem firmly attached.”

He flapped and fluttered his wings but he could not seem to separate himself from them nor move through the stars.

“Well, we all have our issues. Tell me about yours?” asked the centaur.

“Issues? I don’t have issues,” said the Raven , “I am just there and things happen to me … it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with me! I am purely a victim of circumstances”

The Centaur smiled and said “Young raven ! Is there any such thing? I doubt it, for we all play a part in the events that unfold around us. Well then, tell me what happened and we will see if we can work out a solution to your dilemma together.”

“Very well, “ Raven answered him. “ It all started back when I was with my master , Apollo. He bid me observe the affairs of gods and men and report back to him, that being my duty, ordained by Zeus, how could I refuse it?. The same as I could not refuse my other duty, to disperse amongst men the prophesies of my master Apollo so men may know the will of Zeus. All went well until that business with the woman.

“One day when pulling Helios across the sky in his chariot he saw the nymph Corona of Larissa, the fairest maid of all Aemonia. Apollo courted Corona and things seem good. Apollo was happy with her and she was known to have a ‘grateful charm’, to be a joy to him and faithful in love … while none defamed her chastity.

“But, unfortunately for me, one day I observed from high perch, that very same Corona laying in a field with a lad … who was certainly NOT Apollo. Being faithful to my master’s charge, I immediately leapt from my perch, spread out my white wings and beat them as fast as I could to propel myself home to my master’s abode and repot to him this new development.


Hoorah! A new story! Thanks once again for sharing it with us.


YAY!!!!!!!!! The kind and talented storytelling raven is back! Loved the beginning to this one...! Looking forward to the next chapter already :love:

Thank you SO much, Ravenest! :heart:


Yay! <dancing with joy>


Lil Red

Beautiful story!



“But a crow followed me. A noisy busy-body prattling crow, curious of my alarm and quick flight and what it was I observed. After me the prattling Crow followed with flapping wings, eager to learn what caused this Raven's haste “Tell not what you have seen” her black beak chattered and the crow started prattling out her story;

‘ A long time ago, the god Vulcan fathered a son, Erichthonius, under strange circumstances. He tried to rape Minerva but didn't succeed. Instead, his seed fell down to earth; from where it landed, up sprang Erichthonius. Minerva seemed to want to cover the whole thing up, so she hid the child in a basket. She then made this basket the responsibility of the three daughters of Cecrops, an ancient king of Athens. Then she made them swear never to look inside it.

‘Two of the daughters, Pandrosos and Herse, obeyed the goddess, but the third, Aglauros, peeked inside – and a saw a baby with a serpent curled up beside him. Then I went to Minerva and tattled on Aglauros. Minerva was so displeased that she forbade me to be her special bird any longer; from that point on, her friends have been owls and I have been ignored. Beware Raven that the same fate awaits you.’

‘ Out of my way Crow’, I told her,’ I must do my duty and report to my master.’ But she persisted.

‘Well’, said the Crow,’ you might think that I never was Minerva's special bird in the first place. If you do, you're wrong. To prove it, I will tell you a second story. A long time ago, I used to be a beautiful princess, with many suitors. But then, one day, while I was walking along the beach, the god of the Ocean saw me and became amorous. But I wanted nothing to do with him.

‘He pursued me, so I prayed to the gods for help. The only one who listened was Minerva, herself a virgin, who transformed me into a crow. This how I became Minerva's bird. But now I have been disowned and the owl has taken my place , who also used to be Princess, although nowhere near as fair as I and whose morals were poorly lacking - the little tart!’

“ Now replied I to the Crow, that talked so much, `A mischief fall upon your prating head for this detention of my flight. Your words and warnings I despise.' With which retort I winged upon my journey, swiftly thence in haste, despite the warning, to inform my patron, Apollo how I saw the fair Coronus with a lad of Thessaly.



“I flew in to Apollo's temple and as I began my story he was playing his harp and singing, then he stared at me, he dropped his plectrum and his laurel wreath, and his bright countenance went white with rage. He seized his trusted arms, and having bent his bow, pierced with a deadly shaft that bosom which so often he had pressed against his own.

“But Corona was with child. She moaned in pain,--and as she drew the keen shaft from the wound, her snow-white limbs were bathed in purple blood: and thus she wailed, `Ah, Apollo! punishment is justly mine! But wherefore didst thou not await the hour of birth? For by my death an innocent is slain.' This said, her soul expired with her life-blood, and death congealed her drooping form.

“ Sadly the love-lore God did repent his jealous deed; regret too late his ready credence to this Raven's tale. Mourning his thoughtless deed and blaming myself, he vents his rage upon this very bird; he hates his bow, the string, his own right hand, the fateful arrow, anything but himself and his jealous rage.

As a last resource, and thus to overcome her destiny, he strove to cherish her beloved form; for vain were all his medicinal arts. But when he saw upraised the funeral pyre, where wreathed in flames her body should be burnt, the sorrow of his heart welled forth in sighs; but tearless orbed, for no celestial face may tide of woe bedew. So grieves the poor dam, when, swinging from his right the flashing axe, the butcher with a sounding blow divides the hollow temples of her sucking calf.

Yet, after Apollo poured the fragrant myrrh, sweet perfumes on her breast, that now once more against his own he pressed, and after all the prematurely hastened rites were done, he would not suffer the offspring of his loins to mingle with her ashes, but he plucked from out the flames, forth from the mother's thighs his child, unborn, and carried to the cave of double-natured Chiron - a relative of yours I believe.”

The Centaur nodded.

Three Magpies flew in from some higher heaven and alighted along a string of nearby stars.

“Your story attracts others that long to hear,” The Centaur observed.

“It is the Chorus,” Raven told him, “ every time this story is told they insist, very annoyingly , in my opinion, to sing in sweet melody and rhyme their version of the events told.”

“Complaining Raven,” said the first Magpie, “ This is a Holy event which we must always commemorate. The God's most holy presence asks the hymn, the solemn hymn, the hymn of agony, lest, in the air of glory that surrounds the child of Semele, we lose the earth and corporal presence of the Zeus-begot.’

Magpie 2: Yea, sisters, raise your voices.

Magpie 3: Ay, we sing.

All Magpies: . Hail, child of Semele!

To her as unto thee

Be reverence, be deity, be immortality!

Shame! treachery of the spouse

Of the Olympian house,

Hera! thy grim device against the sweet carouse!

Lo! ~ in red roar and flame

Did Zeus descend! What claim

To feel the immortal fire had then the Theban dame!

Caught in that fiery wave,

Her love and life she gave

With one last kissing cry the unborn child to save.

And thou, O Zeus, the sire

Of Bromius--hunter dire!--

Didst snatch the unborn babe from that Olympian fire:

Magpie 1; “In thine own thigh most holy

That offspring melancholy

Didst hide, didst feed, on light, ambrosia, and moly.

Magpie 2: Ay! and with serpent hair

And limbs divinely fair

Didst thou, Dionysus, leap forth to the nectar air!

Magpie 2 ; “Ay! thus the dreams of fate

We dare commemorate,

Twining in lovesome curls the spoil of mate and mate.

All Magpies: “O Dionysus, hear!

Be close, be quick, be near,

Whispering enchanted words in every curving ear!

O Dionysus, start

As the Apollonian dart!

Bury thy horned head iiiiinn

Ev – eeeeery bleed - innnnng heeeeaaaart!”

“They always go for a big finish” Raven told the Centaur. “Now, If I may continue?”

The magpies flew off.


Apollo 2

“Then to him he called this foolish truthful Raven, high in hopes of large requital due for all his words; but, angry with his meddling ways. He frothed, he fumed and turned red. He burst forth fire that filled the temple and I , caught up in the conflagration had my pearly plumes engulfed. So fierce was the fire of his own guilt and shame expelled forth, my very beautiful plumage was scorched and a turned from pearly white to deep dark black and he forbade me forever more to perch among the favoured birds whose plumes are white."

“And then, to add insult to injury he spoke:

‘Wanton babbler! see thy fate !

Messenger of mine no longer,

Go to Hades with thy prate!

Weary Pluto with thy tattle!

Hither, monster, come not back;

And — to match thy disposition —

Henceforth be thy plumage black !’

“Much concerned I hurriedly departed his presence and flew up into the highest branch of the highest tree and hid myself within the leaves and shadows until his blood and temper cooled.”


Whoah! Poor Raven...! Clearly he has been shot, as the one likes the bearer of bad news! :(

He should have listened to the crow...


“After much time passed and grief was done and Gods and men passed on to other things Apollo deemed it was time to give thanks for better fortune and arranged to give a feast to Jupiter and requiring the best water, finally spoke unto me.

‘Raven, go, my bird,’ said Apollo, ‘that naught may delay the pious rites, and bring a little water from fair and running springs.’ I caught up the sacred gilded bowl of Apollo in my hooked claws and flew aloft on this airy journey to far Lerna, where lies a region of springs and the Alcyonian Lake.

“Upon my aerial approach I noticed the most bright and sparkling body of water and alighted upon a nearby tree to rest before I filled the cup. I noticed a beautiful sweet aroma filled the air. Looking about I saw the tree was laden with the largest, juiciest, purple figs I have seen, their juice overflowed from around their stem and had run down the fruit and dried in a crystalline coating of fig sugar. Of course I tried one. And then another. It wasn’t that they were so good, but being on a Holy mission, I realised I must have my strength for the journey back, carrying the filled cup. So I ate some more … and some more.

“ After some time, when I could not eat any more and my stomach was greatly distended, I realised flight with the full cup may be impeded, so, with no desire but to fulfil my duty most efficiently, and because I was now tired and drowsy, I went to sleep within the branches of that shady tree.

“Upon awakening I noticed much time had passed, and somewhat in a panic, I snatched up the sacred cup and alighted down to the pool below. I must admit that concern plagued my thoughts at my delay, and as I filled the cup I noticed in the depths a serpentine creature that arose and spoke to me; ‘Raven, why do you take this precious water?’

‘Do not distract me.’ I told her , ‘You of many heads, return to the depths of your pool while I go about my sacred charge.’ And angry at her for the delay I sunk my claws into her and lifted her up out of the water, along with the cup and flew as fast as I could back to the banquet hall.

“When I returned the Gods were parched and complaining that there was no water to quench their thirst, Apollo was furious! He called me forth to the main table where he sat with Jupiter.

‘What is this?’ he bellowed forth. ‘ Has my bird let me down again? Why did you take so long and thus allow the gods to go thirsty?’

“ I placed the sacred cup on the table and the water monster on the floor and lamented; ‘ O Great Apollo please forgive me … I would have returned much sooner, but as I went to take the water from the sweetest spring of all, this water monster arose from the depths and challenged me to my purpose. I informed her I was on a mission from you, but she blocked my way , I fought bravely against her for a great length of time, she seized the sacred cup and would not let go, so I had to bring her here thus attached.”

‘Is that so? And this is the truth?’ Apollo asked of me.

‘Yes it is.’ I replied to him.

“He stood up and walked around the banquet table and came up to me and said, ‘ Well … if it IS true, why, tell me then … you have SUCH A FAT BELLY AND FIGS SMEARED ALL OVER YOUR BEAK AND RUNNING DOWN YOUR CHEST !’ he thundered.

‘That is no water monster, that is Hera’s Hydra reared by Her under a plane-tree near the source of the River Amymone, the worst she has ever done is to go out onto the flat-land to raid the flocks.

‘I am impatient once again of your prattle and will have no more of any of this ! You have made the Gods throats dry and it has become hard to converse, so from now on you will have a dry throat! I command you to sing no more and instead only produce a dry croak to remind you of what you have done! By your lies you dare attempt to cheat the god of prophecy by fibs? You shall drink cool water from no spring until the figs upon the tree grow juicy once again.

‘And with that, he grabbed all three of us, myself the Cup and the Hydra and flung us up mightily into the sky and stars, to where we remain fixed unto this day. I am forever thirsty but the cup is just out of reach over there”

The Raven flapped and fluttered his wings but still he remained stuck to the Hydra and none of them moved through the stars, nor towards the cup.