Rabbit

Another beautiful Illustration by Alex

Worm Illustration

Rabbit2smTo continue with the Mouse story, we are following our mouse on his adventures as he tries to find his way home. This time he meets a rabbit happily eating away at the dandelions but not very forthcoming with information.

After drawing out the scene as usual in watercolour pencil my first problem was how to make the rabbit look fluffy.  So I worked on mixing the colour required choosing watercolours that tend to granulate, in this case yellow ochre with ultramarine,  a little coeruleum blue and a touch of Alizarin Crimson. The yellow ochre and the coeruleum being good for granulation if the mixture is right. I experimented with the mixtures until I found one that worked then damped the area to be painted and quickly applied the paint, then it had to be left to do its magic.

Rabbit closeSome of the paint separates and the heavier granules sink…

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The Lizards Tale – Part 10 – 3.

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Queen Oona with the Faery court high up in the skies above Carniggy.

Oona, her red gold hair flying behind her like flames in an ardent fire, her King and court of Lords and Ladies sketched out across the sky like shining stars, are heading homewards. Unfortunately Fox (Lowarn) would unbelievably appear to have eluded them, and therefore they have yet to fulfil their agreed challenge from the Lord of this realm. All the hunts senses are cast downwards and seeking for something living that may well ease their passage back to Faery land through the magical rift in the skies. It is now that Oona feels the searching eyes of another Fae upon her, and looking out and down from her saddle high in the evening skies, marks Hav standing in her walled garden in the forest below. Now that Oona’s attention is on Hav’s summer garden, she feels with her Faery senses that there is another Fae present in Hav’s garden. Oona on a whim, jerks on her flying horse’s reins, turning its head away from homeward bound, and then glides instead for Hav’s garden of summer. She will investigate this other Fae, for this could indeed be where the wily Lowarn indeed hides behind the skirts of summer?

Hav and her court at the house of summer.

Hav stares at Cora, her eyes searching each minute detail, the colour of her hair, the smallest glint within the girl’s eyes, and as she gauges Cora, she draws in huge wafts of Cora’s personal perfume. Hav then knows without a doubt, that this before her, is ‘Cordelia’ the name Celtic, meaning faithful daughter… And so in softest voice, Hav asks her prompts the woman by asking what her name is? “Cora” the girl replies with her eyes still cast down,  her name as given to her by her father. This is no surprise to Hav, as she knows that the father, who is obviously only a man, would have given his babe a more than likely modern name. But Hav knew that her sibling would have used the true name ‘Cordelia’ and yet, there is a hint of her more majestic Fae heritage in this shortened version. Hav’s face without warning bursts into the happiest smile, for her sister is the first to give life to another Fae, in this her long and noble family.

Pan in the great Oak.

beneath me I catch sight of Fox, or Lowarn, as the Man would have him known now. He is scrabbling on all four feet, regardless of the fact that he is now mostly man. Of course he has called to me for mercy, rather than the Man, as Oona and her rabid Lord with their Faery hunt chase him through the garden with their hounds snapping at his very heels and with his death foremost in the Faeries minds. My woodland magic springs forth before I even bid it, twirling into the form of the ancient mistletoe, which then reaches down, and then grabs the quivering, shivering lowly Lowarn, and then as quickly as it has descended, it retracts back up into the tree bringing Lowarn with it. The mistletoe instantly disguises him from the dogs that low for his demise, and also from Faery eyes, and then swiftly lifts Lowarn even higher up amongst the branches and then deposits him next to me. Lowarn’s former Lord the Green Man would have him dead, and this somewhat puzzles me, but then I let this conundrum go, for it is minor in my mind and laugh into his wildly staring face.

Under the oak now, barking and yapping in frenzy are this Faery hunts most foul dogs. Pan can smell their fetid breathe, and see their yellowed bloodshot eyes a staring for a glimpse of their prey that they see as just a Fox. And then who arrives in haste, the Lord of them all, Finvarra, a stupid jealous dog himself, and he is quickly followed by his bitch, the gorgeous, but cunning seductress Oona, her red hair curling down across her pouting breasts and very nearly naked body to then trail out along her horses glistening sweating back. Both of these Faery royalty ride around Pan’s seat in the mighty oak, but they cannot see either Lowarn, or indeed Pan, as he has his woodland wild magic give them such glamour. Round and around they go, seeking their rightful quarry, the rest of hunt arrives now and starts milling and mixing near the bole of this greatest of trees. Just for a second Pan lets his face appear through these greenest of oak leaves, his tongue stuck out in the rudest ways, and for just a second Oona has ken of hi,, and then she wears the most wicked of smiles. Oona smirks and then bears her horse away as her husband brandishes his golden horn, and blows his dogs away from here to search for the quarry elsewhere. Finvarra himself though, hangs back for one more searching stare and Pan almost feel he can somehow see the woodland god, even though Pan’s glamour is complete. Then even Finvarra draws rein and gallops away, and Pan awaits the small forest sounds returning, before he pours down to the ground disguised at first as a shower of rain, but once on the ground and safe, Pan dresses in his real self, and pulls his pipes up from about his waist. Now trilling a merry tune he calls Lowarn and the Rook to his side, then away they whirl through the forest, for now Pan would find the beauteous Kynyav, as he has no longer a need to be the furious god, for Pan is at last in the garden of the Green Man, and at last revealed as the great god ‘Pan’ himself!

Gaia.

As Pan had entered the Green Man’s domain, Gaia swept a spell upon him, and removed the pressing enchantment that the Gardens Lord had laid about Pan. He no longer has such ardent anger, and he would be merrier, but she would not take Pan’s wild indifference from him, nor instil in him a degree of responsibility, so Pan would in essence remain the tricksy god he always had been. One thing she changed though, Pan’s small goats horns, these now grew to his stags appearance, and Pan, he was considerably more majestic in this guise. Gaia was now content though, for time was moving on and the end of her world was nigh, and Pan had an enormous part to play yet, as did Btu Chun.

Tom and Jago at the caravans.

The gypsy stands on the top step of her caravan and shouts… “Fool Ho…!”

To which the Fool stops his spinning dance, and slowly approaches the fire with its bubbling pot. Tom watches the Fool with suspicion, as he feels this new member of the caravans is not such the merry fool that he tries so hard to seem. Reaching the fire, the Fool stops for a moment staring intently into the flickering flames, and then executes a prodigious leap into the air, whilst at the same time lashing out a foot to kick the pot from its tripod, thereby spilling rabbit stew all upon the ground. At the top of his leap, he turns a colourful somersault, and then lands next to the empty pot. Crouching he slips a finger into the stew that still dribbling from the blackened pot, brings the finger to his now grinning painted mouth, licks his finger clean, and then grimaces saying… “I should never have allowed that slippery devil Fox into my wood!” And then the Fool, he’s off  spinning, somersaulting and cartwheeling about the dell as though beset with sudden madness, before then leaping up the muddy side of the dell. He stands amongst the bluebells for a split second, before turning to stare directly at Tom, and then nodding as if in an almost sociable way. Then the Fool is off spinning away at speed until he is out of sight under the oak woods. Tom is left staring away up and over the trees, but even now he can just about hear the tinkling of the golden bells on the Fools hat, and then… Even that fades away leaving him alone with the gypsy, and still not knowing the fate of Jago…? So Tom turns to where she stands upon her caravan top step, “What has happened to ‘Jago’, is he dead or alive?” The gypsy’s face doesn’t change, and gives no hint to Jago’s fate, but she does produce a teapot and two mugs. “No how about that Camomile tea, I’ll tell you the tale as we go along.” She then moves down the caravan’s steps and assumes her usual seating; she then pats the step beside her. Tom takes the hint and moves to take the proffered seat beside the gypsy. Saying nothing more, the she pours two teas, and then raises her mug to her mouth, where she then blows across the top of the steaming brew.

Lowarn meets the ‘Fool’.

Pan strides on ahead through the oaks dappled light, whilst sullenly Lowarn follows, and Rook has to flap hard to keep up stumbling across the forest floor, hampered as he is by his wound from the farmers gun.

Pan now obvious as a God for all of the woods to see, and is wearing his new rack of antlers well, his shaggy hair droops boyishly across his forehead, sometimes getting into his deep emerald eyes. His chest is bare and hairless and looks finely muscled in a healthy way. His legs are strong, and completely covered in golden blonde curling fur, his manlike feet unshod, but horny enough to cope with the rough terrain of the woods. Around his waist he wears a fine leather and silver belt, in which is held his Faery pipes, and circling around his neck is a golden chain that bears a finely wrought oak leaf in hammered silver. This pendant bounces off his powerful bullish chest as he strides purposefully through the forest in search of his love Kynyav, for in Pan’s mind, the picture of her face overrides all else. Behind him, Pan hears Rook muttering about his wound and how he must needs rest up! Lowarn is none to happy either; after all he has lost his dinner, been chased by dogs, and then half strangled by mistletoe. It would seem Lowarn and Rook have no appreciation of their Gods help, and this make Pan unhappy! He stops abruptly and Lowarn in his self concern barges right into the back of the resolute Pan, who doesn’t even rock with this collision, and so its Lowarn who falls to the leaf moulded ground. Pan doesn’t even turn, but rather lifts his magic pipes, and there upon them he trills a merry restless breathy tune, instantly Lowarn begins to blur, as does Rook! When Pan turns to look behind over his shoulder, his lips curling into a smile, it is to see Lowarn replaced, and returned to a fox, but Rook is now a man in what appears to be a long black coat. This man if that is what he is, has Rook winged coloured hair, and with matching black beady eyes. Pan claps Rook upon his muscled shoulder, and Rook grimaces with the pain of his wound that has not altered in his transformation by Pan. Pan unusually concerned, bends slightly, rips some purplish woundwort from a green clump that has sprung to life beneath his questing hand. Pan then crushes the flowering plant between his horny hands and invites Rook to show his wound. Rook reluctantly opens his new coat, and here he is revealed quite naked beneath, Pan then slips his hands swiftly inside Rooks coat. He speedily rubs the dripping green poultice all over the darkly bruised and bleeding holes that Rook is carrying from the farmer’s gun. Pan then hastily leaps back as the lead pellets spring forth from Rooks flesh, to drop down to the ground. Lowarn who is now a fox once again, takes note of the way Pan fears the farmers lead, and pushes that information back into the farthest region of his mind, for one never knows when mayhap that information could be of worth.

Rook then shrugs his shoulders in a manly way, sidles away across the forest floor a short distance. Rook seems to stand somewhat straighter now, and then he pirouettes on his new shiny boots, letting his coat flow outwards, and that shows Pan that Rooks wounds have indeed healed. Rook has a sudden need to preen, leans against one of the nearby oaks, and then produces a bone comb from within a pocket of his glossy coat, and now at ease, Rook combs back his rakish hair into what he, believes to be a more becoming style. Pan steps forward, and leans in close to Rook, whispers in his ear, and then pulls away and turning to the fox, “You must pay your due ‘Fox’, for these not my woods, so take heed and run red dog run!” Fox as he is now, is rather confused, what could Pan mean? But then Pan is off a gambolling amongst the trees, watched by the Rook. Pan’s form very slowly becomes see through, and then he fades into dimming summer days light, until he is completely hidden from Rooks view, for Pan is now searching for his love Kynyav once more. Rook now turns to Fox, “Fare thee well, Lowarn as you were, and goodbye!” Fox shrieks “‘fare well’, what do you mean ‘fare well’?” Surely you will not leave me alone in these woods with the possibility that the faery hunt may well return! But with a shake of his lustrous coat and not another word to Fox, Rook spins at speed and then appears to take off and skitter into the darkening skies in a blur, for Pan has somehow left Rook his ability to fly, and fly he does to do as Pan had instructed him in his last whisper to Rook.

Fox is left on his own in the lowering light of the forest… That is until he hears the slightest titter and then a giggle coming from beneath one of the nearby mighty oaks, and on looking with his bright eyes into the darker shade there, perceives a painted fellow, dressed in the silks of a fool. It is of course the now nearly insane Btu Chun in his new disguise as court ‘Fool’….

The Lizards Tale – Part 10 – 2.

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Hav and her court at her house.

Hav strolls in all her grandeur down the garden towards her house, and as she passes the flowers, they become ever more riotous in their growth. The plants seem almost unable to bear her presence so rotund is she with the power of life and vigour in this present season of late summer. Hav is right outside her home when her cherry faeries then set up a clamour, should they not be sent in first they ask of her, for who knows what acts may have been committed since Kingfisher was last here? Hav will however have nothing of this suggestion or indeed even listen to their bell like voices ringing in her ears, for it is her time of year. The full of the power endowed in her by her father the Man, will keep her safe, and she therefore will not falter from her purpose for even a second. She approaches the bottom of the steps up to the veranda, and then with her faery court in close attendance, although now the cherry faeries are for once silent, and even Kingfisher has stopped her constant chatter, Hav starts to ascend. Her foot touches the first wooden board gently and the house of summer springs into life… The ligneous structure of the house moves and sways just a little, but where the veranda had been completely empty before, now chairs and tables with beautiful silken cushions and table cloths leap up from the very structure of the house. Each of the tables is covered in sumptuous foods of every type, and in amongst this sumptuous repast, are golden flagons of water, wine and iced fruit juices. A flavour of the meal wafts across the air, ones tongue can almost taste this aroma, one of cinnamon, anise, pomegranate, tangerine and lemon, jaggery tarts and roasted, toasted vegetables. Hav ignores all this commotion that her arrival brings, and continues to mount the steps with stately tread. Once upon the veranda though, she stops and stands still, her court are all a flutter around her head in such a cloud, that Hav has need to brush them away with her golden fingertips, and then at last annoyed, she commands them away, and they return muttering and fluttering to their cherry trees.

As the cherry faeries alight in the naked branches of the cherry trees, there comes a noise, a lowing of what sounds to be hounds, dogs that are out hunting away, a ways in the distance in the gardens forest, and on the other side of Hav’s garden walls… Hav swings around to glare out of her realm, and up above the trees into the deepening shadowy blue skies, and it is there that Hav spies a sight, not unlike a fiery meteor, one that appears to climb away from, rather than fall to earth. The goddess recognises the heinous ‘Daoine Sidhe’ hunt, led by the gorgeous Oona, for she is the Queen of the Daoine Sidhe. Hav prefers the ancient name for this plague upon the land of her mother Gaia, although most men would call them ‘Faeries’. The Daoine Sidhe Queen is flame haired and a deadly beauty of their realm. Not far behind her rides her husband Finvarra, a yapping jealous cunning dog, covetous as he knows Oona would seduce all males that she meets, her beauty having been spun into many tales by Man, Fae and Daoine Sidhe, and then sung throughout all the lands of man. Hav fervently hopes that this hunt has not been down amongst those of her realm, whilst she has been spinning her chore of summer. Hav has given no permission for such an excursion, and does not like to think of what they even might be hunting, or of their aims of a vicious kill. If however they have, she will be mighty in her anger and will exact a passionate price for their breaching of her will. Then Hav turns her back abruptly on the view in the sky, because she knows that Oona has been unsuccessful in her hunting. Have knows this because she has heard the sullen trill of the Daoine Sidhe’s golden horns, and that tells her that they are in the process of returning homeward after their intended quarry has escaped. Tis likely that they now look for some unwary beast or man, as they need a kill just to breach the sky with such a court after hunting, and then be able to return to their faery realm. Now that Hav is home however, all her responsibilities will be safe beneath her glamour from this fae hunt, and therefore she has no further concern with the faeries. However Hav also knows that now she will have to pay court to her father at his house in the middle of the enchanted garden, to tell of this sighting in this his mystical forest, for even they, the Daoine Sidhe court, have to bow to this worlds truest God the Green Man. Hav now faces her houses doorway, and then without the slightest hesitation, enters her home of endless summer. Her foot lightly touches the inside boards, and the room bounds up in true devotion, and once again chairs and tables appear, food both plain and exotic covers every table top, drinks of every type clamour to be drunk, and along with flowery perfumes and rare spices, the air feels almost heavy, and ready to ignite into sudden flame such is Hav’s summer might. There before her then, Hav sees a woman with reddest of hair, and she is pale of skin, and this woman, her back is to Hav, for she is turned away with almost an acolyte’s attitude to her. And there upon this woman’s shoulder, Hav observes that the most honourable Mouse is resting. Hav’s nostrils flare in ire, and then in a rush she inhales the other woman’s scent causing her face to soften once again, and she almost smiles for she has detected her sibling Kynyav’s scent, and yet, not quite? Hav moves forward with no word yet spoken, and extends her long golden fingers to her beloved Mouse. Mouse’s beady black eyes follow Hav’s advance, and he is excited as this is his lovely goddess returned, his heart flip flops in his intense excitement, but from the lack of sternness in her face, he knows his goddess will do this young girl no harm.

Rook arriving in Carniggy’s garden.

Rook crashed into the highest twigs, all of which are green with summer leaves, and then he slips down through to the branches big enough to take his feathery weight. Once under the greenwood cover, he finds himself a secure hidden perch, and then checks himself over. Whilst he grooms his feathers, he hears the baying of hounds hunting, yapping and howling as they go, this is mixed and followed by many huntsmen’s horns. Gazing down from his secret roost and through the green leaves of the oak, Rook spies a colourful character abruptly emerge from beneath one of the other trees, he appears to be running on all fours, and he is wearing what is definitely man type clothing. Rook feels the branches sway just slightly beneath him, and that can only mean that he is not alone! Raising his head a little, Rook sees a very curly headed apparition, one of a very young man sitting naked nearby in this very tree. The man is staring straight back at Rook, and then smiles, he displaying rather spade like, slightly yellowing teeth, but is a great beauty, of that fact Rook has no doubt. Upon this boy’s head amongst his curling hair, it would appear that he is sporting a pair of short and very curly horns that glint as if with gold. Rook looks a little lower, and then he realises that this young man is not completely naked, for he has the furry legs of a goat, covered in its curly matted coat, and the scene is completed with its blackened hooves. On his side on a silver chain, hang some musical pipes, and around this boy’s head is a crown of ivy entwined with belladonna and hawthorn. Rook has the feeling he has seen this apparition before? The youth shivers slightly, and for a moment takes on an older form, he then speaks quietly to Rook and suddenly Rook understands..

Pan in the great Oak.

At last… I am in the Man’s most secret world, I’m in his walled garden, and just how did I get here after all my failed attempts? One of his former vassals that I had twisted to my wiles and rescued from his former masters curse, but then betrayed, has called me into being to save him! SO here I find myself in the greenwood, and to keep him from their majesties pleasure, the faery King and Queen who are out hunting. I feel no obligation to him as his god though, for after all this Fox lost his life in pursuit of information on the Man, and I am his god. Yet again maybe I could have some fun with the faery Queen Oona, for she, the dogs wife, did once seduce me in the moonlight, and by making me believe that she was my luscious Kynyav. Maybe I will help my one time begging vassal the Fox? Although at the moment he would seem to be playing some other different character called ‘Lowarn’? Then near where I sit comfortably, I however hear a crash, followed by a black winged fluttering, and there before me I see Rook my spy, Oh now this day is now improving and at such speed, what joy!

Hav and her court at the house of summer.

Hav took Mouse gently to her bosom and Mouse nestled comfortably there in his Goddesses décolletage. It was then that Hav extended her hand once more, her fingers outstretched and questing, and this time she allowed them to softly fall upon Cora’s shoulder. Cora turned to look Hav straight into her now golden hazel eyes, eyes that seemed to shift with sliver flowers flecked in the background.

The Mouse’s tail…

Mouse has failed to alert Cora to imminent arrival of his Goddess, and now he feels the full weight of this guilt, for he is so sure that this young lady might be some sort of Goddess herself. So without further adieu, he scurries up her leg, and in haste arrives quickly on her shoulder. From this, his new vantage point he instructs her to turn away from the doorway and bow her head. Mouse feels it better that Cora not look Hav straight in the face as she enters, but be at least submissive. The young woman turns as instructed, and Mouse then strikes a pose, one that he believes is best to meet his Goddess on her arrival home …

Cora in the house of summer.

Cora let’s the squeaking Mouse instruct her as there is nowhere to hide that she can see… And so she turns from the clamour now coming from the houses doorway, and then stands facing in the other direction and as best she can, at ease with head bowed.

The frantic tinkling faery voices outside suddenly cease, and now the silence itself is almost as deafening as the noise from the cherry faeries before.

Cora almost feels herself shivering, her milky flesh covered in goosebumps from the anticipation of meeting the owner of this house, and of whom this little Mouse seems so in awe of.!

Cora then feels an almost sunny burst of warmth across her back, and then watches unbelieving as the room explodes with tables and chairs, all covered in almost unimaginable types of food and drink. Cora then feels Mouse stand up on his two hind legs, and then he turns to face the incoming homeowner, whom Mouse has informed her in his squeaky little voice, is called ‘Hav’. Hav is the goddess of summer and her name is apparently the true Cornish Celtic name for summer. Cora feels Mouse run and suddenly leap from her shoulder, but still she resists the sudden urge to turn and face this Goddess, as Cora is still struggling with the whole reality of the garden that she has found in the forest, and is having difficulty in not believing that this could be all a dream. The silence stretches out, and Cora is just beginning to believe that may be Hav has indeed gone, when upon her shoulder she feels the slightest touch, then almost as if encouraged, Cora turns and faces the goddess Hav, and immediately Cora’s eyes are drawn inexplicably to the Goddesses golden brown green eyes, eyes flecked with tiny silver shapes.

The Lizards Tale – Part 10 – 1.

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Tom & Jago at the Gypsy’s caravans.

Tom closes his eyes tightly, for he cannot bear to see Jago’s small body bitten in half by Lowarn, and now the woods themselves go very still, it is almost as though they are waiting with bated breath for the killing of ‘Jago Castanea’, the Green Man’s right hand. Tom finds however that he cannot, or will not miss Jago’s demise, and so… He opens his eyes to see a glimmer of bright red, way off in the woods, it’s impossible for him to tell exactly what it is, and then on peering down into to the dell below, he sees Lowarn has closed his mouth, but Jago is still very much alive! Jago is kicking and fighting back, and held tightly in his right hand, is the enchanted nut. Tom can see that he has this magic hazelnut open, its then that Tom also perceives that Lowarn’s ears are a twitching as if listening for some sound that only he can hear. Faintly through the trees, one soft peel of a horn, but it is a sound that both he and Lowarn know; and it’s then that the gypsy breaks the Lowarn’s spell over the dell…

“That’ll be the faery hunt Lowarn, for the ‘Man’ will only give permission for them to enter his realm, if there is punishment to be meted out in these here Fae woods. And you Mr Fox, have been very naughty I do believe!” Lowarn drops Jago from his jaws in his haste to be off and a running, he panics as he clambers up the mud sides of the dell, almost slipping back several times. Once at the lip however, Lowarn is off on all four legs, just like the Fox he really is, scampering away through the bluebells, and then off into the dark oak woods. From the opposite side of the dell though, can now be heard the soft lowing of hunting hounds, and that is what Lowarn had heard and scared him so. He knows his most deadly enemy oh so well, and the hounds draw nearer, and then through the leafy oak woods, Lowarn hears the loudly almost barking, growling words,

“Tally Ho… The quarry is in sight!”

Tom sees the gypsy quickly stand upright from her seated position, and then step down from her caravan, sidle forward, and very gently but firmly, pick up Jago from the leaf strewn ground. The gypsy then returns to her caravan carrying Jago, who neither moves nor makes a sound. The gypsy climbs the steps rapidly, opens the gaudy painted door and takes Jago speedily inside. The gypsy then, after shutting the door firmly, assumes her place upon the steps as before, casually picks up her work and starts a tapping. Within mere moments of the gypsy reclaiming her seat, huge white hounds arrive at the lip of the dell, and then they slip and slide into the dell bottom, trampling the blue bells, and their leaves as they scramble down over the edge. The faeries rise up in agitation from the bluebells; some are trampled to death by the hounds, the others scream out their annoyance in their squeaky twinkly voices! Once In the centre of the dell, the hounds just mill about sniffing at the air, circling the dell, and then seem unsure, is that man they smell, or fox? Then they set about baying, and decide to rush the gypsy on her steps, but she makes no move, for then upon the lip of the dell, a man appears astride a massive black horse. He barks and bays like the hounds, and then drives them with his snarling voice back upon their appointed task, to find and kill the misbehaving Lowarn. The rider, whom Tom strongly suspects is Fae, then canters his horse down to bottom of the dell, where he produces a long straight golden horn, and with no delay he plays a merry tune. As the last note trumpets forth, Tom runs down the side of the dell himself, to stand next to the lone rider, and good it was that he was shadowed by the riders perspiring great black horse, for other riders now appear in ever greater number, and appear to almost skim in flight right over the dell!

These new riders horses look as if they have rainbow coloured wings, but wings that are half in this world, and also at the same time somewhere fae. These whirring wings seem to allow them to fly just above the ground, and the hounds that run at their sides are huge. These dogs also mill around, whilst setting up a huge baying chorus, their jaws agape with excited saliva spewing from their lips, and then these hounds are off, following the directing riders, who shout and laugh in this game of death, a game some would call a hunt. As Tom stands and watches, he flinches as each red coated rider flies past and then onward into the forest where Lowarn had disappeared. Then as the last of hunters springs forth, and glide over the dell on their strange beasts, the rider in the dell then puts wind to his horn and a peeling note flies forth, and then once again he barks loudly, “Tally Ho, Such fun!” Before then savagely yanking on his own horses reins, and roaring and yapping he starts out of the dell, as his beast beats its furious fantastical wings. Tom is taken aback by this riders blood red coat, white trousers and black shiny boots, and then just as horse and rider are about to shift away, and once more heading for the darkness beneath the trees, the rider turns his head to stare Tom full in the face. Tom is shocked to see an ugly drooling, snarling dog like countenance, but then the huntsman’s horse rears and paws viciously at the air, and Tom is forced to suddenly duck away before it kicks him. The horse with foam flecked mouth, then drops back to all four hooves to carry it’s dog like rider up out of the dell in full flight, up and away from the bluebell dell, and out then into the forest. Tom almost rather doubts what he has just seen, but knows it’s a vision he will never ever forget… And yet at this moment in time he is quite unaware he has just met the Faery King Finvarra…

The Gypsy who has never moved from upon her caravan steps throughout all this, and almost as thought she believes she is exempt from all this excitement, now quietly speaks, “I think me and you, could do with a Camomile brew, what say you?” Tom is still in shock over the appearance of the fae rider, and he can only nod slightly as he stares away into the forest, and he has no idea what ‘camomile’ is? The gypsy rises, turns, and once more opens the door to her caravan; she disappears inside, and as the door clicks to behind her, she leaves Tom standing alone in dell. Tom then wonders if Jago is okay? But something tells him not to bother the gypsy with this question just yet. Tom looks about the dell, and idly counts three caravans, then guesses that one would have been Lowarn’s, but that still leaves one other than the gypsy’s. Tom wonders who occupies the other, and how they make a living from the woods and what do they eat if meat is forbidden? He looks to the edge of the dell and sees that the flower faeries are settling and seem to be ignoring their dead brethren who lie strewn about them amongst the trampled bluebell stalks. Tom looks back to the caravans and sees that they are each painted in one primary colour, although they are painted in a pallet of many other colours, the main colour always shines through. The Gypsy’s is yellow, Lowarn’s is red, and the other one was blue. The caravans are very small, and Tom has seen no animals with which they could be drawn with, so that is a puzzle, maybe the ponies are tethered elsewhere? As Tom is thinking of these matters, there comes the softest noise upon his ear, just as if a clock had mayhap ticked just once. For moment he stands still, just looking at the caravans, and then has the feeling he is being observed, and so spins around in haste, for he knows not that Lowarn hasn’t returned! There in the dell behind him, and within just five feet of Tom, is a large brightly dressed man, who appears to be wearing grease paint upon his face. His face is quite ghastly, his mouth drooping and Tom has the feeling that this creature’s mouth is full of nasty teeth, even though he has not seen them. The man is made to look like a clown; his hat proclaims him to be a ‘fool’ however, with its three tails ending in golden bells, one on each end. This fool, his clothing mostly red, but shot though in places with both black and grey, stands staring at Tom with crimson gimlet eyes, before he dips forward and gives Tom a most courteous bow! The bells on his hat jingle merrily like Christmas sleigh bells, but somehow they sound somewhat sinister, and then he is off at a prance, almost spinning amongst the bluebells. This causes the Faeries to become enraged once more, but as before there is nothing that they can apparently do in their defence. Around Tom, and around, and around the dell, as quick as Tom can see, the fool turns cartwheels, spinning in the air and then doing somersaults. He becomes a blur of red, and then as Tom is becoming quite dizzy with the performance, the gypsy reappears.

Lowarn running in the forest beneath the trees.

Lowarn puffs, he pants, and runs as fast as his four Foxy legs will carry him, but he has no doubt now that the faery hunt will catch him, and soon! As to his fate then, maybe to be torn apart, and that would be the best of fates. However the King of the hunt and his Faery Queen may just decide to bear him away to who knows what foul fate. Now a Fae creature himself, and no longer the wily ‘Fox’, Lowarn is fully aware that there are much worst things than death, and this could come to be just be the beginning of his torture by these evil faeries. He hears the dogs now in full bay, encouraged on by these scary faery hunters upon their gliding horses, and in his madness calls out to his God! Not however God, the Green Man, who has sent these devilish beasts upon his trail, but Pan, a god whom has no sway within these woods.

Behind the running Lowarn, the faery hunt now have their first real sighting of their prey, several riders pull their own long golden horns from their saddle tack, and then draw breath ready to blow the hounds towards him. The hounds however are already well in pursuit, knowing their Lords or Ladies will give good pleasure for the outcome of the hunt to be a kill. So when the horns ring out with their musical directions, they are already very nearly on their quarry. Mouths agape, sharp teeth ready to rend Lowarn’s flesh, their long red tongues drool spots of saliva to the leaf moulded ground, and their hackles bunch high in anticipation.

With the faery hounds yapping and very nearly on his furry heels, Lowarn nears a particularly large oak, from which hangs down mistletoe from where it grows on one of its boughs. As Lowarn staggers up, the mistletoe drops new green shoots to the woodland floor to net him fast, and then in a blink of an eye, Lowarn is entwined and whipped back up out of sight into the mighty oak. The hounds can barely believe their blood shot eyes, and frantically set up a huge baying and howling, and then they in their excitement begin to circle around, and around the bole of the mighty oak. As hunters arrive on their horses, they can see no sign of Lowarn, and they themselves show much consternation, wondering exactly just where their prey has gone? Here arrives their faery King and Queen, and they themselves ride twice about the massive oak until the King with horn ringing out, and much barking of his orders, begs of them to continue in their hunt for their quarry. Then as the hounds run forward to seek a new trail, and fly from sight in their anguish to be at Lowarn before all others, Finvarra once again rides tight to the bole of the oak and studies it hard. The faery Kings scowling dog like face, examines the branches higher in the tree above, but even he cannot see through the glamour that hides Lowarn now It’s then that the faery Queen leans into her Lord and tweaks his furry cheek, before loudly yelling… “Tally Ho, and away my gorgeous fine sexy faery King!” Oona, for it is she, the one whom mere men fall at her feet in dire love of, then jerks her horse’s reins in anticipation. Finvarra her faery King, gives a long last scowl into the oak, before racing into the woods on his beast, and in pursuit of his hounds and entourage, in the back of his wolfish mind however there lurks a doubt. Then as the sound of horns a blowing, and the savage hounds a braying fades quickly away, the woods return to normal, and then, and only then, one bough of the tree quivers, and then down out of the tree as though made of good fresh water, an apparition appears, and it flows to the woodland floor, and low it is Pan and in his most recognisable guise, and as often seen by man. He stands firm legged, his goats hooves shiny and black, and upon his curly head, he wears his horns with pride. His tail lashes from side to side as he claps his man’s hands to his human chest with glee, who would have thought the garden would be so much fun? And he had only been here mere seconds and already he had bested the King of the faeries with his cunning forest glamour!

The Lizards Tale – Part 9 – 10.

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Rook… Takes death seriously.

Rook half runs, half flaps his way across the field whilst peering nervously behind as often as he possibly can, only to be rewarded with sight of the two dogs appearing through the gateway into the field. At first the dogs mill about sniffing the air and unsure of Rooks direction, but then one or other animal either catches sight, or smell of him, and then they are closing in fast to where Rook is flapping feebly on the grass. Rook knows that they have only one thing on their minds, his coup de grace… Rook no longer has any choice, wounded or not, he must find the sky again! Rook wearily flaps his wings and dancing, prancing sideways, and although in ever increasing pain, he manages to rise upon his black feathered wings. The dogs snarl and bark their annoyance as yet again they see the loss of his feathery body between the jaws of their yapping mouths, “damn you rook” they howl in unison, and Rook now heading up into the sky, and feeling somewhat braver now, is cocky enough to caw out his derision of their puny attempts to slay him, the Rook..!

And then a sudden and unexpectedly bang, coupled with the farmers lead shot flying past Rooks head, speedily persuades him to get a flapping harder, and he limps higher, and then slides and glides into the distance heading for the Mans walled garden.

Five minutes later, sees Rook in so much pain with all this flying, that he has no choice but to land in the forbidden garden of the Green Man. Rook sees the familiar tangle of old overgrown trees and undergrowth within the high walls, and goes into a slow glide towards what he hopes will be the perfect hiding place to check his wounds. As Rook approaches the trees however, he sees them change into mighty oaks, the walls are gone, and a great forest stretches out as far as his eyes can perceive. Its too late now however to change his path, for he guesses this to be the work of his former master, the Green Man!

Kynyav on the cliffs of the Lizard at Poldhu.

Kynyav has left Carniggy’s garden, she needs to think, for some unknown reason she feels restless, but she knows not why? It is nearly time for her to except her chore for the year, and bring summer to an end. Her dance of acceptance is expected of her presently, and she can no more keep Hav waiting, than she can change the direction that the earth beneath her spins in. However when she awoke this time beneath her trees, she had known instantly that something within her father’s realm had changed, something large, and that there was a presence within its walls that she knew intimately, but somehow had forgotten. When she had sent out tendrils of her magics to ascertain this feeling, she found that it appeared all around her in one way, and yet in another, it appeared centred in the direction of Hav’s own garden. As Kynyav had lifted above her walls and left her garden, she had begun to consider that Hav was mayhap spinning her own magics in her garden rather than outside the wall of Carniggy. She wasn’t sure how this made her feel, so for now she would ignore it, but she knew she would have to investigate later and even maybe lightly touch her other two sisters Gwenton and Gwav for their own thoughts. Kynyav lifted up into the sky and slipped across the cove below with its church and onto Poldhu where she alighted gently on the cliffs looking out over the ocean, and here she decides to think on her life.

Kynyav ponders that although she thinks she is oh so clever in her taunting of Pan, that in fact Pan may well be pulling her strings to his own tune. Since entering Cornwall and coming back to the Lizard, she has not actually set eyes upon him, damn her if her father the Man has anything to do with that! She has faith in her father, for he very rarely dispatches anything as far as she knows, and as always he prefers to duck and weave sometimes even his responsibilities. However at the back of her mind crawls the idea that her father may well have his own agenda, for she knows that Pan will have followed her here to the Lizard, and she had thought to maybe dally with him. There is something else worrying her though, for she feels as though there is another in the garden in Carniggy, and it is almost as though she has felt another god or goddess there. This new deity, if that is what it is, appears to be extremely powerful, and Kynyav wonders if her mother has returned to the world, or if she ever left? So with the feelings that she had when she awoke today, and this new worry of a new deity, she has much to dwell on.

Kynyav addresses her appearance, for although she is autumn, she doesn’t have to appear as late in the season. With her natural talents Kynyav brings forth the fruit of the hedgerow, blackberries, sloes, and rosé hips as an intertwined crown upon her brow. And then clothes herself in such sumptuous silks of orange flame, mixed with brownish hues, Kynyav believes she will go a hunting for her Pan! She reasons she has led him a merry dance for far too long, and now it is in deed time to reach the fundamental play in their game of lust. Kynyav believes she might as well enjoy Pan’s yearning for her, as she has no other male equal to play with. In Kynyav’s mind there is however a slight regret, and just for an instant Tom’s face rises to the surface, but then slowly fades. Tom had been a short tryst that she didn’t understand, and one that had given her Cordelia, and even now she speculates just why she ever had a child? As a goddess, as a season, she had no need for a child, after all what position would this child play in the round, there was no position for a fifth season within this, Gaia’s world!

The caravans at the bluebell dell.

Away in the forest at Carniggy, the gypsy woman turns from a stick she is whittling, and stares towards the coastline she knows is out there beyond the walls of the garden. Although it is unseen by her eyes presently, she smiles and then ducks her head back to her work, Kynyav has a real daughter, not like the child she is creating from this wood. Beneath her hands, she is making little wooden children, and on the step of her caravan, she has a line of them finished. Time is nothing to the gypsy and she moves freely though it, and as she carves, she observes that Lowarn is back to hunting rabbits in the woods. She knows he will make a stew, and she knows this will be discovered soon. Just as she finishes her work, and picks up a silver pot that she had been working on earlier, a man, and Jago appear in a slight flash of stars on the edge of the dell that she and Lowarn are presently living in. The man looks confused, however Jago not so much, and in the background the gypsy smells the rabbit stew, and senses that all is going to the worlds plan.

The Mouse’s Tail.

Mouse sits upon the girl’s right hand, she does smell so right, but with his beady eyes, he can see now that she is not Hav his lovely Goddess, she who would take him foraging for his winter’s store, and before Gwav her stately sister begins her winters tale of woe, snow and ice. But Mouse knows that Hav is on her way here right now, for he has caught sight of Kingfishers flight to be amongst the cherry Faeries, and knows that she will snitch on this fae’s chance encounter with Hav’s house. This Fae smells so right, almost as if she were one of the seasons, but not quite, and so as sun is fading fast. As he sits upon her shoulder though, mouse has a feeling, its as though inside this girl who looks just like Kynyav, yes, yes, she appears just as Kynyav, but not, and has some thing monstrous within! Mouse’s nose quivers and he shivers, and then the feeling is gone, and now Mouse endeavours to explain to Cora the danger she may find herself in presently!

Cora in the house of ‘Hav’.

As soon as Cora understood what Mouse was excitedly squeaking, she stood up instantly and wondered if she should hide, and where? For Mouse, seemed to be saying that she was in deadly peril from the Goddess of Summer?

Hav with her faery court at the edge of the great forest.

Kingfisher tells Hav all of what she has seen, but cannot say what the intruder is up to in Hav’s house, as after all, she did not venture in herself, for she is afraid of the intruder for some reason? Kingfisher does however tell Have that the person reminds her of Hav’s siblings, and yet somehow not. Hav stands aloof and haughty, her nose twitches like a rabbit, and then she says to no one in particular… “One of my sister’s is mayhap nearby, I detect her perfumes upon the air… And yet I see nothing of her seasonal feminine wending wiles?” And then leaving this short speech to hang in the air, Hav strides out of the forest shade most boldly, away across the sward she glides, and then directly to the moat. As Hav arrives with her entourage in tow, and them all of a twitter, Hav’s golden hair is suddenly pulled in tight and bound by flowers of every type. Her dress a cornucopia of summer flowers and vines in the greatest of vigour, changes now to become a shade of deepest pink. At the edge of the moat however and just for a moment, her adoring vassals grow silent as she stops, and then. Hav raises her tiny foot to step out upon her moat. Where upon the moats water lily pads extend their giant water borne leaves and spread like a carpet of shiny green, and with popping sounds their buds go from bud to flower in mere seconds, to spread beyond the bank across the waters to the great stonewall of Hav’s garden. Now Hav waves her left hand in a somewhat courtly, but nonetheless somehow diminished wave, for all to proceed across this footpath made.

And so court of Hav once more singing her praises in their tinkling bell like voices, and with kingfisher now perched upon Hav’s right shoulder, wend their way across the bridge of lily’s. At the moats end and where the water meets stone, vines instantly grow and hang down from the wall loosely. These vines then sprout rose without thorn and become a densely packed spiralling staircase, which Hav and all the court do then ascend. At the top of the wall however, Hav stops momentarily, and then looking back, watches the huge golden carp that inhabit the moats waters, push their mouths out of the water to give their homage to their summer Goddess. At this praise, Hav then magnanimous throws forth a shower of insect grubs for them to dine on and then turns to survey her garden… All this time the cherry faeries have kept up their riotous twinkly clamour, flitting and flying around Hav, and also down both sides of the wall, their agitation increases and more of the faeries from the cherry trees in the centre of the garden fly to join them. Now the trees empty and left completely nude, bare branches that no longer hide the statue of the divine Hav.

Hav stands atop the wall momentarily, eyes flashing, her face proud in the knowing of her powers, the rose staircase falling away into the garden and sprawling out on the grass there. Hav as she starts to descend to the garden proper, speaks out grandly, her voice clearly carrying to every corner of the garden, though not inside her house.

“Sister Kynyav come forth, I feel your power and smell your essence, and yet I do not see your court, have you then come to visit in friendship?”

In the garden true, below Hav, the flowers along the walls boil awash with summers fullness and vigour grow bigger, greener and brighter, their scents almost overpowering. They are nevertheless completely unable to mask Hav’s own beguiling summery perfume. Hav’s faeries then lift her up in their exultation, and with no less fever, they then lower the vision that is Hav, softly to the ground so that her feet have no need to touch the rose stairway at all. Hav alights slightly to the left of the Lychee tree, and her deepest blue eyes, tinged with the slightest sea green, take in the muddle of Lychee husks beneath the trees boughs. Hav’s eye then spy the sight of the messy trail of husks and seeds that lead directly to her house..

Cora in the house of ‘Hav’.

Mouse has become somewhat frantic now, and then he runs down her arm and leaps from her fingertips to the ground, where spinning in circles he runs and scampers, squeaking his fears to Cora, whom he knows somehow he should trust? “Hide, hide, under the couch, or by the door, for I can hear, smell, and feel that Hav my Goddess approaches now, she is in her garden and is not pleased!”

Cora panics and looks from side to side, but she is no mouse that can easily hide just anywhere, and then she catches the essence of a perfume on the slight summer breeze. At the same time Cora also hears a chorus of tinkling tricky faery voices from just outside the doorway, and their voices are getting increasingly louder… It’s too late, way too late to hide and she must meet the goddess of this house just where she stands, and Cora feels dread for the first time in her life, real dread, for she can actually feel this goddess like a bramble crawling on her skin…

 

And so…. Ends Chapter 9..

The Lizards Tale – Part 9 – 9.

the mouses tail

The Mouse’s tail.

Scurry, scurry, and dash…. Hide away under the giant leaves of the dark green nasturtiums that run along the front of the flower border. Nibble, nibble, piddle, nose always at a quiver, look here, look there, a flash of cobalt in the air above, accompanied by glinting fluttering wings of darting purpose. Was that a bird? Remember to keep watch for owl or hawk, the Lady has told me that I am safe, but after all these years, I still find it hard to believe. Sit up, rub my ears, clean my glossy brown coat, twirl my whiskers, and then off I go again through the flowers, and then hastily up the nearby stonewall I scurry to its top. Once there and in a flash, off I go again, almost faster than an eye can follow. All along the grey and orange lichen covered pinnacle, before then skittering on down again to be back in amongst the nasturtiums with their dark green protective umbrella leaves, and their flowers with bright trumpets of red, orange and lemon.

What’s that out there lying in the grass, what’s that? Brownish pink, I ‘Mouse’ must have a closer look, need to have a look, must see, looking now, and then gone in the blink of a eye with my prize. Mmmm so very sweet, although almost most of it is bark like skin, and it smells a bit like ‘Hav’! I love Hav, she’s so fine with her tanned skin, and hair like spun sunlight gold, I wish she were here with me now, for we are friends, I love her so… And so off on another forage, need more food, more, more food, but maybe see if Hav is back, back home for Kynyav to do her job, will Hav then take Mouse out into the bad world to collect my winter store of food. Such succulent foods she knows for me, things like nuts, berries and mushrooms to nibble… Hav, she is the one, she is the one for me, and I’d live always in her pocket if given half a chance, in her pocket if she had one indeed! Is that Hav outside her house, is it, I hope it to be? Or its maybe one of her three sisters, don’t like Gwav, she makes me so cold, and then I damn well fall asleep, but Gwenton and Kynyav, they be fine, although sometimes so stern with each other. This one, she smells so right to me, but then again, also somehow somewhat different. I see, I must see, see now, hurry, scurry, scurry through the nasturtiums to Hav’s house, to the house of the warmest season. Please let it be Hav there, for I love her just so much, or am I too early again this year? Oh there is someone there, there I see. Oh but it’s not Hav at all, maybe Kynyav, yes it must be her, for the person has the hair and skin of that colder windier goddess, maybe she has a pocket, and we could go look for some food for me?

Kingfisher

I’m watching from a branch by the wall of the moat, that insolent girl, she’s dropping Lychee fruit casings, and then spitting the inner seed to the ground beneath her feet as she dallies along! What cheek to dirty Hav’s garden in such a way, and what with Hav being so very tidy, and not at all like her three sisters. Kynyav is definitely the worst with her dead leaves a plenty. Oh is that a minnow in the moat, I’m sure I saw. Oh there she goes again, dropping fruit skins, she’s such a naughty girl, but that is no excuse for her invasion of Hav’s garden all, was that a minnow? A flutter of my wings and I’m at Hav’s house, but the girl has gone inside, something I would not dare, unless of course I wanted a very special favour from Hav. After all, she is the Goddess of this garden. This girl is for it now, but it is my duty to tell, as I am a garden guardian, I must let Hav know as she is far away in this season of hers. Away, away to Hav’s statue in the middle of the garden with my wings all of a flutter of deep iridescent blues and greens as I fly with speed to court Hav.

And so with a fast flutter of wings, Kingfisher is right beneath the cherry trees, and there she alights on the bare shoulder of the statue of Hav. From this position as always in the past, she can whisper into Hav’s ear, and within an instant the faeries of the cherry trees sail up and up into the sky in huge agitation. And from their new arrangement in the skies, just a few split from the rank and file, to streak away out over the forest. The remainder relax back down softly to the branches of the cherry trees, there to debate in much eagerness of this intruder in their Goddesses house. For awhile all that can heard above the statue, is their disconcerted tinkling bell like voices, before once again they close their petal faces, and then they once again become peaceful, and return to looking just like blossoms.

Kingfisher decides she has done her allotted duty to her goddess Hav, and then is speedily away over the wall and muttering to her, for now she will try and capture her supper by fishing in the gardens moat. The kingfisher knows that Hav will have her own way of dealing with this invasion of her house and garden when she returns, and quickly forgets all about Cora.

Finvarra and his host.

To say that Finvarra is annoyed with Oona, is to compare a mere lit flame to a volcano in full flow, Oona’s horse is missing and Finvarra believes quite rightly that she has an assignation with Pan. Of course Finvarra has no idea that Pan has spurned her favours and attempts to court him, for Oona could never really believe that Pan will not fall for her charmed seduction, and so she is ever hopeful. Oona’s King and husband, with Nonetoogood at his side and his host right behind, finally arrives at the Rainbow Bridge, only to discover Oona upon her steed looking most forlorn. In the instant that Finvarra saw his wife Oona distraught, his temper is lost like a flame doused by water, and as once again he fell to her romance enchantment. The King now, could no longer reason or even remember just why he had been just so upset with her his Queen? Nonetoogood saw all this, but he saw right through Oona’s girlish glamour to perceive a worn and very distressed faery Queen, but he said nothing to Finvarra as he led the disgruntled host back to the stables.

Cora in the walled garden.

Cora steps from the veranda into the shaded doorway, she knows somehow that the owner of the house is far away, or it seem to feel that way to her. Cora also has needs that must be though, and this make her much braver than normal, the fruits of the Lychee will not sustain her for long, and so far she has seen no gate, nor gap to leave the garden by. The doors, for there are two, are imposing and have carved handles, on closer inspection Cora sees that they are carved like honeysuckle. Cora reaches for one of the door handle tentatively, and then grasps it firmly in her hand and pushes hard. The door swings inwards revealing a darkened room, and then Cora walks slowly in, at any moment fully expecting someone to shout out in annoyance at her entry into their home! However once inside the room, she perceives that for all ornamentation on the outside, this is a most plain dwelling inside! The room she has entered is set out for eating, and cooking, and is most likely a general day room. Once inside, what had seemed so dim from outside is in fact quite well lit and also nice and cool. Cora was glad of this, as she had been outside in the sun for far too long. It would seem to take up all of the ground floor up, and in the furthest right hand corner there are stairs that corkscrew their way up into the ceiling. Although Cora’s knows in her heart that there is no inhabitant in residence, she still calls out. “Hello, hello, is there anyone here?” Cora stood for just a little while longer, whilst listening alertly for any returning call or sound, but there’s nothing. She walks leisurely towards the end of the room and the curving stairs, and as she walks, she examines the large room that she is presently passing through. Although plain in manufacture, it’s decorated in all the colours of open field, seashore and sky, and on every wall there are the most exquisite paintings, all of which are of animals native to here in the Isles. On reaching the foot of the stairs, Cora hears her first sound! It’s a slight scratching noise from right behind her, coupled with frantic squeaking, on turning; she looks back across the room to the front door, but cannot see anything amiss. Cora is about to turn back to the stairs again, when yet again she hears the same noises, though this time she looks downwards. There on the wooden floor, she sees a little brown mouse standing on its hind legs and looking straight at her with its beady eyes.

Hav in pursuit of the dying summer.

Hav is about her business of summer enchantment, and even though it will be autumn soon, she still has woods to visit, and crops to run her hands through bring them to lasting fruition. Above Hav’s head however, a tiny swirl of cherry faeries thrum, their tiny tinkling voices raised in concern, telling their Goddess of an intruder in her innermost sanctuary. Hav nods and frowns, she has so much work left to do, so much work to accomplish for her father the Man, but it would appear that she was needed at home! So with a flourish, Hav spins, her golden hair like a sheet of woven sunlight flying around her stern countenance like spun gold. Where Hav had stood, there now appears twirling, and fanning curls of wild roses, white, pink, and on through to the deepest wine red, but then even they slowly fade out into thin air, leaving just dust motes swaying in the summer sunshine. Hav is on her way back to her garden of summer wonders, and beware the indolent intruder who thinks to tarry in the house of Hav.

Outside of Hav’s walled garden at the forest edge.

With first there is a riot of many hued roses climbing out of the leaf mould, and then Hav’s arrival is announced by the escort of cherry faeries all singing out her praises to all and sundry? They are now in the Mans glorious woodlands of the garden, and there is no longer a need to hide themselves from the tardy men of the outside world, so they can sing loudly in her praise. Hav herself appears in a flowery flash, resplendent in her tartan Celtic cloak of yellows and greens, and the forest fills with her beguilingly exotic perfume. Her scent which now pursues any casual watchers, and then with enchantment, magics all or any with the love of her summer season. It is then that with attendant faery court, Hav glides to very edge of the glade, and from this vantage point observes her summer garden beyond its protective moat. Kingfisher sees her arrive resplendent, and fly’s in a flurry of snapping wings to pay court, while also telling her own tale to Hav without hesitation. Hav listens and her visage changes not, for she believes that the intruder will be another Goddess, and one of her three sisters, mostly likely Kynyav, as kingfisher has described this woman to her perfectly.

Cora in ‘Hav’s’ house.

Cora slowly and gently kneels down on the floor before the little brown field mouse, which continues to squeak most frantically. Cora without thinking offers her hand to the mouse to help it climb up, and the little thing without any hesitation, jumps upon her fingers, and then laughingly Cora bears it up to her ear. Mouse has much to say, and Cora finds to her astonishment that she can actually comprehend these squeaks!

 

 

The Lizards Tale – Part 9 – 8.

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Cora in the walled in garden of Hav.

Cora awoke with a start; she had been dreaming that she was falling out of a tree! She looked around herself and found she was in a tree! The Cora saw the garden from her perch and remembered where now found herself, and she saw that the garden was even now falling into dusk. It was hard for Cora to believe that she had slept that long, but the proof as they say is in the pudding. Cora knew it had been about midday at least when she had fallen asleep in the warmth of the sun, and with her back to the trunk of this tree. From her post high up in the tree, Cora could see across the garden to the cherry trees and the statue that they hid, and also way over to the opposite corner. Cora saw there was no opposing tree in the far corner, but she did notice that the sky was now clear of clouds, and turning a much darker shade blue. Cora checked back along the way she had come, it looked exactly the same as it had when she had walked that way earlier in the day. She had hoped that maybe a gateway had magically appeared whilst she had been asleep, but no such luck. However when she looked in the opposite direction along the wall, there appeared to be a house set into that corner of the garden, and she had certainly not noticed that before. This house from what she could see, appeared to be decorated with golden sunbursts along the roofs peak, and it had aquamarine fish scale tiles for a roof. The woodwork below the roofline seemed to be a marigold colour and might have animals and flowers engraved into its surface. It was difficult from Cora’s position to see the finer detail, how curious she thought. Cora stood carefully, and for the first time she looked over the wall and then into the grounds beyond the walled garden.

All Cora could see on the other side of the wall was water, water that ran for about twenty yards away from the wall, and then beyond that there was short grass, which looked almost as though it had been mown short so well kept was it. Fifty yards of grass and then huge old trees, a real forest of what looked like huge oaks, each one of which would easily dwarf the tree that Cora was standing on the bough of. Her position on the bough didn’t allow her to see properly to the foot of the wall in front of her. Cora had to guess that the water of what she thought of as a moat went right up to the wall? She wondered if the moat was to keep things out, or maybe keep them in? Cora examined the forest from her vantage point, but because the trees grew so close together, she couldn’t make out much detail of what was below the boughs of the trees. She saw nothing moving or out of place for such a forest, and certainly no sign of any Faeries. Cora frowned did she believe in faeries? The last day, or it might be couple of days, for she wasn’t at all certain of how much time had elapsed, might just be her imagination. One thing Cora didn’t know yet however, was that time didn’t flow in the garden as in the world outside of it’s walls, and that some places had no time, whilst others where in the future, and indeed some were in the past, and all at the same time.

Cora decided she needed to make a decision as to if she was going to spend the night up here in the relative safety of the tree, or drop down to the garden and then make her way to the house? She looked out along the wall again towards the house, the golden sunbursts looked appealing and also inviting in some way, and she hadn’t seen anyone or indeed anything threatening so far. Cora realised that actually she hadn’t seen anything apart from the statue and the little faeries, so she couldn’t see any reason for not exploring further this evening. Cora made one more decision though, and that was to collect some more of the delicious Lychees to take with her. So she scrambled carefully along the bough again, but this time much more confidently. Cora gathered the little bunches of fruit into her hoodie, and then got down very carefully from the tree, and it was considerably easier getting down, than climbing up earlier. Once firmly on the ground again, Cora then made a makeshift pouch out of her hoodie for the fruits, leaving a few out to eat now, she then tied the hoodie by its sleeves around her waist. She set off for the house, peeling one after another of the fruits that although very sweet, did not seem to slake her thirst or fill the gap in her now very empty tummy. Cora knew she would need some real food soon, or she would begin to feel faint, but the water issue was more pressing. The house wasn’t so far away as he had though originally and as Cora drew nearer, and nearer, she started to make out more than a few interesting details. The little house in the corner appeared to be designed like a pagoda, and completely built of carved woods. There were lots of flowers growing up and over parts of the building, but it seemed to be in a good state of repair, but Cora knew somehow that human hands hadn’t built it. There was a slightly alien feel about its appearance, Cora couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was that marginally disturbed her eye, but there was definitely something. Cora wondered if the owners of the garden lived here, and if she might meet them, but as of yet there appeared to be no one at home?

There is a sudden startling flash of violent cobalt as something small dashes across Cora’s path behind her, a blaze of rainbow wings. From the position of a large flower stem, the stalk bent with the weight of this garden occupant, tiny piercing eyes watched Cora’s back as she slowly walked from the Lychee tree along the wall towards the house… The owner of the sharp eyes clung to the stalk, and then flew at a furious speed to the Lychee tree, and once there it alighted on one of the boughs. The owner of the eyes was not amused at Cora’s peeling of the fruits that she was eating, or her dropping of the outer shells to the ground, as she left a messy trail behind her. The eyes watched as Cora ate the soft interiors of the Lychee, and then spat the large black shiny seeds messily out onto the grass… Just who in the goddesses name did she think she was to come here into this garden, and then treat it like a refuse tip?

Rook under the shade of the hawthorn.

The big red beastie got nearer, and nearer, and it was then that Rook realised that it was heading straight for him. The accompanying dogs were yipping and snarling at one other, were obviously happy with something or other. Then Rook put all the facts around him together, for he could be quite clever at times, Pan hadn’t slain Fox, this man and his dogs had!

Rook suddenly felt awfully nervous, Fox had been wily and no fool of an animal, and if man had slaughtered him, then it could be regretful for Rook to be found in the place of Fox’s demise by man. So without further adieu, Rook hopped wholly into the full sunlight, shook his wings out and made ready to go aloft into the deep blue sky. As Rook submitted to the sunlight, he heard the dogs set up an massive baying, and on turning his head to peer slightly myopically towards the approaching big red beastie, he saw that the dogs were now rushing directly towards him. Flapping his wings frantically, Rook managed to just get off ground as the dogs arrived. One of the dogs nevertheless took a prodigious leap upwards to try and bring Rook back to the earth again. Luckily for Rook though, as the dog left the ground, his companion tried to muscle in on the action, and so both dogs collided with a solid thump, and then fell away yapping crossly. Rook flapped a little higher as the big red beastie, and its rider arrived at the tree. Rook managed to turn away flapping his black wings and began to head out over the hawthorn, but as he gained a little more height, he heard a roar of dark sound from somewhere near behind him! Rook abruptly found himself pushed upwards and his wings buffeted fiercely, and then he realised that he was going down swiftly towards the ground again. Rook also found he now had an accompanying sharp pain in his side as he tumbled towards the grass. The field on the other side of the hawthorn rose up to met him sharply as he crash-landed in a fluttering black heap, a cloud of feather slowly following in his wake. Rook had been wounded by something, and which he suspected to be the man’s thunder stick, that and he was also winded by his crash landing. Rook knew he’d better be able to get back into the sky quickly, and then away from here. It would be only a moment’s work for the dogs to be on this side of the hedgerow, and also Rook realised now that the man had something that could reach him even when he was skybound!

Cora in the walled garden of Hav.

Cora at last reached the house that she saw now was set well back into the corner of the wall; she saw that it resembled maybe a sort of Chinese temple. The house had wooden steps that led up to a large veranda, beyond the veranda however the entranceway to the house was set back into the building. As the light dropped away to dusk, it appeared as just a black rectangular shape with no discernable door. The house had an air about it that made Cora sure that it was lived in, although for now she couldn’t make her mind up exactly what sort of dwelling place it was. The plants growing around and over the veranda were just so colourful, electric blues, violent yellows, rioting reds, and there were countless hues in between, Cora saw that a lot of the flowers had a white border and very large petals. When she moved a little closer to them, the flowers abruptly fluttered up into the air! She could see now that they were butterflies of every conceivable colour and shade, some of them were as large as Cora’s two hands put together, and others were as tiny as a penny. Cora climbed the steps up and then walked slowly onto to middle of the veranda, but she stopped short of the houses doorway that was enveloped in shadow. The butterflies’ flitted and spiralled about her, some of them at times forming a halo of just one colour around her head, almost as though she wore a crown. The others then flew faster and filled all the remaining space on the veranda so that Cora could no longer see the garden beyond.