Friday, 16 April 2010
A Timely Death
Death occurred at 10 o'clock. As the departed soul of Mr. Magander, lifted by angel wings, began its journey, his friends could only stand around and keep vigil. He died with his best suit one, suddenly and without a fuss as befit his stature in life.
His friends, memories over-flowing in their minds, regarded each other - a state of bewilderment having already set in. It would be hard to imagine life without this pillar of their society, but what made him really special was the timepiece.
The day he brought it home for them all to admire, was the day he won their respect. To be in possession of something so precious and to go to such lengths to purloin it, was a cause for celebration. Even on a full moon they could, if they wanted to, still see it: its gold colour a burnished glimmer in the moonlight. It was a treasure beyond price and forever his... From that day forward, they would look to him to lead them and he would have his choice of the females. It was only right.
"We must tell the gypsy," said the second in command. 'She'll know what to do."
"Where is she?" said another. "Has anyone seen her?"
They looked from one to another. Anxiety hung in the air as the clouds turned black in front of the sun.
"She washes her hair, down by the brook," said another of their number.
The gypsy saw them coming, upside down in her vision as her hair hung free and reached the water.
"What is it?' she asked as they flocked around her.
"We have a funeral to attend," they told her, their voices loud and in unison.
"Oh, I see. Must I attend?"
"You must come. Please say you will; and scatter flowers round. It's all we ask."
"I shall attend."
Mr. Magander's friends collected suitable matter for the funeral circle and the gypsy attended as she had promised.
Each friend laid a special wreath near the still body - a blade of grass, so gently laid and another and another.
The gypsy placed the time piece at his head and the chain reached to his feet: a circle of gold.
For a few precious moments, the friends stood still and said 'farewell", each in his own way and then departed. A flurry of darkened wings as they took flight...
When they had all gone, the sky seemed black, covered as it was by a cloak of magpie wings.
The gypsy, looking this way and that, stooped down and picked up the timepiece, putting it gently in her pocket.
NB Magpies are said to hold funerals for fallen friends and even bring along wreaths.
For other Magpie Tales, click here to access Willow's website.