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Just thought I'd share this with you all-- it's her assignment for English, write a fable in the style of "Beedle the Bard" or Aesop's Fables".

The Corrupt Augurey

06-08

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful phoenix who nested on a nearby mountain. He, not being native to the area, was noticed by the other inhabitants of the mountains when its song pierced the silence. An augurey colour observed the bird from afar. He thought it unfair that he, also considered a phoenix, was so undervalued – his cry didn’t fill the hearts of the brave with hope and strength – in fact, his cry was considered a death omen, even when he was only attempting to inform unwary wizards of coming rain. The augurey also envied the phoenix’s beautiful scarlet and gold plumage – his plumage was often compared to a vulture’s—an ugly bird that everyone despised.

That night, the augurey decided to take action. Spreading his wings and taking off into the night sky, his form cast a shadow against the twinkling field of stars above him. The sky was barely lit by a gibbous moon, for clouds were hiding the moon covertly – but the way the little light reflected upon the augurey, those who observed from below saw him as bigger than he really was. They thought that they were being savagely hunted by some sort of dragon who was flying at high altitudes, plotting their deaths. All of a sudden, the phoenix swooped down among them; he had heard them worrying and wished to help calm them. He finished his speech with a cry to hopefully scare the dragon off, hoping the beast was impure of heart –however, the augurey heard this and just was infuriated once more; the phoenix, longing for attention once more! He quickened his flight away from the mountains. Everyone on ground thought the phoenix’s song had frightened the dragon off.



The augurey landed gracefully upon a cragged rock in the midst of a shadowed valley. This was the home of a well-known Dark wizard; a wizard who surely could help him in his quest to be recognized and appreciated. The man, a middle-aged English sorcerer with salt-and-pepper hair and a slight moustache, listened carefully to the augurey’s problems with a devilish smile. He suggested somehow murdering the phoenix and taking charge of the mountain range by crying himself – with no regular phoenix to worship, they’d surely start worshipping the Irish phoenix in place. The augurey saw this as a stroke of utmost brilliance – but asked the wizard if he had ideas on how to exterminate the phoenix. He gracefully took a package from the desk inside his study and gifted the augurey with it – he said it was a cursed necklace that caused death to anyone who touched it. It, thankfully, was wrapped securely. The Irish Phoenix eagerly took the package in his beak and thanked the Dark wizard sincerely before setting off into the skies once more. After this plot was established, the augurey became much more cheerful, even around the phoenix. Its once mournful looking feathers were puffed up slightly. He decided to make his move in the evening, right after twilight.



The augurey silently soared up to the phoenix’s nesting place on the peak of the mountain, trying to contain his glee. He had the necklace clamped in its beak, the paper wrapping the cord so that the augurey himself didn’t touch it. He came upon the slumbering phoenix and, without a moment’s hesitation, slipped the cursed gemstone necklace around its neck. Instantly, the phoenix burst into flames that could even be seen from the forests surrounding the mountain. In less than a minute, he was a pile of ashes.



The Irish phoenix cackled gleefully and took off. Many a creature was watching, in awe – they all presumed it had been the phoenix’s Burning Day. However, the augurey soon came plummeting down from the mountain, holding a burning twig in its talons. He told the rest of the phoenix’s tragic demise and that he was to be ‘replacing’ him. All the creatures were grief-stricken. Then, with a flicker of brilliance, the augurey contemplated setting himself ablaze; there was a stream right below he could extinguish himself in, it would be a sign of power, and in ‘honour’ of the phoenix. So, he took the twig in his talons and caught one of his feathers ablaze; and soon it began to spread. At first, it wasn’t so bad. He spread his fiery wings proudly, being stared at by the other creatures, and releasing a loud shriek, which to him sounded much grander than a phoenix’s cry; but to others, merely was cringe-worthy. Suddenly, a wind swept through where the phoenix was perched and caused the flames to flare, blocking his view and engulfing his entire head. In a panic, he spiraled to the ground in search of the stream, but landed on the ground, crumpled in a fiery heap. None of the creatures ventured near, for fear of being caught ablaze themselves. And so was the end of the augurey; all that was left after a while of blazing was a pile of ashes. Soon a heavy rain came and extinguished the fire – after all, an augurey’s cry is considered to be foretelling of rain.

In a few days’ time, no one had seen the phoenix. It had been believed that he really was, indeed, dead. However – soon the Dark wizard who had helped the augurey came to fetch the cursed necklace back, for fear of losing a valuable item to a mere bird. As he was pulling out a thick cloth to pick the necklace up from the ashes with, a strong, beautiful cry came from right above him – and when he looked up, the phoenix was hovering there, in a fury, talons outstretched. The Dark wizard was taken by surprise and fell – right onto the necklace, no less. He instantly died, his features freezing and the light leaving his eyes. The phoenix swooped down majestically to the forests to apologize for his absence and to tell them the tale of what had actually happened; he had heard the augurey’s speech while being reborn from the ashes. The creatures rejoiced – all was well.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
foxmagic
Jun. 17th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
This is magnificent!

Such a wonderful sense of mood, of emotion in your characters, and such a rich vocabulary that really evokes a 'sense' of the world in which your characters live (or expire, in the case of the villains - serves 'em right!).

This reads like a classic fairy tale. I very much look forward to reading more from you!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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