I love ravens.
I know, I know, I seem to love a lot of scary pointy things. Cats, dragons (yes they are real, shut up), birds of prey, and now ravens. Sue me. Cute and cuddly gets boring after a while. 😉
I first saw ravens at the Tower of London, when I was 14. I love the legend that the kingdom will fall if they ever leave. Of course, England cheats and keeps their wings clipped. There are signs everywhere advising tourists not to feed them. Some people try it. I think being pecked is a just reward for being stupid, myself.
Since then I’ve seen them in various locations in Scotland, where they are often a bit harder to find. One such place is Threave Castle. Its lonely island location and bloody history fit well with the croaking of the ravens who nest there. Of course, the bloody history part is true of most Scottish castles – several of which house ravens.
Ravens feature strongly in Scottish myth and legend. The Brahan Seer of the Highlands was purported to have found his ‘divining stone’, which he held up to his eye to see the future, in a raven’s nest. This seer met a horrible end, burned to death in a barrel of tar for telling the Countess of Seaforth things that she did not wish to hear. He prophecied that a raven and a dove would circle above the place where he was executed. If the raven landed, he was bound for hell, but if the dove landed, he would go to heaven. According to watchers, the dove landed and the raven flew away. Ravens also feature in many of his other prophecies.
Who doesn’t love Edgar Allan Poe? If you’re a fan of the creepy and macabre, that is. His poem ‘The Raven‘ has long been a favourite of mine. (Not to mention that a line from it is used in one of my favourite movies ‘The Crow’. Yes, okay, mixing up crows and ravens – I don’t care, the movie’s great.)
Anyhoo…I wrote a little micro fiction for Friday Phrases a few weeks ago. Friday Phrases, for those who don’t know, is a micro fiction party on Twitter every Friday (strangely enough). It’s great fun and good practice in being concise. There is a theme each week, although you don’t have to follow it. That week’s theme was ‘Never mind’. This is what I wrote:
‘It’s “Nevermore”, you stupid raven.’
Thanks, Edgar Allan Poe, I thought, as my eyes were summarily pecked out.
Sorry, Edgar! My tweeps seemed to like it though. 😉 I’ll finish with a great pic I found. Hope Mr Poe would approve.