Historical setting: 588 C.E. Forest Primeval
My story continues, “What they found was the star shining for the birth of a child. There was a mother and baby, a fire that warmed them, a human fellow who cared for them, a donkey ready to carry them to a safer place later, and they were all bundled up and knitted together into a semblance of family. Even the amazing star would be easy to see for anyone looking, except for this King who never looked up at anything beyond himself.
“This great hinge that turned the world that night was love come to earth. That magical power for rule was simply caring for a tiny new baby. But despite all the promise, the only power Herod could muster was to bring death and destruction down on his own people by his jealous rage. So Rachel still weeps for her children.”
The elder storyteller, Guldilyn, comes to me in the silence of this ending as the people are dispersing. “You know, you could have made that story much better if the newborn baby was a king and he cast a spell and killed off that guy Herod.”
“Sure,” I argue, “And the ‘Wild Hunt’ could have been a better story if the horde of ghost riders across the sky were only hunting rabbits.”
“I guess either Celtic-Gaul or Christian, the mother still weeps doesn’t she?” Guldilyn surmises, “But let me say this, Good Christian Man, Ezra, I’ve heard Christian myth before and it isn’t supposed to end like that. Usually it’s about magic done by a saint that just fixes any hurt the story mentioned. Like the story when the saint tore his cloak to help someone then magically he got a completely new cloak. Or the sick child was brought to the Christian bishop and the child was healed. Christian stories are supposed to end with everybody getting what they want.”
“Everyone?” I ask.
“Not for us of course. For pagans, Christian saints cut down sacred trees to save us from our sins. We have no fewer sins. Now more Christians come from the island on the sea. They brought not a crust of food with them, so fairies rise up from the earth when they are asleep and boil porridge for them. When they wake they thank God for the miracle. But of course we all know this so-called miracle has a true source. The fairies are helping them.”
(Continues Tuesday, January 4, 2022)