Historical setting: 589 C.E. when Gaul was forest
“So doesn’t that big old Christian story book have any tales of a wild hunt?” Guldilyn, the storyteller, asks.
It’s only the two of us here because any who would be waiting to hear another tale have simply wandered off.
“I think it was the pale ending where, after the birth of God’s own son, Rachel was left weeping for her children. I probably ended it too soon.”
“Probably.” Guldilyn reminds me, “we all expect Christian stories to be dulled with easy magical miracles; yet in that story there wasn’t fantastic magic, only a simple miracle of love and beauty. Everyone – our tribe, Largin’s tribe, Christians, sinners and monks alike — all of us get love and beauty I suppose, and children, and deaths, and griefs. And everyone knows in the end comes the weeping.”
The elder storyteller awaits my defense. She stares from her ageless grey eyes at the empty places around the fire circle and I know her expectation was for a popular story.
I answer, “Maybe the Christian bible does have a story of the Wild Hunt.”
I’m thinking maybe I could gather up the ancient Hebrew monsters and myths and recite the longing tale of the end times. “There is a big roaring, hissing horror all pieced together from myth with proper acountings of extra eyes and heads and wings measured in magical numbers like sevens to tell the secrets of God if only we could decode it all. And even more popular The Revelation speaks of judgment to rout out sinners.”
She suggests, “I knew Christians would have a good story.”
And I’m not so sure either, if the popularity of her pagan story is in the random harrowing, so much as all the noise and destruction it tells.
I answer Guldilyn aloud, “Do you think people are looking for stories from religion where human behavior empowers the judgments of God or in your case, gods?”
“Do you mean where human cunning determines the outcome? No, people don’t want that. They want superheroes.” She consoles, “Don’t take it so hard young fellow. It was a first attempt. Surely Christians must have something that’s popular. We’ve heard there is a band of Christians with lots of followers. Find out what stories Father Columbanus has to tell. Even though he means to be hidden away in the Vosges wilderness he’s very popular.”