Historical setting: 589 C.E. when Brittany was forest
I lay my fleece under the thatch roof of the hunters, Auldouff and Heinrique, while the thief, who is now known to these people by a name is welcomed into the shelters of the women of this tribe. And the white berries of the mistletoe ritual affirm the magic still works for them.
This new morning the hunters pack light travel bags and take up their quivers of arrows. I have my bag, and only the one arrow that was probably in these quivers before it was offered to quill the evils of the underworld in the gift of rabbit. It is no secret I am ill prepared for the hunt. Leaving on the same path the thief and I followed yesterday we find our bows still hanging in the limbs of the tree. Of course, Auldouff nudges his brother for a rude remark about the greenwood stick I’m calling a bow.
“I can learn from you Auldouff, how to make a proper bow, and I will listen carefully to your instruction for making the arrows. One of you must be an excellent fletcher.” I humbly yield.
“We both are.” answers Heinrique,
“But how would you know an arrow from a stick?” adds Auldouff.
“I know because this arrow that I found while following your tribe was probably the work of one of you, and it is an excellent arrow.” I string my greenwood stick, and notch the arrow on the string, then I draw the bow and the arrow takes a quick straight path precisely into a piece of dead wood. They’re surprised and possibly impressed. But with nearly six hundred years to learn many things and lots of time to practice each thing, one would suppose I would have outgrown my need for such a prideful display of my talents. But really, aren’t we all waiting for me to show off a bit?
Heinrique and Auldouff each take a turn testing my bow. It really is nothing more than a green stick, and I choose not to explain that the so-called ‘magic’ is simply years of practice.
This day the other two don’t walk ahead of me. I seem to be accepted now as one of the hunters as we search a very specific target for our first day out. Heinrique says we are hunting partridge today, for food we can carry with us, and feathers for making arrows.