9 June, 2010
Somehow I seem to have fallen out of fictional inspiration lately, having difficulties finding the time and inspiration to focusing my mind on it.
It is still my hope and intention to some day get back to the Wordzzle game and finish off The Slumber Party Mystery story.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Raven's Saturday Wordzzle Challenge # 100

Congratulations to Raven
for having kept this game going for 100 weeks!

Condolences to Betty
on the loss of your husband, and our blogging friend, Dr John.
We will all miss the adventures of Agent 012, 
the extraordinary village life in Pigeon Falls,
and the fiery comments from the Dragons.
Please also read the In Memoriam post at my other blog,
The Island of the Voices!

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 100

The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 46 - Sparrow and Little Lark

transfixed, treachery, basics, fragrance, sampler, pregnant, cartoons, lark, spartan
 rapid, camping, blandishments, transitory, plug-ins

They all sat like transfixed while the Brigadier General told them the story about the Indian Chief Baying Wolf and his daughter Sparrow.

Skittles was sitting next to Diana, and every now and then the discreet fragrace of her perfume tickled his senses. She had picked up a piece of embroidery from a basket nearby to work on while her grandfather told the story. It seemed to be some kind of sampler. His colleague and friend Matthew had taken up a notebook and a pencil. Skittles couldn't see whether he was taking notes, or just drawing cartoons (something of a hobby of Matt's).

"And so because of a white man's treachery," the General continuted, "Sparrow found herself pregnant without a father for her child. And she died giving birth to a little half-blood, who grew up with her grandfather and whom he called Little Lark. But Little Lark too, as she became a grown woman, fell in love with a white man. And when Baying Wolf saw that he could not stop her, he gave her his blessing. But after she had gone away, he felt that his end was coming, and he went up into the mountains to find his final resting place. And there was a terrible snow storm that night, and his remains were never found. But Little Lark inherited his treasure chest. The contents may seem spartan to you, but this is the headband and the feather worn by Sparrow on the day that she gave life to Little Lark, and gave up her own."

"And where do the bones come into it?" asked Matthew curiously. He had in fact been writing down the basics of the story in his notebook.

"Ah, the bones!" said the General. "Yes. What do you make of them?"

All the men leaned over the chest and looked again at the small pieces of broken bones.

"Well," said Adam, who by now had almost forgotten why he had come, and was just as fascinated as the others by the story. "They certainly don't look human to me. I would say bird bones, actually."

"Ah," said the General. "And now you wonder, don't you, how some bird bones came to be seen as holy relics?" He did not wait for their answers, but continued: "You see, among these Indians, there was the idea that when someone died, they took the form of the animal whose name they bore. And these are sparrow bones."

"As I've told you before, I never thought that made any sense," said Diana in the background. "Because it's the soul that's supposed to turn into animal, isn't it. Not the body."

"Now, well," said her Grandfather. "Remember Baying Wolf. His body was never found either."

"So," said Matthew, "you're suggesting some kind of transitory change of body before final death? Don't think I ever heard of that one before."

"I'm not saying I believe it," was the rapid reply from the General. "Just telling you what the legend says."

"It's a remarkable story," said Skittles. "And I'm impressed with your narrative skills. But you have not yet told us how the chest came to be in your possession. Or how you learned about the legend."

"I was coming to that," said the General. "No blandishments needed, but you must have a little patience with an old man. I'm not adapted to this modern plug-in world! I belong to a generation in which the telling of a story was allowed to take time. Especially since I have Indian blood running through my veins."

He looked very pleased with himself when he saw the surprise in the faces of his audience.

"Yes," he said. "Little Lark was my mother. And when I was a young boy, she used to take me camping in the Indian territory up in the mountains where she grew up. Although she married a white man, she never forgot about her roots. She was a wise woman, and she knew much about the old Indian traditions. She taught me a lot more than just legends, too."

He fell silent, and glanced at his granddaughter.
Diana nodded at him, and said: "Yes. Go on. You should tell them."


  1. You are such a good story teller! This was wonderful. I didn't want you to stop. Thanks for the balloons and helping to celebrate the 100th wordzzle. Your memorial for Dr. John was lovely.

  2. Tell them what? Oh, is the mystery finally to be revealed? This was really good writing, the words just fitted in so well.

  3. A story has its own rhythm and time. You tell it so well!