The Boy and The Raven

 Featured art by Vladislav Agafontcev. Click title image to visit his studio.

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Thomas Newman “The Baudelaire Orphans”

The little boy was hopelessly lost in the woods
With nightfall ominously looming
Every now and then he could have sworn he spotted light
Alas, this proved mere optical illusion

Having wandered too far from his parents’ plain sight
It appeared he was doomed to remain for the night
They’d be frantic
No less
Likely, insane with fright
For this forest had been known to endanger those blind
To the strangers inclined to delight in the plight of an innocent child meek, mild and polite

There were tears in the spheres of eyes no longer wide
For worst fears are most clear on the best spots to hide
Little boys had been known to disappear in the thicket
Whatever fate awaited him was quite clearly wicked
Seemed senseless to break down and cry with the end so relentlessly predicted
Thus, he ventured forth cautiously
Ever remorsefully
Silent as a hibernating cricket

It was then that he spotted an unusual tree
Standing all alone, most unusually free
This, in itself, felt unusual feat
Thus, he summoned all his strength, headed there with unusual speed

Perched upon the very tallest bough was a raven
Not the kind of bird he’d been taught would request
Any less than death by pure association
Magpies were the thieves, ravens merely begged to borrow
Front row seats for sorrowful tomorrows
At least, that is what he had been led to believe
By those who deemed their blackened eyes hollow

Had he listened to the rumours, then he never would have sutured to the clear line of sight of such uninvited suitor
However, he had never felt so charmed to advance
Disinclined to believe warning pleas of this fine beast’s accusers
Its plumage most fetching, flecked in silvery ash
Its unblinking stare seemed austere
Yet, as he drew near, he discerned a single tear
It was clear in this moment
This was no feared opponent
Better yet, its sole intentions were sincere

With that, the kindly raven took flight
Ushering the little boy through very deadest night
He huffed and he puffed, seemed too much to keep up
But eventually it led him back to light
For all the forewarning of dueling protestors
This fine bird was not a thing less than protector
Would not see him fall to the shadows that crept
Had heeded his call which is why it had wept
Safe from a cruel fate the raven undressed

Consoled that his soul had been vigilantly kept
The little boy turned to address his new friend
Yet, the raven was no longer present
Seemed senseless to break down and cry
For, his wide eyes confided
That flight path aside
It would never one time leave his side

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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    1. This piece has a special branch in my heart. So thrilled you enjoyed your stroll through the oaks. I love telling tales like these, and the young man I wrote it for is a credit to his parents and older sister. Indeed, she represents the raven in this piece. It’s about the unconditional bond between siblings. There are more layers within, but that is where the seed first bloomed.

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