Fire side folk tale (With thanks to Wade Barker*)

There was once a very tricksy little boy who was always up too something. So much so that the villagers would pretend not too see him. Needless too say he was a nuisance. One day while siting in a tree the boy had a moment of inspiration. As a villager was walking below the tree the boy cawed like a crow and danced on the limb. The villager looked up and saw what he thought was a tengu. At first he looked scared, then he smiled. You see a Tengu is very lucky, but very tricksy. The villager ran to get a friend. One friend turned into several,several turned into many, many turned into most of the village and they all marveled a real honest to god tengu dancing in the tree.

By now the boy was playing it up, so much so that the villager brought him stuff. Rice cakes, fruit, shinny things all in an attempt to gain the Tengu’s favor. He would caw out what he wanted and they brought it. It turned into a festival. The boy danced and made faces, the villagers danced and made faces. It was a good time for everyone.

Except for the school teacher, she was not fooled, her kind are cunning and crafty, so much so that they learned too hide their tails. She saw the tengu in the tree and laughed loudly behind her hand. Then with narrow eyes and a sly smile she said

“Tengu san, when I lived in the forest, I used too play with your brothers, It was such fun watching them fly. Could you fly for me now, I miss them so, and seeing you fly would be a delight.”

Now let me tell you this was a big deal, that school teacher was loved by the village more than free raspberry torte day. Sure she was a little funny looking with that hair always down and such an odd color (reddish brown was never common) but she had a way of making everybody feel good and she was never a burden on the collective good will of the village. She always had a good answer for the issues of the village. Hell even the pesky rabbit problem went away when she showed up in the village from the forest path. Needless to say the village had a hard time saying no too her.

Well that boy in the tree knew it was over. As soon as she asked him to fly. He couldn’t fly hell he did not even have wings.

“I don’t feel like it” he shouted hoping that that would be enough too stop this.
That just made the village sing out egging him on. It started too be come a frenzy. Come on fly for the lady, … make her happy…then it was “show us” and then the big one hit.

“If you don’t fly we will chop down your tree.” That got the whole village going. They were gonna do it and that boy was in a panic.. when they found out he was just the village tricksy boy he was as good as dead. so he did what anybody who has been caught like that would do. He started too cry.
“Hey kid whatcha cryin for?”
The boy was startled, not not only was there not supposed too be anybody in the tree, They most certainly should not be some one in the tree with a big long beak like nose, feathers and wings.

“Holy shit Your a tengu!” he exclaimed

“Got it in one. Look at all these people and that stuff. Man they are dumb.”

“Yeah but there gonna kill me when they find out I’m not a tengu.”

The tengu looked at the boy and smiled

“Who says they have too find out?”

The boy looked blankly at him

“They want me too fly,and I can’t”

“Why not, whats stopping you?”

" Well boys can’t fly"

“Yeah but long lost tengu can.”

The tengu winked at the boy “Why do you think I am here?”

The boy was flabbergasted. “You mean I can fly?”

“All you have to do is jump.”

The boy’s head was swimming in an instant with how much sense it made. The pranks, the unnatural attraction too shiny things, the dislike of strange school teachers and well everything. He marched up to the end of the limb he and the tengu were perched on and Cawed at the crowd.

“Prepare too be amazed”

He looked back at the tengu who winked at him in encouragement, thumbs up and smiling. The boy felt how right this all was. He would show the whole village just how cool he was. Then it was gonna be curtains for that school teacher.

The boy jumped, the wind on his face was exhilarating and the collective awe of the crowd was palatable, and the laughter behind him was distracting. It sounded like some one trying too say dumb ass while laughing at a the funniest thing they ever saw. If you have ever been to a Billy Connely** concert you know what it sounds like. The ground came up awful fast. He tried too get out of the way but he could only go down.

He landed at the school teachers feet and before the village could get it together to rent him limb from limb for making chumps out of them. The school teacher yanked him up by his ear and smiled.

“Come with me little rabbit.”

She marched him past the whole village to the school house and he was never ever tricksy again.

Wade Barker wrote a book called “Phoenix Eye” this folk take is based on a tale told to a character in that book.
*
Billy Connely- Scottish comedian and actor who is quite possibly the funniest man alive. His take on going to the beach is a great way to laugh yourself to death.

Fire side folk tale (With thanks to Wade Barker*)

MisterRobinson

Syracuse, United States

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