Fairy-Stories – Part Two
The Blackbirds and the Eagle
Long had the Eagle flattered the elder blackbird, praising the great speed at which she flew. The vain blackbird loved the Eagle for his praise and wished only to please him with even greater feats of flying.
“A pity,” he mused as she twirled and dove, “that blackbirds have such small wings.” This would have made her weep had not the Eagle then spread his own, magnificent wings and asked, “Would you and all your kin like to have wings like mine?”
“Of course!” cried the blackbird, swooping and diving about the Eagle, dizzy with hope.
“Then you much fetch me a sharp stone that has been buried deep.”
The blackbird flew to the ground and dug through the earth, pulling out a jagged piece of flint. She returned to the Eagle, covered in filth, and he said, “Well done, but something else is required: a piece of well-loved string.”
The blackbird flew to a nearby nest and, while being pecked and screamed at by the fledglings within, tore from it a piece of string. She returned to the Eagle, bloodied and covered in filth, and he said “Well done, but something else is required: the sap of an ancient tree.”
A third time the blackbird flew off and found a gnarled, bent pine oozing with sap. She gathered it all on a leaf, but some of it ran into her eyes. She returned to the Eagle, almost blind, bloodied, covered in filth, and he said, “Well done, but one last thing is required: a set of wings must be lost if every blackbird is to gain my magnificence.”
Want to know what happens next, but don’t want to wait? Purchase Fairy-Stories from our store right now!
For $3.49, you can read the whole story, which would normally be serialized over the course of four weeks. This is week two of four.
You can also buy the novel The Grand Tour, a story about William Bridgeman’s journey across Europe during the twilight of magic.