Lost stories from a childhood in Winterwood.

 
Fyaril. Or maybe, Fyarils.
Book ?  
Do you remember the tales we were told when we were hatchlings?
A bit - not that much. Should we ?  
I can't tell. I guess that since I do have some memory of these, that's alright. I was thinking about these, and how things have change since.
Mind to tell us about these a bit ?  
Sure. Remember when we were told about the Big Bad Men ? When we were young, we wanted to explore the world around. And the tribe's Shaman kept telling us about them, these Evil Men who were waiting for us around the corner. If you stray to far away from the tribe, you will find the Men. They are tall and strong. They are a bit stupid, and they really don't like us. If you get too close to them, they will take you away and you may never see your tribe again. That's what they were telling us.
Is it ?  
Yes. And you know what the funny thing is ? They were partly right. The very first time we flew away, out of anger, we were captured and taken away. We never saw anyone alive in the tribe again. However, and that's the scary part, they were wrong. It wasn't a group of Big, Bad Men that took us away, but a tribe of nomadic birds; even if they were associated with humans, a lot of other birds are. And the worst thing is, some humans were really nice and welcoming to us. In the end, there are no Evil Men versus Good Birds. There aren't really any Evil People. From their point of view, everyone is almost always doing the right thing. Only thing is, based on their backstory and context, some of these right things are opposed to one another. Unlike in our childhood tales, we can simply base ourselves on one's number of limbs, size or feathers to classify them as Evil, because Good and Evil are not really absolute things. And that's the scary thing, if you ask me.
It is.  
There was also the tales of the Evil Spirits, remember ?
No.  
Our parents kept telling us that if we tried too much to use the spirit world, evil spirits would come into our head. They would whisper bad things to you, and make us crazy. They would make us have nightmares, and see weird things until we can't really tell anymore if things are real or inside our mind.
Well, you've got to admit that they were right with that, weren't they ?  
Indeed. The stories of these evil spirits were almost perfectly accurate description of the Call of the Wall, with the nightmares, the split personalities, the lack of distinction between the material and the spiritual worlds. The only thing they got wrong, is where the spirits came from?
What do you mean ?  
Well, what they told us was that the evil spirits were lurking around, and were attracted to your head if you used the spirit world too much. But that is wrong. The evil spirits don't come from anywhere, they are always within you. They aren't entities that come from somewhere else, they are just parts of our own consciousness that rebel and separate themselves from the rest. After all, Fyaril, we used to be one single Self just a season ago. The nightmares, and other things, are just the parts of ourselves that try to control the others, and don't really succeed. The unvolontary reading of the surrounding minds is just caused by our absolute lack of self control, even increased by our fragmented minds.
That's scary too. The demons you must avoid don't come from the out side, they were always a part of you until you unleashed them.  
Exactly.   There was another hatchling tale that I remember. The White Nester. It was the story of a very old bird, older than the elders of the tribe, who gave gifts to well-behaving kids. If you were behaving well throughout the year, if you obeyed, and got to sleep early, then the White Nester would visit you. It would give you gifts, such as the ability to fly faster, to jump higher, to think smarter... However, if you behaved poorly, your nest might be filled with insects.
Yuck. To you remember if we behaved well ?  
We didn't really... I remember at least one time when we woke up to a few dozen woodlouses creeping in our nest. But I don't think our parents were really that harsh on us, even though we were probably not the best behaved.
Sad to think that the only tale that hasn't proven true here is the one about a nice white birds granting you gifts...  
That was my feeling as well.


Cover image: by Pouaseuille

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