Story for the Day: The Secret Life of Mr Craw
Mr Craw is Rautu's messenger gull. He has a distinctive personality and enjoys his nicknames and attention. We often joke about him having a secret life. Maybe he might.
The Secret Life of Mr Craw
|Mr Craw and his party hat|
Mr Craw had been flying over the Northern Continent for the better part of the day, conveying the Den Asaan’s correspondence from Frewyn to his brothers on Sanhedhran. He had flown over the Dremmwel Sea, rested in Marridon, was roused by the sounds of the Triumvirate’s billowing and quarrelsome machines, had traveled to Lucentia capital, plunge to take up a small parcel from the roof roost of Ladrei’s guildhall, and by the time he had reached Khantara Ghaasta, he was well exhausted from having flown nearly across both continents in only two days. His wings ached, his back was sore, and if only he did not have the parcel to convey to the islands on Kai Linaa’s account, he should have surmounted his previous record of having reached the islands by the gloaming of the second day. Hunger and the need to fish overwhelmed him, though Rautu had overfed him before taking his leave of Frewyn, fatigue would not allow him to make the last long flight over the Northern Sea, clouds were rolling in from the west with great alacrity, and he was therefore obliged to find rest and shelter for the evening.
He landed near the marketplace in quest of a excellent piece of Lucentian bread that fallen from the hand of a careless child, but the lanes had just been cleaned and there was little to be found beyond a few small seeds near the fountain. A few goshawks were circling about, flying down from their homes in the high trees, searching for a few of the larger fish that the Laustari had left to dry in the torrid afternoon sun. There were a few fish head and tails to be ate, left over from the meals of the Haanta spearfishers along the nearby shore, but the goshawks were already bickering with themselves over who was to have the eyes or the mouth, and Mr Craw being a bird of quality, of even temper and of the highest stamp, would not spoil his refined character on these birds of inferior nature. They were extraordinary hunters and aviators, but their boorish manners were enough to make them unprepossessing and ill-disposed for company. He must find another fish, and he began flapping ardently over the edge of the shore, scouring the coast, when he suddenly heard a familiar call. He turned in the director of the shrill and quick chirps, and there on the top of a nearby mizzenmast was Aiola. He was calling him thither in a loud accent, entreating him to follow his stream toward his master. Mr Craw complied and went with all the solace and happiness that seeing an old friend at such a time could warrant.
They flew toward the Haanta settlement, gliding over crowds of Haanta men and women ending their work for the day and retiring to their homes, where they had only to listen to the hymns of the Rhupkhina and be indulgent of one another’s company under the glory of summer dusk. Mr Craw swayed back and forth over the currents in rhythm to the muted beat of the skin drums when he was suddenly forced to bank and dive toward the temple. From the garden surrounding the temple grounds came Khantara and Anelta. As the settlement was where their affection first flourished, they had the custom of visiting it once a season to be reminded of their attachment’s beginnings and feel their love anew, honouring one another within the temple where they each had shared their first Khopra. It was a simple observance, but one with lasting effects: her complexion was as youthful as it had been in its first bloom, and the fifty years that Khantara had been made suffer without his Haasta Leraa had been forever smoothed away by their ritual. They were jovial, they were openly doting on one another as though their elevated ages had borne them no ill-will, and it was in their glow of admiration for one another that Aiola called out to his master and flew down from the skies to perch upon his extended finger. He bore his news of Mr Craw’s coming, which merited smiles from both Khantara and Anelta, and the former raised his other arm to invite his old friend to rest his aching wings.
“Kodhanaas, Bhontaa,” was Khantara’s genial greeting. “We are pleased to see you well.”
Mr Craw nodded his head and made a few squawks.
Delighting in the powers of Sotaa and able to understand his friend, Khantara laughed at the gull’s remarks and shook his head. “Come,” said he, speaking aloud for his mate’s sake, “you will join us for Abharaas in the garden and you will rest in our home for the night. Tomorrow, we will return to the islands together and you may bring your messages to Leraa and Otenohi.”
Mr Craw could not refute such a generous offer and was contest to do little else at present other than sit and eat.