Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Magra, Thela, Bes

You've heard of Magra, Thela, Bes, of course you have; there's no use in denying it.  Everyone has heard of her (or them, as some insist).  She is a tale told to children small and large to keep them good and to keep them quiet.  She's a shiver that appears at night and in storms and even on a midsummer noon, if that should serve the tale-teller's need.

In Erst she is a stealer of crops and a giver of gifts, in Shende a wise young woman who eats all those who seek her wisdom, in Afar they say ... but Afar is Afar is Afar and there's no helping what they think there.  In Otherwhile, where they have been telling tales of her since the fall of the Queens of Day, she is not one but three: a strong-backed, middle-aged woman, a bright-eyed, silver-haired dame and a bent-legged, hunch-shouldered crone.  Where she came from and where she goes no one ever will tell, but in all the tales she is to be found in forests or among mountains, always in her little cottage, from whose base sprout two gigantic, monkey-like arms, on which the cottage walks.

Some have sought her and never found her, some have found her and come away with gifts, some with nothing and some have never come away from her at all.  She is a thing of whim and wiles, never entirely to be trusted and often to be feared.  The gifts she gives come at a price, though no-one will ever know when that price will be exacted.

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