in those days....
when the sons
Time: Before The
Place: A forest, somewhere
in the Mesopotamia.
It had started to rain, and Luina and her children had never seen rain, before. Their father was off hunting; he would return soon. Anatok took good care of them: going hunting every morning, and bringing back food for them by noon. Luina nestled the new baby against her breast, and let him
suckle. Luina pushed her long hair back; up here in the mountains the air was always cool, and fragrant with flowers.
She hadn't always lived so high up in these mountains; as a child, she had lived far down in the warmer valleys below.
Luina hadn't seen her father or neighbors in a very long time......not since she had been carried
away to this place: far, far away from people. No one lived up here besides the mountain animals, and
she and her children...
and, of course, their
How long had it been?
Her firstborn was now
five and a half years old....and each year a new baby had come. And, yet Luina was still so very young......too young to
understand what had
happened to her, or
Anatokin, the two
year old, toddled over
with a daisy grasped in his plump fist.
Luina, cradling the baby, laughed and
accepted Anatokin's small gift.
He was just like
Anatok always brought flowers to her, too......ever since that
Luina looked up at the cloudy sky. How strange: the little drops of water were now becoming larger: beating against their heads, and eyelashes. The children began to cry.
"Let's go INSIDE.....children!
Luina's dress was
becoming wet, and
its damp scent took her memory back to that fateful moonlit night.......when
she was carried away
on a wing.
The moonlight was so bright that night that
Luina could see the fireflies dancing playfully, over the carpet of thick summer grass smelling like heavy perfume.
She hadn't been able to sleep that night, and had crawled out of bed, in her long sleeping gown, to go outside and gather some flowers for the
next day's table.
Luina had leaned against the mossy side of a large tree: dozing for a few moments, and not knowing that she was being watched from a low cloud in the midnight sky. She innocently dozed, and dreamed just a little. The heavy scent of the dewy grass, and the rhythmic sounds of
the crickets, and tree frogs, and tiny chirping night birds
had seduced her, like a romantic lullaby.
On her lap was a
little basket for the flowers she was going to gather for the breakfast table, for
herself, and her widowed
Suddenly, Luina had
opened her eyes. She
had heard a sound
overhead; was it a
large bird......some night animal?
Heart beginning to beat more rapidly, Luina had slowly gotten up from her dozing spot underneath the tree, and clutching the little basket, began to walk barefoot back
toward her father's cottage.
Several moments passed. Luina, barefoot and in her
lightly over the dewy
summer grass and
even had begun to
hum a little bit. The
basket of flowers
swung gracefully under her arm; her
long soft hair, swept
along on a warm gentle breeze, caressed the sides of
slender face. She was halfway back to the cottage,
and feeling a bit more calm after hearing the strange noise in the trees,
when all of a sudden
the night sky opened
It was not the sky
overhead, but the misty
night air right
before her eyes; it
was as though a
knife were slicing
through the freshly
baked crust of a
The slice became a
strange, billowy fold in the air......and, suddenly a man's hand appeared: like someone putting his hand through the crack of an open doorway. An arm followed the
hand, and then the
head and shoulders
of the largest man
Luina had ever seen.
He was clad in a mesh-like material:
sparkling, and clinging.
He was barefoot also,
and had huge wings
like those of a dark
velvety butterfly. His
lenthy, wavy hair was dark also,
and framed his face
in a big soft cloud.
His face was human,
but more muscular
and handsome, with
high cheekbones and
huge slanting eyelids. He carried
no weapons nor seemed desirous of
them; his massive
shoulders were muscular, and bare,
and moved with easy
strength, and grace.
Luina had given a sharp cry, and dropped the tiny basket of flowers she had been carrying. Immediately she began to back away, stepping lightly as if trying to escape a bear.....or lion....or other awesome beast.
Then the huge
winged creature did
a surprising thing: he
looked down at the
grassy spot where
Luina had been standing, and bent forward to pick up the tiny basket; gingerly he grabbed
the stem of a lovely
daisy, closed his large slanting eyes.....and sniffed it.
Then, he opened his
eyes and gazed at
Luina, and said something in a soft
musical voice: something Luina didn't understand at
Luina cried out, put out her small palms, as if pleading. Still afraid to turn her back on the creature, she kept stepping slowly backward.....step, step, step......until her bare heel slipped over
one of the smooth rocks that hugged the grassy knoll adjacent to the little
cold trickling brook.
Luina cried out again,
as she fell straight
back into the cold
water; she still kept
holding out her pale
slender arms to protect herself.
In just two graceful steps, the creature was before her: bending down and picking her up as light as a feather. Luina cried out, and struggled frantically: hitting, and beating at his huge chest with her small clutched fists, and kicking at his muscular legs with her slender bare feet. Luina's pale long gown was soaking wet and torn; her
hair fell against her
small pointed face in
long wet ropes, matted with twigs
She was being carried, and it was
away....away from her
father's little cottage.
The creature cradled
Luina's head gently against
his warm chest, and murmured in his strange tongue. His
voice was low, and
whispery, and sweet:
like lilting music.
Luina kept pressing
her small fists against
his chest, and crying
out. She was hoping
if she kicked enough
that she could loosen
herself from his grip,
but her frenzied movements were unheeded, and fruitless.
It seemed as if
she were being carried forever, over
many hills and grassy
slopes. The light of the moon was was now hidden behind dark clouds, and the air
was quiet and still. The night
air was now chilling the wet edges of her dress, and Luina began to shiver. Almost immediately,
warm soft huge feathers enveloped her, and embraced
her soft damp body.
Her shivering subsided.
She stopped fighting,
and cradled in his
huge arms, Luina
At one point she felt
as if she were flying;
blankets of cool
air whipped past her
smooth cheeks, and
slender neck. Only,
she must have been
Perhaps it was all
But, no........her strange journey finally stopped, and
Luina could feel herself being tenderly lowered onto
a bed of the softest
grass. The air smelled sweet and
crisp, and cold: like that of a mountain top.
But Luina wasn't
cold at all.
For the huge, dark velvety wings
had enveloped her
again, and she could
feel warm lips pressed against the
pale skin above her soft breasts,
and the hollow of her slender neck,
and dimpled chin.
She gasped. Her
eyelids fluttered closed, and her small
fists pushed against
warm muscular skin, and curls
of hair dampened with sweat.
The skin smelled
like......like a lovely, dark forest
full of fragrant summer
have been kept......
"Well....it's a marvelous
night for a moon dance...."
[Van Morrison; 1970.]
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