The Clever Raven and the Mountain Lion

Without a word, she dropped to the ground. She was no longer in fear; she knew that the lion could never frighten her again.

This is the story of a mountain lion who, one day while walking through the wood, spied a clever and alluring young raven perched high in a tree. He was immediately captivated, and fell madly in love with her. He was so smitten that he immediately asked for her hand in marriage. He asked her to come down from her high branch so that they might live together in wedded bliss for the rest of their days.

She declined. And offered, by way of explanation, that she would not live her life in constant fear. Fear of having such a powerful and dangerous mate. Fear of being crushed or torn to pieces by the lion whilst in the throes of passion.

But the lion pressed, so smitten was he, “What can I do to prove my devotion to you, fair raven?”

The clever raven thought and finally offered the lion a challenge that she hoped would dissuade him, “You can prove your devotion by bringing me a gift. Bring me food.” She believed that he would fail and this would discourage further advances.”

The lion turned and dashed into the forest. The next morning when the raven awoke she looked down and spied the lion with a dead stag clutched in his maw. He dropped the deer when he spoke, “My love, I have brought you a deer. There is no finer meal to be found in the forest than fresh deer.”

“Oh my,” said the raven. “Birds, such as I, do not eat deer, we eat fruit, berries, grains and small animals but nothing so large as this. This will never do. I cannot marry you lion. You would never understand me.”

But, the lion would not be discouraged, and he continued to press. To the great dismay of the clever and alluring young raven, his attentions even increased. Each morning she would wake to find dead animals and other prizes stacked at the base of her tree but, she continued to spurn the advances of her eager suitor. Then one morning upon awakening the raven found the lion silently scaling her tree. She feared for her life and knew she must do something to permanently discourage his amour. The lion was nearly upon her when she raised her wings to ensure his attention and she spoke, “Alright good sir. I will wed thee but, your great teeth and your long claws frighten me. Prove your devotion by having your teeth pulled and your claws shorn to the nub. Do these things and I will join you in matrimony.”

The lion looked fixedly at the object of his desires, grinned toothily, and climbed down from the raven’s tree, which he had ascended. “Wait here my love, I will return in haste.”

But, he was gone for three days. On the morning of the fourth day the raven awoke to find her paramour pacing at the base of her tree. “Good morning sir,” she squawked down to him. “Have you heeded my wishes? Are we to be wed?”

He looked at her perched high above and smiled. Truly he had not a single tooth left in his head. “See how much I love you,” he crooned.

“Come up here and let me get a closer look,” the clever raven implored.

The lion leapt onto the trunk of the tree and immediately dropped again to the ground. He did this time and time again. The raven could see that his fearsome grapnels had been shorn and he could not gain purchase to climb the tree. Not even nubs remained where his mighty claws had once been. Without teeth or claws the lion was harmless; the clever and alluring raven looked down at him and without a word, she dropped to the ground. She was no longer afraid, she knew that the lion could never frighten her again.

Here are the rules:
• Your post must be dated March 30, 2014, or later.
• Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
• Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
• You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line of your submission: “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.”
• You must also include a reference to the media prompt.

 

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Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy

Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy

It makes me crazy when people wear their shoes in my house. What habit/act drives you crazy? How do you prevent it from happening?


 

Krista ran from the kitchen to her front door, “Wait, wait, wait” she said breathlessly, “can you guys take your shoes off and leave them here by the door, please?”

Ben, Michelle, and Cheri all nodded, and complied.

“Sure.” “Not a problem.” “Uh huh, of course.” They mumbled collectively as they set their zapatos neatly into the cubbies that had been erected on the wall by the door.

The occasion was a dinner/business discussion and Krista was the host. Michelle had suggested an Italian restaurant downtown but, then Krista volunteered to cook. They had all tasted Krista’s cooking before at potlucks and bake sales. Agreement was swift.

No one had been to Krista’s home before so she shared her address and they set a time for that evening. Cheri asked for no red meat and Krista was quick to concur.

She showed her guests into the house and then gave them a quick tour. Throw rugs were placed strategically around the parlor; the floor was fine Italian porcelain tile, very handsome indeed. Art was hung on the walls and there were a few small sculptures placed on tables and shelves. However, it was apparent to everyone that Krista decorated primarily with books. Books were everywhere. Books were obviously important to her, as they were to the others.

Krista’s lucky mukluks adorned her feet; the ones with the knitted patterns on the uppers, the rest of them were in socks. Cheri was wearing sheer ankle high white socks. Michelle had on tube socks with green stripes around the top. and Ben was wearing boot socks. The kind that they make sock monkeys of, the tip of Ben’s left big toe was peeking out of the top.

They passed on through into the kitchen and gathered around the island. The porcelain tile had carried on into this room as well. In fact it carried on throughout the house. The evening got underway with light banter about ‘daily prompts’ and ‘Wordpress blogs’. Krista had been running the juicer so there were kale and cucumber drinks ready. She offered to run some carrots through but everyone was happy with the green. Cheri noticed a chill creeping into her feet but she didn’t say anything. She knew it was because of her thin socks and she had left her trainers in the cubby by the front door, as requested.

Dinner was a hit with perfectly prepared Chicken Marsala as an entrée. During the meal Michelle had tucked her feet up under her butt on the chair. They were getting cold and she longed for her Ugg Boots, recently abandoned by the entrance. She knew that if she got her feet off the tile floor it would help, and it did, a bit. Ben helped Krista clear the table and then they all settled back around it with coffee, to talk, plan and visit. Nothing beats good food followed by good conversation between good friends (be they new friends or old). The evening was swimming – plans were being formalized, and there was just the right amount of workplace gossip included to keep everyone’s interest and encourage participation.

Krista noticed her friend shivering. “Are you OK, Ben?” she asked. “You don’t look comfortable.”

“I think, I may have to leave Krista. I’m freezing.” Ben replied and he lifted his foot, showed them the bottoms of his socks. They were obviously old socks and, although the weave and the weft were, for the most part, intact; they were threadbare. “I should have worn different socks.” He lamented. “I need my boots. I had a lovely evening though. Next time I’ll be better prepared.”

When Ben rose to leave, Cheri and Michelle got up too. “I guess we’ll mosey on as well.” Michelle said, “We all came in one car.”

“Thanks so much for dinner,” Cheri chirped. “I really loved the salad.”

Krista walked them all to the door and everyone said their “goodbyes” and “thanks” again.

As she watched her friends walking to the street, Krista closed the door and thought to herself “Damn, we didn’t even get to play Twister” and she stood there, leaning her back against the door, until she heard Ben’s car start up and pull away into the night.


 

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