Wednesday, March 25, 2009

End and Beginning

„...when Mo looked up into darkness, saw a bird sitting among the web of roots, a bird with gold plumage and a red mark on its breast. It was staring down at him from a bird’s round eyes, but the voice that came from its beak was the voice of a woman.
“Who are you?” Mo looked at the White Women. Then he looked at Dustfinger’s still face.
„Guess.“ The bird ruffled up its golden feathers, and Mo saw that the mark on its breast was blood.
“You are Death.” Mo felt the word heavy on his tongue. Could any word be heavier?
“Yes, so they call me, although I might be called by so many other names!” The bird shook itself, and golden feathers covered the leaves at Mo’s feet. They fell on his hair and shoulders, and when he looked up again there was only the skeleton of a bird sitting among the roots. “I am the end and the beginning.” Fur sprouted from the bones. Pointed ears grew on the bare skull. A squirrel was looking down at Mo, the bird had spoken now came from its little mouth.
“The Great Shape-Changer, that’s the name I like!” The squirrel shook itself in its own turn, lost its fur, tail and ears and became a butterfly, a caterpillar at his feet, a big cat with a coat as dappled as the light in the Wayless Wood – and finally a marten that jumped on to the bed of moss where Dustfinger lay, and curled up at the dead man’s feet.
“I am the beginning of all stories, and their end,” it said in the voice of the bird, in the voice of the squirrel. “I am transience and renewal. Without me nothing is born, because without me nothing dies...”

(Cornelia Funke - Inkdeath)

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