Friday, February 22, 2008

Ravenswood Stories: Ravenswood Stories

God I'm depressed. I could list a whole load of things that are depressing me, but to be honest they're just life's usual difficulties and downers that normally I could skate over with a cynical grin and upbeat black humour. Really it's that I always come down after a few days of being bright and interesting to people and I'm always depressed in goddamn February.

That's no reason not to update the blog though. Here's something that's been lurking in the drafts for a while; a Ravenswood story. If you've been following them, you'll know that the first Ravenswood story had the story of where the Ravenswood stories came from. As might be imagined the last Ravenswood story is also a story of where the Ravenswood stories come from. Until recently that was this story, but I now have another last story, so I might as well roll out this ex-ultimate story.

Ravenswood Stories: The Scholar Who Was a Gentleman

Once there was a gentleman who visited the Ravenswood. He was a famous scholar, known throughout the lands as a wise man. The night he arrived in the town he kept all the people in the tavern rapt with wonder as he held forth on such topics as the number of pins that an angel might dance with, whether the crocodile is real or mythical, and, if real, can it be defeated by an unarmed man, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the diseases of pigs. As it happened there was an ill pig in the village and the scholar diagnosed it and prescribed a mixture of herbs which not only cured it, but gave it an interesting flavour when it was slaughtered the next month. Then he returned to the tavern and debated the storage of wines with the tavern keeper.

The next day he entered the forest looking for new knowledge, with his faithful servant and a forester as a guide. After several hours, the scholar was hungry and thirsty. The forester led him to a hidden spring, and pointed out the edible berries on the bush behind it.

The scholar's servant spoke. "Master, it seems that back in the village you are a wise man, but out here in the forest, this forester is the wise man, and you and I no better than fools."

"Ah," said the scholar, "not so. For you see, when going on a journey, you should always choose companions with skills that will be of use. I wisely brought a man knowledgeable about the forest, but he came out here with a fool."

"That certainly explains why you're over-paying me so much," said the forester. The scholar was greatly entertained and he and the forester spent the night swapping stories, before they returned to the town.

Some months later, a package came for the forester, and next time he was in town he opened it. It seemed the scholar had written down all the stories he'd heard and published them in a book; a book known as The Ravenswood Stories.


Note that the introduction has been sitting in drafts for two weeks, which shows how depressed I've been. I'm feeling better now, and so will be releasing the blogjam[1] over the next few days. Clear the intertubes - Night of the Hats is going to gush!

[1] Having just googled it, it seems that not only has someone come up with the word blogjam before, it's in the online Urban Dictionary. now that is depressing.