Swamped Chapter 138 Page 8

The Grebling and the Great Raven

You know the story by heart. A grebling named Jackie slips into the nest of an enormous raven in order to steal one of its eggs. Grandmother must have read it to you every night for a year.

Apparently with significant changes, though. You know folklore tends to have variations, but the differences here are unusual even in that respect. For one thing, in Grandmother’s story, the raven’s nest was at the peak of a volcano; here it’s just at the top of the tallest tree in the jungle. Which, you have to admit, makes more sense as a place a giant bird would be, but it isn’t nearly as exciting.

You know Grandmother loved to leave you little clues about things, often without telling you they were clues, so you look a little further. Jackie wants the egg for a different reason in both versions of the story – here it’s just to eat, while in the story you know, it was a dare. Must be a pretty old story, then; these days everyone knows greblings don’t eat eggs.

But the most striking difference is in how Jackie outwits the raven when it returns to its nest.

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I’m this version, she makes bird noises that reflect off the moon, confusing the raven about where she is. In the version you knew, she uses a mirror to blind the raven with sunlight.