White Wolf, Black Wolf (revised)

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a folk tale by Travis Oberg
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a Folk Tale

Transcript of White Wolf, Black Wolf (revised)

a folk tale


Travis Oberg


The Beginning

In the edgeless wood

where Black and White began

they lived as kin.

They worked together,

they played together,

they sang howling songs and laughed together.

They loved

and did everything

in harmony together.

Three Crows

Three birds came to Black and White and cackled a song to them:

{the song of the crow}

calling, calling nigh-time calling

cloudy dust on midnight moon

tasty tasty rabbit white

we three call you closer still

we three follow close, calling

creep in closer calling, calling

run together through the branches

to feast, to feast, to feast.

When the song was over Black and White became wolves &went off to hunt rabbit.

Never Kill a Rabbit on a Full Moon

When they found the white rabbit

Black killed the rabbit and they both ate below a silver moon.

Black and White liked eating rabbit

but they did not remember the old woodcutter tradition

from before time began

in the edgeless wood:

Never kill a rabbit on a full moon.

The Axe Falls

So the woodcutter sent Black and White away

for killing and eating the white rabbit.

Winter quickly approached the edgeless wood.

Becoming like ghosts in a frozen world,

Black and White had to search for running water and scrounge for food.

It was very difficult.

Sometimes their empty stomachs

twisted into knots

and there was fighting.

Then the hunters came.


When the hunters came Black and White became runners.

They ran when the sun was up.

They ran when the sun was down.

They ran when the sun was right in-between coming up or going down,

and even in between the in-between times

they ran.

There was a lot of running.

The hunters were very good at hunting.

Black and White did not like being hunted for

the hunters had dogs

and they always found where Black and White were hiding.

There were no safe places

from the hunting hounds.

An Omen

The running was getting very difficult to do

and Black and White were ready to give up.

It seemed there was no escape

from the hunters

And thats when it happened.

Just then, when they least expected it,

where no one expected it to happen

as Black and Whitewent to hide and wait in a hidden valley

that would eventually be discovered

Suddenly a big, bright bird

landed on a lone tree branch, looking very strange

and fanned her long feathered tail of every color in the rainbow.

Black and White had never seen anything like this big bright,

rainbow bird.

The hunters saw the bird too

and said it was an omen.

While they bickered long about what to do

Black and White escaped the hidden valley.

The hunters finally decided the bird omen meant they should leave the wood.

So they went.

still bickering, they took their dogs and guns

and left the edgeless wood.

Peacock means PromiseBlack and White were glad the hunters had gone

and they would not have to be runners anymore.

Winter had broken.

wood mice and water were in great supply

for spring had returned.

The woodcutter told Black and White the rainbow bird was a special promise that hunters would never again return to the edgeless wood.

White stayed near the bright bird and named her peacock

which means promise.

Black secretly wanted to gobble the peacock up.


How Peacock Lost Her Tail

As it goes,some places in the edgeless wood are very dangerous & soon peacock became tangled in a thicket.

And who should happen upon her, trapped and

unable to move, but Black.

Now Black was ready to gobble up Peacock, for she would be a very tasty meal indeed,

but Peacock pleaded with him to spare her life in exchange for her beautiful tail.

(It is known peacock tails are magical and very, very precious)

So Black agreed

and Peacock gave away her tail.

(And so it is to this day, the she-peacock have no bright tail)

But as Black came near, looking very sinister

Peacock knew she had made a terrible mistake.

She tried to escape but it was too late!

snap!With one giant bite Black swallowed Peacock down.

Friend or Foe

White noticed Black with the peacock tail

And Black told White Peacock had gone on a journey.

She had not wanted to soil her tail on the way so had given it to him;

but so as not to look too suspicious

Black offered to share the tail feathers equally between them.

White agreed,

for peacock feathers are very, very precious.

Whooo Are You?

Everyone knows the owl is the wisest of all animals,

for Owl had lived in the edgeless wood with the woodcutter since time began.

The owl spoke to Black and White & said

Soon the great tree is to fall in the edgeless wood.

When it falls a great chasm will open

and out will come many flying and crawling creatures from deep inside the earth. These creatures

will consume the wood, which will become like

a darkly drawn-out shadow.

This will be a lurking time of death and painwhooo-ed the owl.

You are to journey to the great tree.

There will be much weeping when the tree falls,

but do not despair and do not be afraid,

the sweet song of a red-wing blackbird

will be a sign that in its place

a new and greater plant will rise up.

The Sycamore Snag

So Black and White set out to find the great tree and came to a large swift river.

To swim the river would mean certain death as the rushing waters would sweep them away,

So they went to the ferryman who offered them a ride across in exchange for magical peacock feathers.

Black convinced White, since they were sharing, to use his feathers for the ferryman.

They thanked the ferryman and continued on.

Soon they came to a steep precipice and were unable to go on,

so they went to the eagle and asked eagle to fly them across.

The eagle would fly them across in exchange for magical peacock feathers.

Black became greedy with his feathers

and would not share with White without something in return.

White had nothing to give so Black took his eyes, gouging them out.

Then the eagle carried Black and White across.

When they arrived on the other side

Black left White to wander aimless and blind in the woods.

White, abandoned, blind and distraught wandered to the soft grass under a sycamore snag

where three black crow had come to roost.

They did not notice White in the grass.

The three birds spoke of their night-time devilry and mischief.

One crow said I poked out the eyes of the beaver. The other birds clicked their beaks and laughed because this was evil.

What the beaver doesnt realize is, if he comes in the morning and rolls in the dew under this sycamore snag

his eyes will be healed.

Another crow had stopped up the creek so the water would not flow.

All the fish in the valley of the low, low sun will wither and die, cackled the second crow. The other birds clicked their beaks and laughed because this was evil.

But if just one stone is moved, the water will be restored.

The third crow said I put a curse on the worker bees of the hive causing them all to sleep so no honey will be made. The other birds clicked their beaks and laughed because this was evil.

What the queen bee doesnt know is, if she extinguishes the smoldering ash fire the curse will be broken and the workers will make honey again.

The crows cawed at their evil deeds and flew into the night.

All Shall Be Well

In the morning, white rolled in the dew under the sycamore snag and lo and behold his sight was restored.

So he went and found beaver, who was wandering blind in the woods and beavers eyes too became well.

Beaver was forever grateful to White

and proclaimed that anything White asked of him, it shall be done.

So White told Beaver of the stone, which blocked the creek

causing all the fish to wither and die.

So Beaver moved the stone and the fish were saved.

Then they both went to the queen bee, who was perplexed why all the worker bees were asleep

and told the queen of the curse.

The queen put out the smoldering fire and the curse was broken.

All the worker bees began to make honey again

and queen bee said The hive is at your service

and you may have all the honey you wish.

So White grew strong on fish and honey in the valley of the low, low sun.

A Murder of Crow

Black discovered White in the valley of the low low sun with eyes restored and inquired as to his fortune.

white, being truthful told black eveything of the crow and the sycamore snag.

Black in his greed went to hide by the sycamore to listen to the crow.

Sure enough,the three crow came that night to roost in the tree and began cackling to one another.

They did not notice Black hiding in the grass.

Someone must have heard us, for the beavers eyes are new said one bird.

And someone must have heard us, for the creek is flowing strong.said another.

And someone must have heard us, for the bees are making honey.

Let us and all our friends search out who is here and tear them to pieces.

So the birds went out and found black hiding.

When they found him a murder of crow fell on black to tear him to pieces

and as black opened his mouth to howl in pain

out of his jaws flew peacock,

for in his haste black had swallowed her alive.



When peacock arrived, out of the jaws of Black, the crows scattered, for crows and peacocks do not associate.

Black stole away into the woods.

Peacock went to the Lion, the king of all the beasts in the forest to ask for wisdom.

The Lion would only give wisdom in exchange for fire.

So peacock went to fireand asked if fire would go to Lion.

Fire would only go to Lion if the wind would blow.

So peacock went to wind and asked wind to blow.

Wind would only blow in exchange for water.

Peacock went to water and asked if water would go uphill. Water could not so water went to wind,

and wind blew on fire and fire went to Lion.

and so Lion sent the Owl to Peacock

because everyone knows, the Owl is the wisest of all the creatures in the forest.

Then Owl told Peacock to go to White and to give away her last feather, for a new small feather had begun to grow in Peacocks tail.

This feather must be placed in the ground at the last tree, said Owl.

King of the Beasts

Black, up to no good, told Lion the king of the beasts that White wished to destroy Lion and take the Lions den as a dwelling.

Lion did not like this so called White and commanded a wax replica be made of his den. This was a test.

If White could not make this replica, with every single detail in its proper place by morning, then Lion would eat him up.

White was very sad, and left with a downcast heart.

How would anyone ever make a perfect wax replica of the Lions den! Surely life was forfeit.

But lo and behold, Queen Bee with all the hive came to Whites service.

The Queen said, Have no fear, consider the task done.

Late that night, as Lion slept, the bees crept in and inspected every nook and cranny of the den, so as to remember every last detail.

An exact wax replica was made.

In the morning, when Lion saw the statue, he was very pleased and roared with much delight. Put this on display for all to see, said the Lion.

Meanwhile Black, again up to no good and very jealous whispered to Lion that White, with much ambition wished to be King of all the beasts in the forest.

So Lion, King of the beasts summoned White and commanded he find the crown, which had been missing for a very very long time.

If White could not find the crown then Lion would eat him up.

White was very sad, and left with a downcast heart, for how would he ever find the missing crown! Surely his life was forfeit.

But, the industrious beaver came to White and told him that the crown had been lost in the lake and knew just where to find it. Beaver would swim to fetch it. Wait here on the bank until I return said beaver.

Sure enough, just as Beaver had said he returned with the missing crown.

Upon seeing the crown the Lion roared. Very good! I shall make you second over all the beasts in the forest, said Lion.

And White was made second over all the beasts in the forest.

The Last Tree

Peacock went to White and they traveled on to where the last tree stood. They did not know that secretly Black had followed them.

So just as they arrived at the last tree in the edgeless wood,

and just as White dug a hole and placed peacocks tail, that she had given to him by her own free will, into the ground,

And just as a murder of crows took up roost in the great tree,

suddenly Black lunged toward Peacock and in his greed snapped for the buried feather.

But Black missed the feather, slipped, lost footing and fell into a crack in the earth, down to where all crawling and flying creatures are and was never seen from again.

And under the weigh of all the birds as black as soot, the great tree began to creak and twist and to fall.

Yet as the great tree fell, a quick growing vine grew up from the feather and wrapped the trunk and branches of the tree, which held fast and did not fall.

And the red-winged blackbird sang out a sweet song, a song sweeter than any other.

The End