The Vultures . . .
There they sat patiently . . . watching from the limbs of the trees . . . waiting upon the rooftops of the Village Homes. It was as if they could sense the impending death that was to come, the “Great Feast” that circumstance would provide them.
There was a wonderfully small and quaint Village named Cheruba. The region that this Village occupied was also just as wonderfully. It was abundantly endowed with many riches of the Earth. The people of the Village were also very rich in spirit. They had truly been blessed by their Ancestors for haven chosen such a Rich Land to reside in. There were Rivers, and Valleys, Farm Land and Fruit Groves and much Wild Life and Creatures of the Earth. Even the Rivers were full of abundance. The people for many years never had a worry. In their land were many precious Gems. The people did no0t think much of them for these Stones were so abundant. They used theses stones as cutting tools and other normal utilities for they were so hard . . . almost unbreakable. If they rubbed cleaned these Stone up and polished them they sparkled like nothing you have ever seen before. They were usually very clear without color . . . however, if you held them up to the Sun Light you could see every color of creation. It was rumored among the ancestors that at just the right angle you could even see Our Creator . . . Ja!
As time went on, i say these people were truly loved by their Creator for thy had not a worry for a thing. Life was truly beautiful. Then . . . One quiet uneventful day, a “Wayfarer” came across their Village. This Wayfarer was on a “Mission”. His “mission” was to discover his own life by traveling to places yet unknown. In return for his acceptance of and by the new places and People “he “discovered” he would teach them of the things he knew of and had experienced in his life’s travels. I guess you could describe him as a Missionary.
Well as chance would have it, the very good people of the Village of Cheruba did accept him and embrace his presence, for no one before in their generation had ever come to visit them. There were stories of old about visitors, whom the Elders of Old spoke warnings and caution. But, perhaps this was not what they spoke of. This visitor looked different, talked different, walked different, dressed different . . . every thing about him was different. Why he even smelled different! They played with him, laughed at him and with him. They taught him of their ways, customs and love. Though they had many treasures amongst them for which they were grateful, yet to them it was very ordinary . . . except the polished stone. They children selected one of the biggest one they could find and began to polish it. When they had completed their task, they presented it to their Visitor as a keepsake commemorative of his visit with them. When the visitor saw the Stone he was astonished . . . and yet very skeptical. He knew immediately what the Stone appeared to be, but he had his doubts. He had never seen one of these so Large and Bright. He thought to himself that it was not possible. Of course he graciously accepted the sparkling gift of friendship. He inquired to the best of his ability to seek the source of this Gem. With no reservations the children showed him about their Village and Lands and soon he came to realize that these prized stones were everywhere. He began to pick them up and collect them in his belongings. The people of the Village thought this strange. Why is he doing so? The stone was only good to look at or through. Why is he hoarding them as if they were going to disappear? Not think too critically about this strange behavior, they just assumed it was because he was indeed a strange type of creature, like those who live past the Land of the Setting Sun the Ancestors had spoke of.
Soon came the day that the Visitor parted ways with his hosts. They said their farewells. The Visitor had learned to say a few things in their language such as Hello, Goodbye, Thank You, Please and Sparkling Stone. He promised them with the utmost sincerity that he would soon return.
Well . . . not much time had passed, when on one uncertain day the Villagers gathered to see what this noise from the distant horizon they heard was. They anxiously awaited to catch some sight of its origin, for they knew the sounds were drawing closer. Then as if out of some old fabled tale there appeared a strange moving thing. It had no legs to walk or run with, yet they moved just the same. When they drew close enough and entered the Village they recognized their old “Friend” This time he was not the “Back Packed Traveler’. He had a huge mechanized wagon bearing some unknown cargo inside. When the young man finally climbed out from his vehicle he greeted with much exuberance all the Villagers he had come to know. After greeting them he and his companions began to unload the truck. There were many packages. This seemed to peak the curiosity of the Villagers, especially the children. He then began to open the packages and hand out various gifts to the Village People. There were strange Garments, Smelly Stuff, Brightly Colored things that the Children and the Adults alike took delight in inspecting, for they had no idea what most of the things were. The visitor then patiently began to demonstrate what each and every item was and what it was used for. The majority of the items were of no particular importance to life, however their colors were very intriguing. There also were many Cans, Boxes, Jars and Containers of a wide variety of “Food Stuff”. As the Villagers began to sample the unusual tastes of the Foods and other consumables that the Visitor gave them, they became highly amused. They were very intrigued by these “Packaged” goods. They had never seen the likes before. When they wanted to eat something, they just went and picked it from the Grove or the Garden and ate it. If they wanted something to drink they went to the Stream, Well or the River and did so.
After all the initial fanfare, the Visitor retired with the Village Elders. As they began to create some dialogue they discussion started to take a definitive direction. First the Elders thank him for the gifts. And, upon that note, the Visitor began to discuss how they could have these sorts of things as often as they liked. The Elders were pleased to hear this, for the gifts brought much joy and pleasure to them. The Visitor promised to bring them a Caravan of Gifts and Goods on every Full Moon. The Elders were pleased. They in their gratitude and thankfulness wished to reciprocate as is a Human custom of giving. They asked the Visitor if there was any thing they could do to give him the same joy they had so graciously received of him. The Visitor then told them of the Stones and his desire for him and his companions to collect them. The Elders had no problem with his request, for the Stones were abundant and to the Villagers, they were just Stones that had an amusing quality to diffuse light. They Visitor accepted, and then extracted a piece of paper. He explained his ways to the Elders and said that if he is to have permission to do so in the eyes of his own customs, then the Elder must make his mark of Bond on the document. The Elder in all naivety did so. The next morning, the Visitor and his companions collected a truck load of the Stones.
The next Full Moon as promised, the visitor came, but this time it was two Trucks. One truck was hauling a strange looking contraption on its tail. Little did the Villagers know that this was a Bulldozer. After again, passing out the goods to the Village Peoples, they Visitor and his companions began their efforts to gather the Stones. At the conclusion of the day, the Visitor again went in unto the elders and began to discuss “Possibilities”! He patiently explained to the Elders that with their stone, they had no need to Farm and Gather their Fruits, Vegetables and Water as before. They could actually get all their “Food Stuff” each month in packages ready to be served as evidenced by the items he brought them. This seemed like a novel idea, but still somewhat strange to the Village Elders. The Visitor went on to explain that he had wished to look for Stones in the Fields where they planted there crops. The Elder considered this request, and thus consented to put it before the whole Village for a vote. Of course after much discourse, and in their trusting manner the Villagers consented to allow this to be done. Again the Visitor extracted a document requiring the Elder’s mark. The fact that they could not understand the Visitors written language did not threaten them, for they trusted.
Well, Full Moon after Full Moon, the Visitor came and worked. He delivered more and more goods to the Village. The people of the Village became Lazy and Dependant upon the Visitor for all the necessities. They soon forgot their Field and Gather Trades and Arts. They even began to have so strange new occurrences in the disposition of their bodies and its health. Sickness became a prevalent part of their lives. Graciously the Visitor brought them strange liquids and pills that relieved them of these things. They were still gracious.
Then one day before the Full Moon, the Visitor came with a whole Convoy of Trucks and a funny looking Man in a strange suit of clothing. He approached the Elders and instructed them that they had to get on the Trucks . . . all of them. The Elders somewhat puzzled queried the Visitor. The Visitor then explained to them that they could no longer stay there on the land for he had sold it to a large Corporation. They had plans for the whole area and there was no room for Village People. The Villagers rebelled. The Elders quiet their people and then summoned the Visitor and his new companion to have a “Sit and Listen”. The Chief Elder began to tell them a story. The name of the Story is The Canary, the Hawk and the Vulture.
There once was this Village of long ago. In the Village the people were happy. Over time some of the Village folk began to lose their way. As time went on the misguidance began to spread. The younger generations became lazy and unfruitful in their way. There came a time that a strange illness fell upon the people. As the people began to get worse and started to die off, the Vultures of Life began to circle their Village. They were anticipating a fine feast. Vultures always did envy the Hawks of Life, but they had not the courage to confront with all due integrity the essence of life itself. Their approach was that of deception and cowardice. This is why Vultures must eat of the dead, for they themselves are of the Walking Dead. The Vulture picks away and eats of the “Flesh of the World”. When they are done, only that which is pure is left . . . the True Spirit of Life. This is much like your self my fine friend. Your heart has been hardened due to greed! You came to us as a Canary, you then saw an opportunity and then you became the Hawk. In doing so, it was inevitable that you too would meet another such as your self. But my friend there is something i must disclose to you. As the Vulture does envy the Hawk, it is the Vulture who does life service. Did you not envy us and our peoples, for we had not a care about the things you cherished? We may loose our way at time, but i am here to tell you that we are truly the Hawk and the Vulture of life. We are always on the Hunt. Today you have been sighted as our Prey. You have not been the first, nor will you be the last of your kind. With that being said, the Chief Elder began an incantation, and all the men of all the Trucks started to harden and became the Stones in the Fields of the Village.
(c) 2009 : William S. Peters, Sr.
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