Black Bird
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A baby Jay was brought up
By a Magpie and a Rook
Their family was happy
If a glance was all you took
But Father Rook was changed
By all the strange things he had learned
And so one day he left the nest;
He never once returned

The Jay and Magpie, now alone,
Together, did their best
But if she wished to fly
The Jay would have to leave the nest.
She’d gained her father’s knowledge
And had soon picked up a trail
The Magpie begged her chick to stay
But all to no avail

For Jay had learned a Blackbird Queen
Lived hidden in the woods
She traded knowledge freely
To surrounding neighborhoods
It seemed she might know Father Rook
Or even where he was
She might even forego the “why”
If she knew the “because”

The Jay began her journey
Down a dark and dangerous path
Through snow and rain and hail she flew
And in the aftermath
She found that she had gotten
To a forest known by few
The nest was in a grove
Near where the Tree of Knowledge grew

She timidly approached it
But the only other bird
Was a Raven. Could she be the Queen?
That wasn’t what she’d heard.
The Raven spoke, “I sense you’ve come
For knowledge from the Tree”
Jay nodded. “Then it seems that I’m
The one you’ve come to see.”

The Jay was clearly startled
But she bowed before the Queen
And soon began her story
Of the things that she had seen
And finally the reason
She’d approached the Queen that day
The Queen thought for a while
And then nodded at the Jay

“The Rook lives in a castle
Just a cliff or two away
Your journey here took long
But this one only takes a day”
The Jay was grateful for her help
But still she was confused
She asked why she received it
And the Blackbird looked bemused

“Your father left you young,
Your mother raised you all alone
Your life has not been easy;
It reminds me of my own.”
The Queen gave one last warning
To the Jay before she flew
“The bird that you will find there
Will not be the one you knew.”

Jay rested up and flew out
As the sun began to rise
She finally saw the castle
When she stopped to close her eyes.
The castle was mechanical,
Yet somehow overgrown
It seemed so unfamiliar
From the Earth the Jay had known

She snuck past their defenses
But did not know where to look
She wandered and by happenstance
She ran into the Rook
She suddenly was speechless
And did not know what to think
Emotions filled the poor young Jay;
The Rook could only blink.

She wanted to be happy,
But instead was hurt and mad
The bird that she had found
He could not truly be her dad
And yet it clearly was him
Standing still before the Jay
She finally cried “How could you?”
But he had nothing to say.

She yelled at him and pleaded, too
But to her great surprise
There was no spark of anything
Behind his dead black eyes
‘Twas then the Jay remembered
The wise words of the Queen
Her Father was no Rook,
He was a cog in a machine.

Emboldened by this knowledge
And embittered by it too
She realized she had found the Rook
But not the one she knew
Emotionless, the Rook looked down
Upon the tearful Jay
She looked up and bid him farewell
With that, she flew away.

But as the Rook watched after her
He sensed something inside
And though he knew it could not be
It almost felt like pride
The world had held Jay down
But now she soared into the air
Although she’d reached the hidden grove
Queen Blackbird was not there

So Jay guarded the trees
And all the knowledge in between
Years after she arrived there
She proclaimed herself the Queen
And finally as for the title
Tall Queen Blackbird took
She’d never be a Raven
For her father was a Rook

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