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The song of a bone

by crowspark 

Posted: 07 January 2024
Word Count: 82
Summary: Fairy tale challenge

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Brother slew brother as often
it was. the plundered corpse tossed
from a bridge, body bumping
slithering down, down the
forested gorge to the
rocky stream.

Morning's sunlight pierces
arched shade reflecting motes
of light about dancing insect wings.
Wind and water chuckle in
the ancient skull that sings
a lament far flung from the living

that cherished that face once fair.
The bridge, a temple to lost
youth sanctified by sacrifice
and the admonishing song
of a bone rings out, unheard.

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Comments by other Members

michwo at 19:05 on 07 January 2024  Report this post
What particular fairy tale is this based on, Bill? Shades of Cain and Abel here.

crowspark at 20:18 on 07 January 2024  Report this post
The singing bone. A king offered his daughter's hand in marriage to anyone who could rid the kingdom of a wild boar. The younger brother kills the boar and on the way home the elder brother kills him on a bridge and hides the body beneath. The older brother then claims the hand of the princess. In the Grimms Fairy Tales edition a shepherd picks up a bone and carves a mouthpiece for his horn. When he plays the horn the younger brother is heard singing the tale of his murder.

michwo at 23:59 on 07 January 2024  Report this post
Pretty grim even for the Brothers Grimm. My own knowledge of fairy tales tends, for the most part, to be based on French collectors of the genre like Charles Perrault (e.g. Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, etc.) and Madame Le Prince de Beaumont (Beauty and the Beast).

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