Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sorry Tale of the Happy Hoatzins

When I was growing up, I adored D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Full of heroes, monsters and magic, it influenced my artwork and imagination. All sorts of crazyness was possible!

In my teens I came up with some mythlike tales of my own. Here's a weird one:

The Hoatzins were a flock of beautiful birds with a long lifespan. They flew like acrobats. They sang beautifully. People couldn't get enough of them. The thing to do was to visit the island and give them gold and baskets of apples.
Like butterflies, they came in many colors.

Here's a blue one:

Then, like in Greek Myths, something went very wrong.
A hoatzin is only beautiful as a kid.
They matured into, beady-eyed featherless creatures with arms instead of wings. Beaks grew sharp. Voices grew raspy. The ugly duckling in reverse.
Something like this:

Visitors stopped coming.
The hoatzins grew bitter.
No more flying, no more singing, no more adoring fans and no goody baskets. Still, they waited for the tourists to return.
A bat flew to the island. He gave them gold and apples. "Run off the magic cliff," he promised, "and you shall fly once more. Run off the magic cliff, my friends, and your fans shall return."
They stampeded off the cliff. They flew, for a fraction of a second, then plunged to their deaths.
The tourists returned with gold and apples. They present them to the bat to hear him tell The Sorry Tale of the Happy Hoatzins and to see their bones.

Hey, I told you it was weird!

p.s. There really is a kind of bird called a hoatzin (pronounced hoh-AT-sin). Unlike my HOAT-zins, the former know better than to stampede off cliffs.


booda baby said...

Weird, that was not. Sort of inspired, in fact. I always like to see how story-tellers wrap things up. :)

stray g said...

Yes, it's very wise. People are all creative as kids and often grow up to be dull, boring lemings....

Sally said...

interesting story- goofy birds. I liked it.

Namowal said...

Thanks for visiting, booda, sally and stray g.
I'm not quite sure what the theme is about:
*Adulthood squashing creativity and individuality (as stray g pointed out)
*Adolescence is awkward.
*Relying on admirers (instead of yourself) is dangerous
*Gee, some things deteriorate badly.
*Don't run of cliffs.

Linda said...

It makes me cry.

Namowal said...

Hi Linda,
It's not the happiest story in the world, especially considering the Hoatzins didn't really do anything wrong (with the possible exception of being tricked off the cliff.)

Jesse said...

Is it a nice story except that I resent being painted as such a mean guy! :3

In Luskwood yesterday a newbie walked straight off the platform though (it's hard to see where you're going before the world is done drawing itself), everyone laughed and puzzled but I said he was probably looking for the lemming costumes. XD

sal said...

see, jesse knows how to spell lemming correctly

Namowal said...

Nothin' personal, Jesse.
Say, were you in S.L. in the old days before you could only teleport at telehubs? It meant sometimes having to fly long distances to get from A to B, often while stuff was being "drawn". I was always smacking into still-invisible structures or getting trapped in them.

Jesse said...

I think you can still only teleport to hubs, though there are a lot more of them and they often have no physical analogue. Whereever you go, you can generally teleport pretty close to the target. :)

I started in Sept '04. We had no vox, flexiprims, and the Ahern welcome center hadn't been built yet. Ivory Tower was still in Noyo, and only went up to story #2. :D

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