Stone the Crows by Adele Evershed

Summers in Wales were long and slow and full of rain. But no matter, Mam wanted my brother Geraint and me out from under her feet. So she'd give us our lunch in a plastic bag and tell us to come back for tea. 

Behind our house was Bluebell Wood, and we thought it a magical place, full of fairies and goblins. We spent our mornings looking for the circles they left in the grass. When we found one, I would sit cross-legged, make a daisy chain crown, and pretend I was Queen Mab. Being three years younger, Geraint was forced to be a shepherd caught beneath my spell. I'd spin him around until he was dizzy, and then we'd collapse in a heap. 

We had found a place where brambles arched over like a green cave, and that is where we made our den. One afternoon, we were following the path there when we saw a crow. It flapped a broken wing helplessly and hopped toward 

the long grass. "Quick grab it," I shouted at Geraint, but he just stood as if transfixed by the crow's red eyes. Finally, I snapped, "Oh, you're such a baby. I'll do it myself". 

I brought the bird to our den, gathering daisies and cow parsley to make a nest. Gently I placed it on top of the greenery, wondering if Geraint would come back. 

My fingers felt sticky, and I wiped them on my shorts. Then, I started to chant, "Oh Queen Mab, accept my poor gift." I heard a squeal; Mam was standing there holding Geraint's hand. Her other hand was pressed to her mouth as she took in my smeared shorts and bloody hands. "It's not what it looks like," I whimpered. But of course, it was.

Published in Issue #24

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