Raven Laughs: Tales of The People
ForewordThis is a growing collection of stories that embody the verbal tradition of my imaginary tribe. All of them are, or will be eventually, alluded to in the body of a novel, so they might as well exist. Some of them refer to tales that I have not yet told, but probably will. Writing them gets me deeper into the mindset of The People, adding cultural depth to my portrayal of their lives. The stories have no set order, and may contradict one another at will, because they are intended to represent tradition rather than history.
Like all such stories, they have more purpose to the storyteller and the listeners than mere fireside entertainment. They are chock-full of moral lessons and hints for living a good life, without pounding it home in any obnoxiously obvious way. I was deeply impressed by that sort of thing when I was young and there were more real myths and less of the Evil Grandmother's (television) shoddy commercial substitutes. Once, long ago, I was in a hospital, with bandages over my eyes, and the girl in the next bed read "The King of the Golden River" to me. I think that warped me for life.
Manobaz is the primary culture hero of The People. He is never consciously heroic, he just does what has to be done. He does not brag about what he has done because he does not think he has done anything by himself--and that is quite true. Manobaz survives because others care about him. He is the epitome of group survival. He saves the world because he lives in it and cares about it.
And trust me, that doesn't mean nobody has fun.
Raven laughs a lot.