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Tyger Tyger
03-31-2017, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2017 12:43 PM by Maxwell Grantly.)
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Information Tyger Tyger
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Over the past few months, Skippy and I had been looking forward to Hallowe’en for two main reasons. Firstly, having been bought up in the world of humans, we were looking forward to the opportunity to go Trick or Treating in fancy dress. However, more importantly being elves, The Day of the Dead is a very important elven festival (for respecting our ancestry and heritage.)

This Hallowe’en proved to be an incrediably special one indeed.

You may recall that elves have little need to count: we rarely need to count beyond a few hundred or so. There are no words to describe numbers greater than one thousand. In fact, a thousand can mean either “one more than nine-hundred and ninety-nine” or any number that is greater. If you were to ask any elf, “How many stars are there in the sky?” they would answer “One thousand” and they would be correct in doing so. Likewise, if you were to ask any elf, “How many ancestors do you have?” again their answer would be, “One thousand” and again they would be completely correct. Just remember that “One thousand” is similar to your definition of a “multitude” or “countless.”

However, you must make distinction between the use of “one thousand” and the “Thousand.” The “Thousand” is always spelt with a capital letter when used in written texts. Great care is taken to pronounce it carefully and respectfully when it is spoken aloud. The “Thousand” is the name given by elves to all those elderly elves who have passed away into the afterlife and, likewise, it is the name given by animals to those of their species who have passed away from this life too. Broadly speaking, it is the entire mass of every previous life, be it either elven or of creature form. In elven folklore, the Thousand exist peacefully in the night skies and so the stars of night-time sky are also called the “Thousand” too. You may recall that an elf has two names, their “Earth Name” and their “Thousand Name.” The use of the Thousand Name is only adopted upon the death of an elf or in legal documents (such as Wills and Last Testaments, that are meant to be read after an elf has passed away.) Elves greatly value the wisdom and breath of knowledge that elders show and so older elves are always great valued in elven society and are shown an enormous amount of reverence and respect. I think that many human societies could learn a great deal from this!

Anyway, I digress and so back to our very special Hallowe’en!

Being an elf, it is essential to visit any sacred site (such as a stone circle, a crop circle or whirlpool) on the night of Hallowe’en, to show due reverence to the Thousand. This is a very busy day of the year and all animals too have very similar customs. These sacred sites can become very crowded on this night and this year’s Hallowe’en was no exception. As Skippy and I drew close to the Stone Circle, on the evening of The Day of the Dead, there was a multitude of other forest animals crowding around all keen to pay their respects to the Thousand too.

Skippy and I took our place, waiting outside the Stone Circle in a queue with many other forest creatures and we began to speak with those around us. A pair of hedgehogs recounted tales from their past of two brave elves who forfeited their own lives to save the kindred of the hedgehogs. They told us, “A hedgehog never forgets!” Also we met a herd of wolves that taught us a new song of the Thousand for recounting at full moon festivals. Mysteriously, one old grizzly bear waiting in the queue passed on a private greeting that was too precious and secret to repeat on the pages of this journal. That will have to remain in the thoughts of Skippy and I only.

However, most of our evening waiting for our turn in the Stone Circle was spent in the company of two jungle tigers; Tyger Tyger. (Skippy and I learnt that all tigers have the same spelt name and that individuals are distinguished solely by the stress placed upon the different phonemes of the word. They even avoid the use of the indefinite article when referring to groups of more than one tiger. It was refreshing to learn of a different set of customs and beliefs that were so different to our own.) These two tigers were very old and so, of course, we showed them great reverence and respect. They explained how they were nearing the end of their lives and they confided in us that they were worried about deforestation’s impact on their offsprings’ future. The impact of the leg-walkers and their methods of farming was causing these noble beasts great anxiety and worry.

With one accord, Skippy and I suggested that the young tigers were always welcome to dwell in the Secret Dell. No human even knew of its presence - let alone had plans to strip it of its trees and plant fields of crops. Tyger Tyger didn’t need asking twice and very soon a string of events unfurled that lead the two small tiger cubs to move into the hidden location of the Secret Dell.

Thus began the start of a new series of adventures with two new found friends.

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