The Sins of the Hoopoe

Afterwards he plucked out my tongue and kept me away and always busy, lest I should – though mute – bear witness against him. As though I threatened him. After the light had dimmed in his eyes, fear came creeping in, and watched every small movement I made, every slight signal half-formed. In this wise pressed me to bondage. But I haunted his sleep, nonetheless, and his quiet moments; more than once I found him watching me warily as I crossed from one room to another, body still and ready for action, as though I were some viper, freighted with poison.

Afterwards, when he realized what we’d served him – what pale flesh made succulent that feast – and came tearing after us with blood in his mind, ah, what glory it was to run! At long last, to stretch out over the earth and tear at the air! Even though he came leaping after with violence in hand, what did I care? To run, oh, to run, even to cliff’s edge – what glorious freedom!