The storm and mists continued to abate. Warming sunshine broke through the cloud cover displacing the storm’s pervasively gray tones. Raven watched Otter for a time but she remained still, looking up at him. Impatient, he stood up and pushed off in a showery launch and flew along the edge of the river, looking for a spot closer to her; but being an opportunist, he also looked for beached treasure, a potential meal. A shimmering light high in the top of a spruce tree caught his attention first though. Curious, the magical raven glided silently towards the flickering light.
On approach of the tree, he saw the strands of an immense spider’s web strung out among its branches. Such a web, thought Raven, is large enough to capture spirits from the other side, “Kraawk.” He shifted his wings and banked into a spiral, rising higher in the warming currents until well above the web.
Raven saw no trace of the spider that wove it, nor did he see any silk-shrouded bodies lying on the web. He banked again and drifted downward until at eye level with the spiraled trap. Beads of mist and rain glistened on its silks, each a brilliant hologram of its forested surroundings. He then flew out from the web and landed on the thick branch of another cedar snag which offered a fine view of the web. Although his appetite was huge and Raven was once again hungry, his experienced taste for adventure was even greater. Feeling just a bit full of himself, he chose to wait for movement on the web and judge for himself if he wanted anything to do with these mysterious events.
Down below, Otter disappeared. Only the noises of the forest, the river and the retreating storm kept him company. The sun shining on his black body, highlighted the purplish and green iridescence of his body and long wings. Tucking his head close to his chest, Raven soaked up the long absent sun, becoming quite drowsy and easily fell asleep.
Sleep lasted only a few minutes before he was abruptly awakened by the persistent hum and wing flutter of a hummingbird circling his head. Raven glared at the darting burst of color and energy. Anxiety quickly replaced the irritation as he looked at the web, fearing he had missed something. The only change was the drops of rain and mist had coalesced into one single, brilliantly glistening drop. It lay cradled in the web lines at the center of the snare. (To be continued)