Yes, a crow whisperer. Wipe that look of doubt off your face as the story I’m about to tell concerns one such being and his tale of what a crow whisperer is. Well, the tale is true as far as I know. And who am I to say it’s not true even if I suspect it’s not?
You’ve heard the story of the Tower of London ravens and that if they ever leave the Tower, it will be the end of Albion? I cannot say if that’s true, but the person who wondered into our Pub late one Fall evening wanted to tell a story. He asked for a dram of single malt, no water, in exchange. I poured him a Glenglassaugh and waited for him to begin …
First he noted that the commonly accepted tale among the ‘respectable’ press is that the Ravens have been in residence only since the Victorian Era but he said they’ve been there since then, and quite a lot longer. He added that the press is told that Ravens stay there because their wing feathers were clipped, thus they couldn’t fly away.
Neither is true, he said. Rather there’s been a crow whisperer, or to use the much older name, Speaker for The Ravens. Running in an unbroken line for well over a thousand years it is said, each such person was taught by the previous Speaker for The Ravens what the secret language of ravens is. It is an ancient language, predating any human tongue by uncountable years.
Each Speaker for The Ravens is told the story of how the first ancient Albion kings discovered that the Ravens were holders of the magic that bound them to the land, to the people, and to the gods themselves. That so long as the Ravens dwelt in what would someday be London and specifically where the Towers would be built, that Albion would endure. But the Ravens wouldn’t be content if someone couldn’t Speak for them, someone who knew their True Names.
For many centuries, these men, and quite a few women, and some who weren’t actually human, served their roles so well that the unbreakable bonds have never been weakened nor even really tested.
I noticed through the Pub windows that looked out towards the ancient oaks favoured by the Estate corvids that all of the crows therein were watching him intently as we walked away from the Pub. And then they winged about him, cawing loudly, and waiting for his response…