Obidiah the Cummings Lane raven mystic was perched on the edge of his new roost high in a giant gnarly old redwood named Tree. Obidiah had just eaten two delicious morsels of perfectly cooked chicken given to him by a human named Isadora.
There were twelve more chicken morsels left in the bag, and Obidiah was about to eat them when he saw a sight that took his breath away. Gliding through the forest fifty feet below him was the beautiful Jack Peters Creek raven gal Magdalena, she of the four snowy white tail feathers.
“Wow, talk about wishes coming true,” said Obidiah, who had just moments before wished he could share the chicken morsels with Magdalena.
Obidiah had only met Magdalena once before and very briefly, but that meeting was a life-changing event for both of them because neither had ever met another full-blown mystic, which they both were, and neither had ever been so profoundly attracted to a raven of the opposite sex.
“If you’d like to talk about wishes coming true,” said Tree, with whom Obidiah frequently conversed, “I’d be happy to.”
“Hold that thought,” said Obidiah, flying off in pursuit of Magdalena.
“Wishes coming true,” mused Tree. “Do thousand-year-old trees make wishes? I don’t recall ever wishing for anything. But if I did wish for something, what might it be? Perhaps I’d wish for rain to end a long drought, though I never have wished for that because I know droughts always eventually end whether I wish they would or not. So… I don’t know.”
While Tree pondered the concept of wishes, Obidiah caught up to Magdalena and cawed, “Well if it isn’t Magdalena. Fancy meeting you here.”
Magdalena alighted on the first convenient branch and Obidiah landed on a branch not far from her.
“Hi,” she said shyly. “You made a wish involving me and I’ve been wanting to see you again, so here I am.”
“You heard my wish?” he replied, overjoyed. “All the way from Jack Peters Creek?”
Magdalena nodded. “Is your roost nearby?”
“Don’t tell me,” she said, interrupting. “I only asked because though you’re not technically in Jack Peters Creek raven territory, you are still very much in danger of being attacked by Jack Peters Creek ravens. As I mentioned to you when we first met, they are all brutal dunces and not to be reasoned with.”
“You don’t want to see my roost?” he asked, disappointed.
“I do and I don’t,” she said, sighing in frustration. “I do want to see your roost because I’m super curious, of course, and I don’t want to see your roost because if I love your roost, which I probably will, then…”
“Then what?” he asked, holding his breath.
“Then it will be even harder for me to stop thinking about you,” she said matter-of-factly. “Ever since we met and conversed clairvoyantly and… by the way, do you read minds? Of other ravens and birds and mammals?”
“I do,” he said, nodding. “But your mind is closed to me.”
“That is so weird,” she said, squinting at him. “Because I can read minds, too, but not yours. How about future glimpsing?”
“Yes,” he said, frowning. “Only not my own future or yours.”
“Ditto,” she said, enraptured by him. “I’ve never met another raven like me. Have you ever met another raven like you?”
“Still haven’t,” he said, jauntily bobbing his head. “You’re a gal raven and I’m male.”
“I meant the other stuff,” she said, blushing.
“Speaking of other stuff,” he said, making a clucking sound. “You hungry? One of my human clients just paid me in scrumptious chicken morsels, and my wish, the one you heard from an impressive three miles away, was to have you join me in feasting on said scrumptious chicken morsels.”
“You have human clients?” she asked, amazed.
“Well… one,” he said, shrugging. “Hungry?”
“Actually I am,” she said, torn between staying and going. “But the thing is… by the way, what’s your name?”
“Obidiah,” he said, smitten beyond smitten.
“Nice name,” she said quietly. “The thing is, Obidiah, I’m three-years old and soon to be four, and I long ago resigned myself to never marrying because all the raven males I’ve ever met are brutal dunces.”
“I’m not,” he said simply.
“No, I can sense that,” she said, her voice full of tenderness. “But you’re an outsider and the brutal dunces will kill you if you ever come to our territory again.”
“I never will come to their territory again,” he said, shaking his head. “We would live here and socialize with my raven and non-raven friends in Cummings Lane raven territory and at Big River Beach.”
“Your friends would accept me?” she asked incredulously.
“Absolutely,” he assured her. “I’m held in high esteem by the Cummings Lane ravens because of the many useful repercussions of my mystical proclivities, and you would be held in high esteem, too, because you would be my wife.”
“Seriously?” she said, flabbergasted. “Most Jack Peters Creek ravens think I’m a total nut case, though that doesn’t stop the males from trying to impregnate me against my will.”
“I would never do that,” he said gently. “I would always wait until you invited me.”
“Gosh,” she said, her heart melting, “this puts things in a whole new light, a lovely new light, though I still think our roost… your roost is vulnerable to attacks from Jack Peters Creek ravens.”
“Speaking of vulnerable,” he said, turning in the direction of Tree, “I don’t think we should leave those scrumptious morsels unattended much longer.”
“No we shouldn’t,” she said, surrendering to his charms. “Lead me to your roost.”
Had either Obidiah or Magdalena been able to see the future they might have been spared a few terrifying weeks of trying to make the hollow in Tree a lasting home for themselves and their future progeny.
But they could not see their futures, and despite their valiant efforts they could not withstand the constant harassment and predations by gangs of Jack Peters Creek ravens who were furious that a Cummings Lane raven had successfully wooed and wed a beautiful Jack Peters Creek raven gal.
Nor could Obidiah and Magdalena have known that even marginal land for roosting in Cummings Lane raven territory would be in such short supply, and that after giving up their roost in Tree they would spend a long wet winter in a temporary nest in a small redwood on Obidiah’s parents’ land, which was fine with Obidiah’s father Tarkanda but did not sit well with Obidiah’s mother Doris who felt intimidated by Magdalena’s formidable mystical proclivities and her beautiful white tail feathers.
Then one Thursday morning, as winter was giving way to spring, Obidiah went to meet the human Isadora at the big driftwood log on Big River Beach. With food scarce, Obidiah and Magdalena had come to depend on the weekly bag of succulent morsels Isadora brought Obidiah in thanks for his counseling.
Obidiah alighted on the big driftwood log a few feet from Isadora and sent “You look lovelier than ever. Those pearl earrings are to die for. How are things going with you and Thomas?”
“Things are going wonderfully well for us,” sent Isadora, gazing fondly at Obidiah. “How are things going for you? You sound sad, Obidiah. Are you?”
Now in all the many Thursday mornings that Obidiah met Isadora on the big driftwood log, Isadora had never once inquired about Obidiah’s life, nor had Obidiah ever shared anything about his life with her. But when she asked how things were going for him, and especially when she said he sounded sad, he told her everything that had happened to him since he helped her end her terrible marriage to Jeff and find true love with Thomas.
When he finished telling his tale, Obidiah looked at Isadora and saw she was crying.
“I’m sorry,” he sent. “I shouldn’t have burdened you with my…”
“No, Obidiah,” she sent passionately. “I should have asked how you were doing long ago when I first sensed your sorrow.”
“But our relationship has always been about me helping you,” sent Obidiah, tearfully. “And in thanks for my help you’ve given me food glorious food. So…”
“I can do more than give you food,” said Isadora, gesturing magnanimously to the sparkling sea. “I own ten acres a mile south of here and I’m certain no ravens are currently living on my land. Come live there with your wife. You would be most welcome.”
And that is how Obidiah and Magdalena, the raven mystics, came to live on Isadora’s land.
They built a big comfy nest in a gnarly old giant redwood named Cassiopeia and raised many children on Isadora’s fruitful acres. Their female progeny were all witty and wise and gifted with snowy white tail feathers, and their male progeny were all strong and adventurous and fond of double entendre. And many of their offspring were full-blown mystics, too.
Obidiah and Magdalena are quite old now and spend most of their time hanging around Isadora and Thomas’s house enjoying the marvelous smells emanating from the kitchen and listening to Isadora and Thomas make music together.
And, as you might expect, Obidiah and Magdalena are totally addicted to the scrumptious morsels Isadora gives them every day.