TRENAK2 Basic English Professional Writing Elisa Kapanen 70910 Free-Form Writing (UK) The Tale of the Ebony Bird Early Sunday morning, first beams of sunlight wash the roof tops. I spy with my beady eye something beginning with a W. W for a wake-up call. First a good ruffle of the feathers, then a few snaps of the beak to warm up my throat, a deep, thorough breath and I’m ready for the Wake-up Call. The first croak is exquisite. It rings throughout the neighbourhood, echoing wall to wall, from one block house to the next. I stand still for a moment, in awe of my accomplishment. However, it appears to bear little or no effect. I see what’s going on. They’re playing hard to wake. Time to bring in the heavy artillery. Again, a deep breath, followed by two, three, four, five loud, booming cries. Good God, that’s a new record! Hang on, there’s a light! And another, and one more. It’s a success! Grumpy Old Man from block C is eyeballing me again. Good thing they took away his licence to carry a gun… What’s that he’s got in his hand? Whoa! An alarm-clock, still ticking, is whistling though the air towards me. I dart off and dodge the clock by an inch. Final croak, this time out of sheer mockery and I’m off. My job here is done. A hollow feeling in my stomach is guiding my wings when I circle around my kingdom. It’s Sunday so the market place is bound to be empty, no use going there. The dustbins appear to be shut, all of them! (Where is the lazy student when you need him?) It’s too early to stalk children and hope one will drop his ice cream. What is a raven to do? Time to hit the road. Before too long I spot a gang of crows huffing and puffing on highway three. This must be it. With a few bangs of my wings and a threatening cry I chase away the stupid creatures and behold! There it is; a tasty road kill. I prance around my loot and decide there’s plenty to be shared. The question is who to invite to my Sunday brunch. The picture of the young, alluring lady-raven who just immigrated into the area comes to mind, but then again chances are that would lead to having to feed a nest full of young ones. I am a lone ranger; a dark, menacing threat from the skies whose duty is to bring horror to the minds of poor, unsuspecting people. There’s no room for nursery rhymes in that. Therefore I decide to feast alone and leave the scraps to the crows. As I mumble away deep in my thoughts I nearly become a road kill myself. I bet the bloody sedan accelerated just to get me. Some people have no respect. I have a growing suspicion it was Grumpy Old Man, seeking redemption for his lost alarm-clock. My belly full of nice, warm carcass and my spirits high, I am quite pleased with myself as I land back on my rooftop surveillance station. It’s time to clean out my feathers and lay low for a while. Even ravens need a midday rest now and again. My nap is cut short when my instinct tells me Grumpy Old Man is up and about. I peek out and spot him getting into his car. It wasn’t him after all, on the highway. Nevertheless, this is a golden opportunity to bring new meaning to the word vexation. I fancy myself a Stuka bomber as I dive straight towards his rusty Vauxhall and relieve myself right in the middle of the windshield. For a split second I stare Grumpy Old Man right in the eye. He goes pale. Then purple. The expression on his face is priceless. Grumpy stays behind, shaking his fist and bellowing, as I take to my wings and rise high up into the horizon. Ravens are supposed to be birds of misery and I certainly managed to bring misery into the day of Grumpy Old Man. I retreat to an empty bell tower on Wellington Avenue to plan my next move. It is Sunday so technically speaking I should be off to croak in an ancient oak tree next to the church yard. Keeping up appearances is essential. However, I consider myself to be a modern, urban raven and as such am opposed to stereotyping. Radical as I am, I still think it is important that ravens see and are seen. There’s a football match on at the stadium and where better to stalk for misplaced hot dogs and chips then at the top of the score board! When I arrive at the stadium I am slightly taken back by the crowd. The raven has arrived and nobody seems to notice. All eyes are on the round object and the men chasing it. Stupid lump of leather, I can’t understand what’s the use of fighting over it. You can’t even eat it; I tried once in the park and it was useless. After what seems to be hours of waiting, the men hug each other and exit the field and the crowd disperses. Tasty treats of foods are scattered all over the place. Oh happy day! My fluke doesn’t last long. A flock of sea gulls arrives to steal away my prize. Normally I would stay and fight, but these are no ordinary sea gulls. They are about the size of an albatross and I decide there is no shame in retreat. Besides, I can always tell the boys it was a flock of albatrosses. I look for a good place to lick my wounds in privacy and note a cherry tree by a lake. What a grand spot! No self-respecting raven would ever be seen amidst white and pink flowers. I’ll be sure not to meet anybody I know here. Besides, it’s easy to hide behind the buds. I have just started to clean my mighty tail when I’m caught by surprise. The most beautiful, soft croak is inviting me from two branches down. Blimey! It’s the lovely lady-raven I thought of this morning. And she’s giving me the eye. I can’t blame her though. After all, I am the swankiest bird of the block. Another soft cry and I’m bought and paid for. This is it, mates. I’m getting hitched. Some hours later I soar back to my old surveillance area. My mind is filled with sunshine and springtime. My lady-love is perfect. Absolutely divine. It has become the outmost duty and sole purpose of my life to make her happy. I would bring her the moon and stars if she happened to ask for them. At the moment my full focus is on building her a grand nest. The best any bird has ever set eyes upon. There’s an old abandoned sofa bed not too far from my old neighbourhood and I figure bits of it would make a great lining for the nest. I awake from these new, busy thoughts as I spot my friend Grumpy Old Man sun-bathing on his balcony. It occurs to me his round, bald head would make a perfect target for another Stuka exercise. There’s a bittersweet feel to it when I take a beakful of sofa stuffing and sigh to myself: “nevermore”.
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