Two Ravens find a Spodling

It was winter, and Lettie the Raven was putting the finishing touches to her nest when Mortimer returned with a funny black creature in his mouth.

"What on earth is that!?" She asked, poking at it. It's big purple eyes stared back up at her, un-afraid.

"I'm not sure, I found him stuck in a blackthorn bush - I couldn't just leave him there, could I?

"Hmmmm. Well, He's the right colour, I guess. I'm almost about to lay - we'll just raise him Raven."

So that was that - Blackthorn, as he came to be known, grew up in a Raven's nest. As you and I know - Mortimer and Lettie

had taken on a Spodling, and luckily for them a Spryte takes on its environment as it grows.

The Raven couple loved him, calling him their little changeling and kept him wrapped in soft black feathers.

Lettie's own eggs were layed and hatched over the next few months, and treated Blackthorn with novel curiosity.

"He has no wings, Mama!"

"His beak is a little short, isn't it!?"

As he grew Mortimer and Lettie taught him Corvid speak, fed him delicious beetles and berries and he started to develop black fluff on his head, his nose became longer and longer till a beak grew atop it, and the black feathers he dressed himself in made him feel slightly less a changeling.

Yet still, his rapidly growing siblings teased him, and developed a game in which they would drop him from the nest, then swoop down and catch him before he hit the ground!

It made Lettie furious, and frightened, and so they played the game with sticks instead after a very serious pecking from Mama.

Mortimer would take Blackthorn for rides as he grew into a Sprytling, and his heart would soar with joy. How he wished he could fly!

But, he couldn't. Blackthorn instead learnt to climb, swing, take daring leaps of faith. He played chase with his siblings, playing a game of his own where he would leap down from the tree landing perfectly on their backs. As the months went by they grew to love their funny little brother, and when they came home from their flights they would come bearing gifts, black strips of fabric, leather, lace - all stolen, of course. Blackthorn twisted and tied them all about him till he wore black from head to toe, even eventually making himself a pair of wings!

Blackthorn was unaware that soon his siblings would be leaving him, and the news broke his heart.

"We can't stay with Mama and Pa forever, silly" they comforted him. "We have to find our own partners, and build our own nests."

"Can I not come? I am a good climber! I am smart! I can smell the best berries! I can open doors, and windows!!" (This discovery had come in very handy.....)

His brothers and sisters shook their heads and slowly, one by one, they all left the nest.

Lettie and Mortimer couldn't bare to see their little changeling so distraught, and so told him the story of how he had been found.

"So, there may be more creatures like me, out there?"

"I guess so, Changeling, I guess so."

"Could, would, I mean, now everyone is gone, could we go and find them?"

Mortimer and Lettie exchanged glances, knowing how the other felt. They nodded.

For a month, Blackthorn would climb onto Mortimers back and they would fly as far as they could in search for signs or clues.

Then one day, it happened. They spotted a funny little creature walking along, searching in the long grass. It saw the shadow of Mortimer, and suddenly dissapeared! Blackthorn jumped down and headed closer.

Slowly, a head popped up. It was definitely Blackthorn's kin, though he himself looked more Raven than anything now. The face smiled, then waved, and called out.

"Hey!! Were you on the back of that Raven!? Woah!"

Blackthorn was astounded he could understand, as he was clearly not talking in Corvid, and was even more astounded to hear himself replying in the same language!

"Yes, that's my Pa. Who are you?"

"My name's Tolke, what are you doing so far out here? You're pretty funny looking for a Spryte!" "Uhm, no offence" He hastily added.

"A Spryte?" Repeated Blackthorn out loud. So, is that what I am? He thought privatley.

Tolke laughed, and that is how Blackthorn learned of his kin, and became a great peacemaker between Raven and Spryte-folk, a friendship that has become invaluable to both!