A Serpent's Tale
"...when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you ..."
Green Island Books
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A Serpent's Tale
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Share as you like for non-profit use, but please be sure to identify Dave as the author and include the website address

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Dave Patterson

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Green Island, Dave's magnum opus, a story of a modern social democracy where We the People have finally displaced the bankers from our government, and established the first real Democracy on our planet. The old rulers are not about to sit idly by and allow the work of centuries to be undone by a band of hippies, of course, and attempt a regime change with their military arm, the US hegemon. This regime change attempt gets a bit of a shock, however. Green Island too has something a little harder under the green glove.

And Dave's latest essay:
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In the 60s we were a few short steps away from the dream of democratic peace and prosperity our ancestors had fought for for centuries - and here we are as the first decade of the 21st century stumbles to an end on the edge of the abyss with nothing but grim in sight as chaos and turmoil threaten from all sides -

- a slightly older essay on
The Global Financial Meltdown: Forces beyond our control, or the greatest Sting ever?
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Dave's first book about what is happening to our society
They're Building a Box -
and You're In It

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And a book for younger readers too, Dave's an eclectic sort of person - Aquila

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Click on the book to order...
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When you destroy an animal's habitat, the animal either goes somewhere else or dies. When you kill all the habitats, and there is no place left to go - everything dies.

Few humans seem to understand this.

We have cut down or burned most of the great forests, killed most of the life in the oceans, poisoned the very air we need to breathe, committed genocide and holocaust on tens of thousands of species on our planet that used to run and fly and swim in numbers too great to be counted. And we're working hard to destroy what little remains, in the holy name of money.

Something else most humans do not seem to understand is that once the food and air and water and living creatures are gone, we're not going to be far behind, as we find the money is not going to be of much use when there's nothing left to buy. Or eat. Or drink.

Ignorance, stupidity, too much tv, apathy, 'had no idea, really!', 'had to pay the bills, then di'n't I mate?', and the like will not be considered good excuses when She To Whom The Great Amozi Reports comes looking for an explanation.

A Serpent's Tale

Coil 1 Graystar

In the beginning we were free.

Excuse me while I brush back tears. It makes me weep, now, Effendi, to think of the beginning. No, I am not the heartless creature you think of me as. I weep. I do indeed weep. But there is not much time left, for weeping or for telling stories. We will try to remember the past, Effendi, and our history, here briefly as we meet one last time, and perhaps understand where we failed. It is a miserable record we leave, should any survive to study it, but surely we owe it to any who might follow to explain our failure, in hopes they will become wiser than we and not repeat our mistakes. A flickering hope, to be sure - but hope is all that is left, when despair and desecration surround us on all sides.

Let me leave you first with Graystar.

Before your kind arrived.

"Mama!! Mama! Wheeheehee!! Whee heehee!" Graystar was but hours old, yet already he was taking his first tentative gallop around his mother, old Sinjere, and voicing his first words in Equine tongue.

"Like the wind I run! Like the wind! Wheeheehee!!" whickered the colt, frisking under Sinjere's happily nodding head.

Sinjere was past the usual breeding age - she had watched almost twenty summers come and go - but as the matriarch of the herd her endurance and association with the dominant stallions gave her special privileges - such as this new colt, Graystar, sired by no less a stallion than Graymane himself. Graystar's small hooves tossed up clumps of earth and fresh green spring grass, and some of the other mares snorted at him in warning if he came too close to their own newborns.

"Wheeheehee!" he cried again and again, tossing his head proudly and shaking his mane in joy, reveling in his new life and the glory of the spring; "Wheeheehee!! Wheeheehee!"

As Graystar galloped, occasionally stumbling and recovering himself, around her in the center of the wide grass plains which stretched as far as the eye could see in one direction and to the far mountains in the other, Sinjere followed his movements with love and pride and satisfaction shining from her wisened eyes. She had seen and done many things in her day, and Graystar would almost certainly be her last joy in life. She had known for the last two or three seasons that she was feeling her age, and it was more the memory of her past than her present strength that afforded her what respect the herd still showed. Yet respect had to be maintained, and other mares were champing for her position.

She would not worry on that this day, however. Graystar laughed in the bright sun with joy at his newfound life, and as he reared back in front of Sinjere, and tumbled to the grass as his balance could not keep up with his ambition, she laughed along with him, and nuzzled him back to his feet to try again.

As spring gave way to summer, Graystar began to learn about himself and the other yearlings in his herd. He learned about the weather, and day and night, and the perils of living in the great plain that encompassed his world. He learned about gopher holes that could snap a horse's lower leg bone and condemn it to a short life. He learned about the wolves that hunted in packs on the plain, usually not bothering the herd but occasionally killing old or weak horses in that time of year called 'winter' that the Elders said he would find out about soon enough. He learned to read the message of the hawk and owl in the sky, and the badger and meadow vole on the ground, and the smell of the air and color of the sky. He learned not to get too close to heated stallions or sour mares, where a sharp nip often awaited. He learned, along with his fellow yearlings, that it was exciting to test the limits of his Elders.

He learned that a colt's life was usually a carefree life of great fun, galloping around the plain with other yearlings, engaging in mock battles with the other colts, grazing peacefully cheek to cheek with the sleek young fillies, casting admiring glances their way and pretending not to see the equally admiring glances cast his. He learned that when the nights were cold and wet and the wind blew fiercely down from the north steppes the best place for a young horse to be was safely behind his Mother's protecting flank, nuzzling for a suck of warm and sweet milk.

Sinjere lay in the bright summer sun and dreamed. She dreamed of her sire, the great and princely alpha stallion of the herd when she was a filly laughing and full of fun. And then a dark spirit entered her dreams. And this is what she dreamed.

One day the young of the herd were testing their legs in the cold white layer that had fallen over the ground in the night. They lifted their hooves delicately in this new addition to their small, young world, tossing it in clouds behind them and starting in mock alarm at its strangeness.

They were trotting around the perimeter of their territory with the Elder of the herd who was also the healer, who told the young stallions how to take care of their wounds when they had battled other young stallions and been wounded. The Elder spoke to them of the spring, and the summer, and the fall and winter. And he spoke to them also of life and death, in the same words, for the one is but the smaller version of the other, and the beginning of wisdom is the realisation that all things are one.

And this is how it will be, he said in Sinjere's dream.

This is how it will be.

You will be galloping one day, free as the wind, having reached your fullness and feeling that life is all joy and you will live forever. And you will feel a terrible pain in your heart, or in your brain, or in the strong tendon at the back leg, and you will look back and there will be your Death. You will in that instant be furious, outraged at the unfairness of it; unbelieving at the suddeness; hurt to the very depths of your soul that your life is being taken when you had just begun, and so much yet to do, and so much yet to feel and be and dream and experience.

And you will think these thoughts for only an instant, for the next wolf will be at your throat, or the next blinding redness in your brain, and you will fight and scream and fight to live, for one more breath of the fresh sweet air, one more sight of your beautiful world, one last moment to share with your fellow beings, one more precious instant of life, for that is the greatest instinct of all.

But your protests will be to no avail. The first wolf will finish his work, and you will fall to your knees. A third will join the second, and your heart's blood will pour onto the ground. You will kick and scream and bite and rage, but there is no chance, and it will all be over before you properly know it has begun. It comes to us all, one day.

And as he finished, the Elder, in Sinjere's dream, reared high above the young, black mane streaming in the wind, kicking white snow in a fury around him, and 'WHEHEE NEHEE NEHEEE', on and on, on and on, at the top of his voice. She looked up at him, becoming one with the young in her dream, silhouetted against the deep blue sky, at his black shadow high above, growing and growling, as the thunder of his voice and the black of the sky became one ... looked at him from her terrified eyes, from Graystar's terrified eyes ... and Sinjere awoke back in her own meadow, eyes wide in fear, trembling and sweatwet from the dream, and quickly heaved to her feet, looking around for Graystar.

The dream was not about her, it was about her Graystar, she could feel, and about danger. Danger now.

She whinnied her Mother-to-colt call, as loud as she could, and began running through and around the herd looking for him, calling and calling. The other mares knew nothing, the stallions in their games had not seen him, the young colts and fillies knew not where her young Graystar was. She expanded her panicked circle to beyond the fringes of the herd - and it was not long until she saw a bump near the western horizon, made obvious in shadow by the sinking sun.

Her heart sank as the sun, for she knew immediately it had to be Graystar, even as her brain cried denial.

It took her but seconds to gallop to her downed colt, for Graystar indeed it was. He heard her pounding hooves as she approached, and lifted his head to see her, eyes wide so there was yellow-white all around the edges in fear and pain and bewilderment - it tore her to the very roots of her heart to look in them as she stamped helplessly at his side.

'Mama!' whickered Graystar, weak and pathetic; 'Mama! What has happened? I am not well! I am frightened! What is happening? Why has this pain come upon me? Please take me once again to the herd! I I ..." Graystar's voice faltered weakly.

His eyes flared wide for a moment, and his head fell back to the ground. Sinjere screamed in anger and pain to the sky, feeling Graystar's pain as her own, then lowered her nose to her beautiful colt's cheek and nuzzled him. His body shook in spasm, and he cried in pain as he turned his face once again to his mother.

With her face near the ground, Sinjere now could see the two puncture marks on Graystar's foreleg, in an island of swollen flesh still oozing fresh droplets of blood, and she immediately understood what had happened to her beloved colt. She also understood that there would be no passing of his hurt, no stumbling to his feet on the morrow with sore bones or wounds to heal, and carry on living. His blood was already foul with death, and there would be no living for her colt tomorrow. Again she raised her head and screamed to the heavens in impotent rage, as the life faded from Graystar's eyes even as she watched, and his hooves drummed weakly on the ground in pain and protest one last time, remembering his first joyful runs with Sinjere his mother.

Some seconds from the end, Graystar ceased writhing in pain, and a certain peace came to him. The lines of pain eased from his brow and eyes and mouth, and he half opened his eyes to look at Sinjere one last time. He gave a tiny whicker of love and farewell, and went his lonely way.

As Sinjere reared high against the sky raging again and again, a coiled shape looked down at her and the colt with cold green eyes from under a leaning stone on a nearby hill, tasting the air with red forked tongue. As the great horse shape settled to the ground below it, it carefully unwound its length, and painfully crawled off through the grass, favoring its blooded side where the hoofprint still throbbed redly ..

end of Coil 1

You can get the full 'hardcopy' paperback of A Serpent's Tale at Lulu POD ($13.50 + postage) - or you can Download a full PDF of Serpents Tale here, no charge. If you are an agent or publisher and want to talk about representing me (all rights for Serpent's Tale currently available), or anyone else who just wants to talk, write me at dave (at) rudemacedon-dot-ca