It occurred to me a few sun greetings ago that all of us--including myself--knew very very little of Caw Caw Carl's background story, and so I decided to ask him about this. He was quite happy to share, of course, and even answered questions I had neither asked him, nor thought of. It soon became apparent that it would be a good good thing for all of us if he simply wrote down his story. And so Caw Caw Carl did so--gladly! And so now seemed like a good time for me to share his story with all of you, dear lovelies. Before I share his story, though, there are a couple things I must tell you in the interests of integrity and brevity, both of which are highly regarded still in our beloved lands.
Firstly, Caw Caw Carl and I both agreed mutually that I would need to edit his story quite a bit before we made it public, due mostly to his unique and beautiful form of double-speak. Please understand, dear readers, he is very well-spoken, and well-versed in all forms of writing...but his natural double-speak can be quite taxing (and even confusing, at times) for anyone not already accustomed to it. I have left some of his double-speak in his story in an attempt to give the reader a better feel for how he speaks, but pared it down just enough to reasonably hope that readers won't become overly confused.
Secondly (and once you read his story, you'll see why this explanation is necessary), I must describe somewhat the nature of the relationship between our own Interterrestria and their Morganshire, which lies directly east of my sister, the River. Any maps you might happen to see of Interterrestria will tend to include Morganshire in them, which has led to the false belief that Morganshire is part of our lands. It's possible--and perhaps even probable--that Morganshire was in fact a part of Interterrestria many ages ago, but if that were the case, it has long since been broken off from our proper lands. In fact, there is a dimensional barrier between our respective lands so that Morganshirians cannot cross into Interterrestria proper...and for good reason.
You see, dear reader, Morganshire is a very large and heavily populated land...a metropolis, I believe, most earthlings would consider it. It is full of all sorts of industry, manufacturing, and institutions of any sort you might name or imagine. Not that they don't have forests and nature there as well...just that they tend to be overshadowed by sciences and education, finances, politics, celebrities, and, indeed, all things material...and a general lack of all things deep and spiritual. Now many of you will realize immediately how this could conflict with the beliefs and ideals of we Interterrestrians, and indeed it does in many ways. But we Interterrestrians do not see ourselves as superior OR inferior to the Morganshirians. We simply see ourselves as different creatures with different beliefs. And please don't misunderstand me, dear reader, we Xanaduvians (especially in my Sacred Garden!) love and enjoy some material things as much--if not more--than the Morganshirians. Also we know, of course, that there are many lovely spiritual beings in Morganshire as well. And we admire their society's overall beauty and ingenuity. But no, the vast majority of their populace has very little in common with we Xanaduvians. I believe, if they were to interact with us, they would tend to see us mostly as foolish simpletons. And, in many ways, we are. But the greatest difference between Xanaduvians & Morganshirians is the fact that we have eternal life here in our lands, whereas all things eventually die in Morganshire...and death is generally considered an ending in their society. This, dear lovelies, is why we have a dimensional barrier between us and them, so that they cannot cross over into our lands. Interterrestria is VERY sparsely populated, which is important when no one ever dies. [You might imagine that mating and procreation are extremely rare in Interrestria, and you would be right, of course!]
All this being said, we DO have a few former Morganshirians in our beloved Xanadu Forest, myself being one of them. This implies, of course, that there is a way to cross over the dimensional barrier...which, of course, there is--a couple of different ways, actually! Caw Caw Carl is another being that discovered this. This is no easy thing to do. In the interests of secrecy, I can't tell you much more about this, other than that it involves lots of paperwork, stamps, good fortune, faith, and seals of approval. I can also tell you that my Sacred Garden has long had a wonderful working relationship with the chief magistrate of Morganshire, which happens to be an immortal bald eagle who was originally from Interterrestria.
Now that these things are out of the way, we can finally get on with Caw Caw Carl's tale, as edited by me:
"My name is Carl Carl, or Caw Caw Carl Carl, as many of my newly new friends have come to call call me. I was, am, and likely always will be a Stellers Jay. I was born in a moderately humble district of Morganshire, to my goodly kind parents, Mavis and Tom Tom. I was the last of my siblings to hatch--of which there were 4 others--and the last to learn to how to fly. And never did I learn to fly so gracefully fluent...even to this day! My parents owned a well-known and reputable print shop near the central document district in Morganshire City proper, and my siblings and I--when we were old enough of age--all worked there with them. We were neither richly rich, nor poorly poor, and never lacked for life's necessary necessities.
My father, Tom Tom, was a goodly good bird, but also somewhat of a hard bird, too. "Work, work," seemed to be his personal mantra saying to himself--except on weekend ends, when the print shop was closed. Then, his mantra saying seemed to be "No adventuresome adventures," though he would make little bits of time for rest and relaxation, here and there. And he had a genuinely fond love for fine ales, and even finer food...which my mother Mavis always happily prepared and provided.
My mother, Mavis, was not only a goodly good mother and wife, but also a most lovely preparer and provider for us all. She work worked hard at the print shop too, like my father...and a couple of my siblings. She seemed to work work even harder on the weekend ends. I always found it interesting that her and my father ended up together, because she was, by nature, an adventuresome dreamer. I would later learn, later on, that she inherited this part of herself from her father--my grandfather--Carl...who I was named after, of course. I've always had an ongoing, lingering feeling that my mother sacrificed many hidden, adventuresome dreams within herself for the sake of our family...but never did she seem or feel to be unhappy or regretful in the least. Always smiling most beautifully.
Now on the weekend ends, many of our extended family members would often come over to our nest, and it often felt like a holiday day, even when it wasn't actually a holiday day. Aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins' cousins, uncles' aunts, and aunts' uncles and their cousins' cousins and on and on, until there were 40 or so Stellers Jays at our nest...and my grandfather Carl, of course!
My grandfather Carl was an odd bird indeed, or so my family and extended family openly thought and said of him. Ultimately, Grandpa Pa Carl is how I would eventually come to live and dwell in the heart of the heart of the beloved Xanadu Forest. But now I'm getting aheadly ahead of myself! You see, while the rest of my family and extended family were laughing and gabbing and carrying on about this, that and whatever else, Grandpa Pa Carl would be sitting quietly outside the nest, swaying gently on the front porch swing, sipping slowly on a fine ale, and counting the stars. And many times, I would often join him there. He would tell me the most lovely tales of adventuresome adventure...some that he had read in books, and some that his brother Joel Joel had told him many years ago. I never did meet Joel Joel, for as Grandpa Pa Carl tells it, Joel Joel had long since left Morganshire for this mysterious place called Interterrestria--and eventually he just never returned.
'Do you think Joel Joel died?' I asked Grandpa Pa Carl many nights over the years, but never would he answer me. He would just smile warm and softly, stroke my wing, and tell me that he will tell me just only when the time was right...when I was old enough of age to hear such wondrous things. Then he would go back to sipping slowly his fine ale, and counting the stars, and the stars of stars.
One most fabulous night, upon our front porch swing--THAT time--much to my delight's delight--that night had finally arrived! Without me even asking that question yet again, Grandpa Pa Carl smiled warm and softly, 'Oh no, no, my beloved little Caw Caw...no one dies in Interterrestria. Life there always goes on forever! Now, most people don't believe that Interterrestria actually exists, though I know for a fact that it does. In fact, I have a most lovely, wonderful gift for you to prove it.' He pulled a small and not particularly thick-looking book out from underneath his wing, and handed it to me. The book was ancient looking, and encrusted with gems that had dimmed, and no longer shined. I dared not open the book, though I stroked its cover gently, and inhaled its most timely and timeless scent. Grandpa Pa Carl finally continued, 'My odd and beautiful brother Joel Joel brought me this book one night secretly, many many years ago. He told me it was a secret book he obtained from the Xanadu Forest, and that he wanted me to have it now...because I was the only one that ever truly believed in him. Joel Joel told me that inside this book are precious, ancient Xanaduvian secrets and wisdom...and even the knowledge and keys to crossing over into other dimensions. He then told me that he was returning to Interterrestria, never again to return to Morganshire...and that he was leaving this book with me in case I ever decided to join him there someday day.'
I was so movingly moved, and wondrously overwhelmed, that I almost didn't know what to say say. And I sort of felt kind of like crying, but it a most goodly good way. But then I thought of something, and asked my beloved Grandpa Pa Carl, 'So did you go visit Joel Joel in Interterrestria?'
Grandpa Pa smiled, and stroked my wing, gently and slowly, and softly replied, 'No, no, my dear dear Caw Caw. I never even opened the book--I didn't want to be tempted by it. My heart of hearts always spoke to me that that was not my own path or destiny, and that this book fell into my wings for the purposeful purpose of another...another I would discover many years years later, when YOU were born! And so close your eyes for a moment, my beloved Caw Caw, and breathe. Slowly, softly. Allow your heart of hearts to speak to you. You will know what to do.'
I did as my beloved Grandpa Pa Carl asked of me, and my heart of hearts spoke--softly and gently. And I began to cry...a sadly sad sort of cry. Grandpa Pa pulled me close and tight, and wrapped his wing around me. He began to cry a sadly sad sort of cry too. I finally choked back my tears and spoke, 'I can feel your heartbeat. It's such a beautiful beautiful rhythm. And my heart of hearts speaks too...but how can I?...'
'Shhh, my beloved Caw Caw. No more wordly words for us. And don't you ever, ever worry. I will speak speak to our family and extended family on your behalf, and I won't stop speaking speaking about it until they finally believe me, and smile, and their heart of hearts will speak to them and tell them all what a happily happy and beautifully beautiful occasion this really is. And I shall know forever that you will truly and literally love us all forever and ever. Because death will never find or touch you. And nothing could ever make my heart of hearts smile bigger or greater!' Then my beloved Grandpa Pa Carl kissed my forehead one last time, and his eyes sparkled so sparkly.
And many breezes, and many many pages later, here I am inside the county clerk's office of our beloved Xanadu Forest, so happily happy to be the assistant to the assistant county clerk, and holding out hope that I will someday day be the worthy forever gatekeeper my heart of hearts has called me to be.I am your friend, dear readers, Caw Caw Carl Carl the Stellers Jay, and this is my story."
Thank you all for being out there and for being a part of my lovely journey.
I love you, and life is sooo beautiful beautiful.