Mysterious creatures reside here at the edge of the world. Strange plants have taken root on this cliffside overlooking the endless sea. Behold the birthplace of what nature has to offer as it’s caretaker rests on a cushion of soft grasses festooned in a rainbow of daisies. Maia dreamt every night of new flowers and animals, Great winged eagles in glittering gold settling into fields of purple glittering bell shaped blossoms they would bury their beaks into with a great sigh, and she rose every morning with the sun wandering her cliffside willing these unknown things into being. This was her gift to the world.

     The earth sang to Maia in her waking hours, each conscious being adding its voice to the rising orchestra of life. She in turn would sing the melodies of life aloud so that any in her wake could take in its essence and be strengthened by its presence. Likewise Maia followed these individual voices throughout her days following any who grew faint to lift them up from darkness and into the sun. On one such day she heard a sorrowful melody plucking at the distant reaches of her mind and followed it. At the end of the strain she found a patch of darkened ground ravaged by some unknown evil that left blackened trees and barren earth in its wake. The plants had grown silent but that faint cry echoed nearby leading her to a bundle of brown moss sheltering a small bird. She took the miniscule creature into her arms, bade the surrounding forest reclaim the wasteland left behind, and returned to her home.


     Upon returning to her field Maia set about creating a space near her patch of daisies for her new winged friend. The little one would require more than a few moments to return to his previous level of health for whatever had injured him was dark indeed. Maia set to nursing him back to health. In time the tiny bird sprouted dark feathers with a beautiful technicolor sheen, “So you are a crow little one”, Maia said. “My name is Ingram,” the crow whispered ever so sweetly back. “It is nice to see you regaining your strength Ingram”, Maia smiled wide as his trill switched from one of sorrow to one of hope.

     Over the coming months Maia learned Ingram’s story of the smoldering shadow that had lit among the forest his family called home. He was the sole member of his family that had survived the encounter. Even as he regained his full strength growing into a very large crow indeed, the largest she had ever beheld in fact, he stayed with her. Ingram began wandering farther and farther from their home returning with little gifts for Maia, a flower here, a sparkling rock there. She always took pleasure in the trinkets he returned with gathering them along the cliff’s edge. She couldn’t help but wonder each day as she watched him fly off into the sunrise if her magic had affected him somehow and made him more than just an ordinary crow. Ingram was special to be sure, and she hoped he would like the secret surprise she was working on for him. Maia smiled wide, took in a deep breath of the salty air, and resumed her work. 

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