keikoku

“I can’t do it…” said the cat, “I simply cannot think this puzzle through with all that noise going on!!”

Tsuru looked at her with a slight smile.

“Don’t mock me boy…” she said, “I’m serious, how can this be done with all that happening… I’ve a mind to…”

Before she could finish, the crane raised his hand and with a slight laugh said:
“Ok, ok, I’ll have a word… wait here.”

The cat, who had already started to get up, sat back down again and frowned towards a tree across from them. Her frown turned to a wince as the noise came again.

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWW.

Tsuru hopped across the field to the base of the tree and called up into the branches:
“Hoi… Caranaux… Hoi!”

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWW.

“HOI… Caranaux… Caranaux… HOI I say.”

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWWW.

Tsuru sighed, bent down, and picked up a small stone… With one eye closed he threw the stone up into the branches.

CAWWW, CAWWW, CA…!!!!!

“… MERCY… MERCY!” came a cry down from the tree.

“Caranaux…” shouted up the crane.

A head popped out of the top of the tree and looked around… Upon spying Tsuru at the bottom the crow shouted down:
“HOI… What gives? You can’t just jolly well go around throwing stones at people in trees you know…”

“I’m sorry…” said the crane, “I called only you didn’t hear becau…”

“Could have a fellows eye out with that… dangerous things stones, you know what happened to Hillundra after all.” said the crow smartly.

“Yes… I mean no… I mean I’m not here to talk about that…” said the crane shaking his head.
“I tried calling but you were cawing so loudly.”

“Well that’s what I do,” said the crow raising his wings, “I’m a crow, it’s in the blood you know.”

“Yes… I mean no… I mean… lets start again!” Tsuru was becoming a little confused at this point.

CAWW, CAWW, CA…

“CARANAUX !!!!!”

The crow popped his head out again and looking down cried out:
“WHAT… WHAT NOW?!”

The crane sighed, and momentarily considered picking up another stone.”Look, dear crow…” said Tsuru, “I came over to ask you to quiet down a little… cat and I are trying to solve a puzzle over there and all ‘this’ that you are making is frightfully distracting!”

The crow looked at the crane for a short time with a blank expression before whispering down:
“I can’t… Gotta scare the humans away, can’t let them camp up around here… No way… No how!”

“Why ever not, they aren’t going to eat you!” replied the crane.

“B e c a u s e…” the crow said in a drawn out way, “Because they will camp here and then there will be trouble, so I caw… it’s in my blood you know!”

“I know…” sighed Tsuru, “But do you HAVE to do it so loudly?!”

“The louder the better, it is all theatrics you know…” Said Caranaux, “It’s all just a show this cawing – Really we crows can sing the most beautiful songs but their sound is more dangerous than the sirens… So I frighten mankind away, I have to… Otherwise there will be all kinds of trouble!”

“I don’t believe you, you are making this up!” cried up the Crane.
“I’ve met many crows, and I’ve only ever hea…”
Tsuru suddenly found himself on his back, on the floor… Dazed he went to stand up and realised he was crying.

“See…” said the crow, “And that was only a verse… If I’d sung anymore you’d have forgotten who you were and been up this tree all googly eyed and waving your arms about like an Orang-utan!!”
“So I caw, with full theatrics, to keep the humans away you know… Lest they hear my secret song and end up gibbering jelly apes.”

“I see…” said the crane, and wandered off back towards the cat.

CAWWW, CAWWWW, CAWWWW.

The cat, who had not heard the song but had obviously noticed the crow was still cawing, opened her mouth to ask the crane just exactly which part of hushing him up hadn’t been understood when she saw something that made her change her mind…
“What’s wrong with your face?!” she asked the crane, “It’s all funny looking and your eyes are weird.”

The crane looked at her with the most curious blank face and quietly told her about the crow and his song…
“… And then I found myself on the floor, but I’d been dreaming you see cat, I dreamt I was eating red berries from a beautiful tree and the berries put me to sleep and gave me the most wonderful dreams!”

The cat looked at the crane, moving her face in towards him.
“That sounds like the berries from old Goyanakazu’s tree… Remember, remember I told you!!” whispered the cat.
“… Hang on… is that THE Caranaux making all that racket?!” she cried, “I should have eaten him after all!!”

The crane now looked puzzled.
“But I planted that tree cat…” he said, “I mean, I planted the seed on the island. Hillundra gave it to me just before she… Just before… Well you know… Before.”

The cat looked at the crane.
“I’m lost.” she said, “You mean you planted Hillundra’s seed, which grew into a tree, which bore fruit on Goyanakazu’s island, which Cauranux ate and dreamt the great dreams – But now he is here cawing because he can sing a song which makes the listener dream the great dream without the fruit and humans go googly for it?!”

“Yes… No… I mean… I don’t know…” said the crane, “I mean I planted the tree, the seed, so it’s my fault Caranaux can sing because he ate the fruit? But Hillundra told me to plant the seed there because she said ‘The fruit of its fruit will one day set me free’…”
The crane sighed.
“… I don’t understand this at all!” he said.

“Well,” said the cat, “Do you feel free?”

The crane looked about, he looked up, he looked down and he looked behind…
“I am free.” he said, not feeling like he really understood how he wouldn’t have been free in any case before.

“Well I guess that is that then!” said the cat.
“Now help me solve this puzzle please, it’s making my ears hurt trying to figure it.”

“Ok, ok…” said Tsuru. “What was the question again?”

“Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?” Said the cat.