Silvanus had spent many an hour watching them – masters of soaring – as they hunted for dormice or frogs, or repaired one of last year’s nests in preparation for a new family.
Sometimes, however, they reminded him of Aquila the Avenger, the eagle-shaped manifestation of the god Jupiter, who took pleasure in tormenting his devotees without cause. Silvanus’s family attempted to placate him with regular offerings of grain, pigeons or silver coins. But they never ceased to fear him, especially when he cast his bolts of lightning on their village and his rumbling threats echoed round the cliffs. The carved eagle pendant Silvanus was obliged to wear until he came of age would protect him from the wrath of that vengeful god, said his aunt Ceres, the priestess.
I discussed my wishes with some hippies who sold handmade necklaces and bracelets. And one street artist offered to carve two eagles – based on my sketch – by the following day!
Which do you like better?