I asked a Hippie for an Eagle

Kili and Kwee were real eagles. Nothing to be afraid of. Not like the fearsome AquilaAquila, who never took his eyes off you, always looking for a chance to punish you for things you hadn’t actually done.

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. Continue reading “I asked a Hippie for an Eagle”

Why the Geese?

Cerbonius and his geeseCerbonius was a colourful character – priest, refugee, hermit, bishop, bear-tamer, animal-lover, miracle-worker and sensational papal visitor – who was later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church. He is remembered for his intimate relationship with God, “a man with a venerable life, who gave evidence of great holiness”, as St. Gregory the Great wrote in his Dialogues. Continue reading “Why the Geese?”

Pillage and Rape

I’ve come to a juicy episode, part of chapter 6. And the strange thing is that I feel deep emotion for the character I’m creating. The chapter introduces a runaway slave, whom Silvanus finds in the woods. Listen to the story and let me know what you think…

“Aren’t you afraid of Jupiter and Mars and all the others? Do you pray to that god of yours?”

“Well, yes, but I don’t really know much about him.” I notice tears forming in his eyes and his voice begins to tremble. “My Mother used to talk a lot about him. Before they… killed her.”
Continue reading “Pillage and Rape”

In the steps of San Cerbone

TicketsAt long last I’ve planned my next trip to make friends with Silvanus and Cerbonius. It means travelling not only over 700 km south but more than 1440 years back in history. It promises to be exciting.

Unfortunately, I’ll only be a week on Elba, and that will probably pass quickly. For most of the time I’ll be in Marciana, coincidentally over San Cerbone’s Day, 10th October. I wonder what I’ll learn from him…

My Preciousss!

Poverty is a major issue in the life of Silvanus’ family. It’s hard enough to find food each day, let alone being able to afford new clothes, tools, or – in the case of Dad, Cornelius – a fishing boat.

Together with poverty, there is often a deep-set longing for riches. If only I had the money…

  • … I’d buy new shoes
  • … I’d go to a proper school
  • … I’d travel
  • … I’d be able to marry, support a family.

So it’s not surprising, when Silvanus happens to find a cave full of crystals, that he gets excited and begins to dream big… Continue reading “My Preciousss!”