Skillywidden 2

Skilly had worked at the potter’s wheel all the time, never letting any form he created remain; the clay was in constant flow from one shape to another. Sometimes he completed a pot which he paused to decorate with patterns and scenes of daily life but each time he squashed it flat and started again. He made all kinds of animals too when the wheel was still. Tigers leapt, wolves howled, horses ran, a hedgehog lay curled, a flower bloomed and changed into a swan. Just as he had completed the figure of a lark Dewdrop distracted him and he released the clay bird for a moment and it flew up, up and away, climbing high into the sky and singing. He sat and watched it go with a slight frown.

Dewdrop clapped her hands and giggled.

‘’Ah well, no great harm done,’’ he said and leaned forward to scoop more clay from the bank of the pond. Spinning the wheel he began another pot. ‘’After all these years I still haven’t mastered this, but the bird sings well enough.’’


Moon and Dylan met again next day by the pool, where Skillywidden sat fishing. He seemed a very patient fisherman as they sat there long and he caught nothing. Wilf was watching the water closely. Dylan remarked on the lack of fish.

Skillywidden laughed.

‘It’s a long time I’d be here for sure,’’ he said ‘’if it’s fish I am after for there are none in this pool that I know of at all. I’m fishing for dreams and I caught a dozen or more already lad. They are resting there in my net keeping fresh. One of ’em may be yours tonight.’’

Dylan peered at the net just below the surface of the pool but to him it seemed entirely empty. Having known Skillywidden for a while he didn’t question further. He liked the idea of having a dream from Skilly’s catch and hoped he might have one that very night.

(An extract from ‘The Raven and the Storyteller’ – all rights of authorship claimed. A.Chakir/A.Gouedard)


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Ali Chakir

I am a writer and I am studying Creative Writing with the Open University, UK

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