Book #162: A Man Called Raven

A Man Called Raven -- coverThis book, from 1997, was not particularly well-reviewed and was never especially popular, but Ray was fascinated by the bold colors and stark morality of this tale. The story opens with two boys beating a raven with sticks. A tall stranger appears suddenly and admonishes them. The stranger insists that the boys take him back to their home, where they wait anxiously in their room while the stranger speaks with their parents.

Eventually the boys come downstairs and listen as the stranger tells them the story of a man who used to shoot blunt arrows at ravens. A wounded raven, now unable to fly, begins to follow the man around until the man loses his mind. He climbs a tree to escape being followed and eventually falls, only to be saved by the fact that he has now turned into a raven himself. The raven that formerly was a man witnesses his own funeral and begins to change, watching over his people and occasionally turning back into a human when people forget to be kind.

The last line reads, “Then the man was gone, leaving behind him the thunder of wings.”

Ray immediately understood that the tall stranger was the raven in the story.  If you don’t care for folklore with heavy messages, then this book probably isn’t for you. But Ray was mesmerized, and he looked at the illustrations for a long time.  ABZ

A Man called Raven -- the two boys

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