The Midnight Folk

The First Player:

In the lean hours Fox trots among the untamed trees. He follows a path which sneaks through the wood, a narrow path made by hoof, paw and claw. Time is his own, he comes and goes unbidden. Thorn tipped claws and polished ears that take soundings, eyes full of moonlight so they shine silver. Tree shadows net him and he becomes a creature of leaves and light. Then he is gone in a shiver of air, a trick from Night’s sleeve.

The Second Player:

Scissored from darkness, the bat banks and glides, flickering to and fro. He knows the songs of sight in the night. He stole the night from the birds and learned its secrets, its mysteries. For a moment he is fixed in the moonlight and then flings back into the dark.

The Third Player:

What does the owl see as he stares from his perch searching the shadows? What will the darkness reveal? What does he hear? A wood mouse’s footfall, a scurrying shrew? What does he sense? A vole rustling in a tent of grass? His silent wingbeat has its own music, his husky hoot questions the darkness and rattles the bones and quickens the heartbeat of the soon-to-be-dead. With solemn deliberation he swoops up and away, a haunting presence.

The Fourth Player:

The fire filled stars look down on Brock, the bear of the woods, of ancient lineage, masked, a dusky lord. On a bank among a straggle of ferns, woodsage and foxglove all bound about with honeysuckle and a bony trellis of ivy he has mined shafts with his scimitar claws. Shafts which lead to halls, galleries and chambers, he has raised ramparts and dug ditches. He stands and considers, his is an old magic. For a whispered spell, a ceremonial summoning, he may pause in the dappled light, turn and honour you, in slow ritual with a look from his moon filled

The Fifth Players:

Enter Night’s Cinderellas, the Forester, the Old Lady, the Footman, the Emperor, the Tiger and the Elephant, moths as silent as shadows, settling as dust on late blooming honeysuckle, last bells of foxgloves and purple cockades of thistle. With wings closed and coloured like worthy fustian, sober tweed and stippled, striated, ringed and veined in pearl, umber, soot, clay and frost, forming constellations which flash secret messages. They open like a patterned fan to show underskirts of seaweed green, berry bright red, saffron yellow and mauve as pigeon’s neck feathers.

Pat Mlejnecky