[Artemisia] Fw: [SCA_Coursing] The Celestial Pack XII

Willa - Rose yasmeena at juno.com
Mon Oct 25 21:48:58 CDT 2004

This is so touching and so worth reading, I just had to share. Each time
THL Samira hears of the passing of a great SCA hound, she makes another
announcement, each with its own story.

Mu'allemah Yasmeena, OL, OP, Cd'O, etc. 
"The Equestrian Mistress"
Minister of the Royal Stables of Artemisia 
Mounted Companion of the Lance of St. Anne 

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Edie" <e.bain at att.net>
To: SCA_Coursing at yahoogroups.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 02:31:01 -0000
Subject: [SCA_Coursing] The Celestial Pack XII

"What on earth are you doing", asked Osis of Jafar, as he wandered 
into the throne room.

"Oh, just playing with various hunting scenarios," replied Jafar, as 
he moved an archer from one place to another. "I'm thinking there 
must be a safe way to do a bow and stable hunt. The problem is, the 
hounds are so keen that they may break away from the fewterers and 
become inadvertent targets for the archers." 

Osis bent over the board and peered at the small figures. "What if 
one put a fence between the archers and the fewterers…..Hark! Is that 
the Horn that sounds?" he asked, as the notes of the "Retraite" 
sounded, and yet sounded again.

"Aye, it is," Jafar replied with pain in his voice. "It has been many 
months since we have heard its call. I was hoping—against hope, I 
know—that we had heard its last peal."

Master Johannes strode into the throne room. "Good Sires," said 
he, "You knowest that, as long as Your Hounds abide on Earth and in 
the Dream, that the Horn will continue to sound. For It is the sad 
truth, that hounds' lives be measured in months, whilst those of 
their keepers be measured in years. Thus was it ever thus: A good 
fewterer may know many fine hounds during his lifetime, although one 
or two may stand out in his memory as beyond the best. Still, even 
those best will not outlive him. This is the price one pays for 
taking such noble beasts into one's heart."

Jafar closed His eyes in pain. "Well doth I know this," he 
replied, "for have not I lost everything I have loved in life, yet be 
condemned to feel My subjects' losses as Mine own?"

"No less than Mine," retorted Osis, "although, My Kingdom being newer 
than Yours, My losses are not so great."

"Nor mine," answered Johannes. "Although I was never a King, more 
Meridian hounds have passed than from any other Kingdom. I say this 
truly…each of us feels each loss as if it were our own, no matter 
from which Kingdom it comes. The hounds that come this day, however, 
are none of mine."

"Nor Mine," Answered Jafar and Osis, in unison. "They must come from 
one of the newer Realms."

"Wherever they come from, they are Ours for the Keeping," Osis 
said. "Let Us go and greet them, as befits true Kings."

Nodding, Jafar and Johannes fell in at Osis' heels. As they made 
their way to the Rainbow Bride, the rest of the Celestial Pack fell 
in behind them. However, instead of Duncan, the pack leader, being in 
the vanguard, the forward position was taken by Sunni, Cutie and 
Swift, followed closely by Lucy and Aiden. As they made their way to 
the meeting place, a thousand hushed voices seemed to echo, "NAM 
MYOHO RENGE KYO", over and over.

Suddenly, as if by magic, Sunni and Cutie appeared at Osis' and 
Jafar's sides, each bearing a rabbit, untouched to all appearances.

"Ah," said Jafar, having been through this before, "an offering to 
the Gods. Take heed, Osis…yon rabbit will not be long by thee."

Osis cradled the dead rabbit in His hands, as did Jafar, as they 
approached the Rainbow Bridge. On the far side was a black greyhound, 
grizzled about the muzzle, and hunched over, as if in pain in the 
belly. Behind her crouched a large brindle male greyhound, in obvious 
pain from a hind leg.

"Whose are these hounds?"asked Johannes. 

"Not Mine." "Nor yet Mine," answered the two Kings.

"Then it is to me that greeting them falls," answered the Master 
Huntsman, striding across the Bridge.

As Johannes reached the other side, the black gyp did not bow in 
obeisance, but stood, as one equal to another. Smiling, Johannes 
placed his left hand on her forehead,

"Kievey," he said, "one of the first Hounds of An Tir. Be ye welcome 
here. There are already some of your comrades to welcome thee. And 
your friend is…?"

Kievey turned and nuzzled the brindle's shoulder.

"Riley!" exclaimed Johannes. "Long have we wondered where you were. I 
do understand that the previous An Tiran hounds were not known to 
thee. I commend thee for waiting for Kievey to join you."

Johannes extended his hand to both the waiting hounds. Slowly and 
painfully, they came and stood by his side. Supporting both of them, 
he recrossed the Bridge to where Osis and Jafar stood.

"My Lieges," said he, "I bring you two of Your Hounds. Kievey, who 
coursed for many years on earth for the glory of An Tir. And Riley, 
who was the First Hound of An Tir. Unfortunately, his people lost 
sight of the Dream. He, however, has found his way to Us, and wishes 
to be part of the Celestial Pack."

Osis and Jafar traded a quick glance, then Osis stepped forward.

"We welcome you," he said, "for all the hounds that have coursed for 
the Dream are welcome here."

Suddenly, the rabbits that Osis and Jafar held leapt back to life and 
ran off, with no hound pursuing them.

"The exchange has been made," said Johannes. "A life for a 
life...these hounds have been ransomed by their comrades,"

"Hounds of the Celestial Pack," asked Jafar, "will thee come forth 
and welcome your new Packmates?"

One by one, the hounds of the Celestial Pack came forth as their 
names were called:

"Aces High, of Midrealm"
"Aiden, of Calontir"

"A-Me-Go, of Midrealm"
"Ariel, of Meridies"
"Belle, of Ansteorra"
"Belle, of Midrealm"
"Bernie, of Meridies"
"Blackout, of Atlantia"
"Bo, of Midrealm"
"Brodie, of Atlantia"
"Browning, of Meridies"
"By Choice, of Meridies"
"Carl-Ten, of Meridies"
"Chris, of Meridies"
"Colt, of Meridies"
"Cutie, of An Tir"
"Damon Fox, of Meridies"
"Digger, of Trimaris"
"Dixie, of Meridies"
"Duncan, of Midrealm"
"Emily, of Atlantia"
"Erromani, of AEthelmearc"
"Et Cetera, of Meridies"
"Frankie, of Midrealm"
"General, of Midrealm" 
"Gryphon, of Midrealm"
"Harmony, of Meridies"
"John Moore, of Meridies"
"Lookin, of Trimaris"
"Lucy, of Calontir"
"Madeline, of Artemesia"
"Magic, of Meridies"
"Missy, of Meridies" 
"Muskrat, of Meridies"
"Myra, of Ansteorra"
"Pat-C, of Midrealm"
"Pattycake, of Atlantia"
"Pest, of Artemesia"
"Ross, of Meridies"
"Scooter, of Meridies"
"Seeger Rock, of Meridies"
"Sha-Kar, of Ansteorra"
"Sheba, of AEthelmearc"
"Sissy-B, of Midrealm"
"Splash, of Meridies"
"Storm, of Meridies"
"Streaker, of Ansteorra"
"Stumah, of AEthelmearc"
"Sugar Sweety, of Meridies"
"Sunni, of An Tir"
"Swift, of Midrealm"
"Tasha, of Midrealm"
"Tucker, of Meridies" 
"Velvet, of Midrealm"
"Zima, of Ansteorra".

As Zima, the last hound, touched noses with the two newcomers, they 
grew in stature: Riley's cancerous leg became whole and strong, and 
Kievey lost all signs of the cancer that had ravaged her intestinal 

As Riley stood and stretched the leg that had failed him in the end, 
Jafar laughed in gladness.

"A happy day it is, to see Our hounds made well and strong again," he 
said. "I know your people on earth grieve for thee, but if they could 
only see you run here, they would cry in joy. For here, Thee art made 
young and strong again, and so wilt thee be until you meet again with 
the ones who loved you best."

And HOWL, O Hounds!! Howl unto the Heavens, for the passing of an 
era. The two First Hounds of An Tir have come to join their comrades 
in the Celestial Pack. Here they will sit at the Gods' Great Table, 
and prepare for us a place for the time when we join them.

THL Samira Umm' al Harith
October 25, AS XXXIX

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