Psychopomp and Circumstance: A Fable
At first I gave only a crumb. The raven swallowed and returned the next day bearing a solitary teardrop pearl. Next a diamond ring, purchased with a disc of deli meat. The following day it appeared larger, keener. Then a Rolex for a lost dog; the poor mutt squealed as it was hoisted skyward. In time, animals no longer sated it, and no reward came. At last it accepted that which was most precious: angelic curls and cherub cheeks. By midnight’s dying toll, ferric wings besieged my door. The raven had grown large enough to grip me in its talons.