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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Alba's Jewels Part Three

Two weeks from the first meeting with Ringsend, an extraordinary visitor arrived on Timothy's island. The great bear of Ae swam for miles and miles after hearing the tale from Ringsend. The bear came to defend Alba's jewels and Timothy. The reason for this great journey would be explained by the last speaking bear in Ae.

Timothy met the great animal on the eastern shore. The bear stood up out of the water like a great monster, its black fur shining in the moonlight of the dark night. "I have a message for Timothy, the keeper of Alba's jewels, a secret kept by many hermits in Ae and told to the great bears by the last hermit, Guthlac, long ago."

Timothy waved his hand to indicate that the bear should speak again. The rabbits brought berries and fresh water for the bear, but kept a respectful distance. Timothy had brought salmon. The bear continued. "Ae is a new forest, but the old cairns are as ancient as the hermits. The hermits had a tale of the woman Alba, one of the first Christians of the northern lands of  the English, who ran away from the land of the Eastern Angles, to Dumfries. She had come north to escape death after the martyrdom of her kin, and her people died on the way except for her strong father and her son. Alba had given her son to the God of Gods and Lord of Lords to be a hermit. The hermits accepted him, but over the years, the son could not take the harsh life as he was too ill and feeble.  Alba and her father had settled in the Garden of Eden, as these are your ancestors, Timothy. But, the son stayed on the mainland. Finally, after the death of his grandfather and mother, he came to this island with a young bride, to continue the line of the kings."

The bear now was sitting on the cold sand and eating, while talking. Timothy waited. "But, before the son of Alba had left the hermits, he prophesied that a descendant of Alba's would become a holy man on the mainland and bring the jewels to a church. This prophesy indicated that the bearer of the jewels would become a priest of God and give the jewels to God."

The rabbits, listening intently to the great bear, grew interested in it's words, but wished the bear's eating habits were more genteel. Now, a small crowd of badgers from the copse joined the group listening to the bear's tale.

Alba's son and his bride had many children, but all but one returned to the mainland over the land bridge. After them, a custom of giving one son to God and to the island became the great heritage of this family.
Timothy, you are the last of this line."

Timothy remembered the line he had re-read in his Bible and he knew that the bear's story was true. But, Timothy could not understand how all these things would come to past, especially in the face of danger.

Then, the danger came suddenly, as one of the Arctic wolves, which had run for an hour from the southern side of the island. "The four evil men are here. They just landed near us in a row boat."

To be continued....