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Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Check out The Stratus Estate by M. Coté Warner. Read on below for an excerpt and to learn more about M. Coté Warner.
Author: M. Coté Warner
An Excerpt From Erawan's Story
My little elephant character, Erawan, has his own subplot, and within that subplot is a fable he tells to Vive and Phillip…
'My favorite story, one of Anansi the Trickster Hero, told of the rescue of his herd after they were captured in the night. Anansi hadn’t been captured, so he went to the king of the lions to negotiate their release.
“Why should I agree to release your herd?” asked the lion king.
“Because you may have me as your captive instead,” said Anansi.
The king spoke with his advisors and thought he devised a very clever plan.
“I will make you a deal,” he said to Anansi. “If you may complete a task, you and your herd may both go free. But if you fail, I get to keep you and your herd.”
Anansi agreed to the king’s terms. His task was to beat the fastest lion in a race. When Anansi met this lion on the starting line, he knew his opponent was no lion, because the lions were not smart enough to outsmart Anansi. Although his spots were covered and he wore a mane of dried grass, Anansi recognized his opponent as Nyamekye, the fastest cheetah to have ever lived.
“Mighty Nyamekye,” began Anansi, “what is it the lions have promised you for besting me?”
“I know not what you speak of, elephant,” said Nyamekye. “I am a simple lion.”
“If they have offered you protection, I can better their offer,” said Anansi, but Nyamekye refused to answer. Then Anansi remembered the cheetah’s great love for jackalberry beer.
“If you let me win the race, you will have the protection of my people and as much jackalberry beer as you want for the rest of your life.” The cheetah fidgeted uncomfortably and then finally relented.
“You have a deal, Anansi,” he said. “The lions will want to crush my throat for crossing them, so you’d better make good your offer.”
The race began and Nyamekye sped ahead of Anansi as was to be expected. The cat continued to outrun Anansi, making him nervous, until Nyamekye suddenly stopped, howling with pain.
“There is a thorn in my foot!” he cried, and Anansi sped past him, crossing the finish line.
“Let my people go!” Anansi yelled to the king.
“But that was only the first task,” simpered the king, and Anansi knew he had been tricked, but he could do nothing while the lions held his herd captive.
The second task the lion king set to Anansi was to lift a very large boa constrictor above his head. But upon seeing the snake, Anansi knew it was no ordinary reptile. This was Agyei, the serpent who circles the world and grasps his own tail in his mouth. Anansi approached the serpent and tickled his belly until the giant snake squirmed about. Then Anansi kneeled and put his tusks under the thick trunk of the serpent and lifted with all his might. He strained and struggled against the massive weight, first getting his feet under him, and then finally standing tall with the enormous snake on his head. Anansi let the snake fall back to the earth with an enormous crash.
“Let my people go!” cried Anansi.
The king of the lions looked nervous now, but he said to Anansi, “That was only the second task,” and Anansi began to grow worried.
The third task was to blow a great war horn, but when Anansi beheld the horn, he knew it was no ordinary instrument. This was the dread Horn of Silence that would kill all before it when it sounded, but no one living or dead could coax the instrument to make even the slightest sound. Anansi approached the horn with trepidation. All the lions had convened now to watch Anansi attempt the third task. Anansi quickly turned to all the lions and blew the horn with all his might; it would not utter a sound, but Anansi emitted a trumpet from his trunk of such volume that it has never been bested. All the lions before him fell, fainting from fear and allowing Anansi and his herd to escape.'
About the Author:
Morgan Coté Warner was born and raised mostly in Anchorage, Alaska (she was born in Anchorage, and mostly raised there). She is an alumna of Soldotna High School, one of the better academic institutions of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Dissatisfied with the real world, it was at UHH where she began to imagine and build the world and characters of Tarkenwore. The name Queen Nacthelian came to her in a dream in her college dorm room. Morgan moved back to Anchorage after spending a couple more years on the Big Island after graduating college and resumed a career in the human services. Despite a promising career, she was diagnosed with a severe and devastating chronic illness in 2010. After many years of sickness and being unable to work at much other than writing and creating a large portfolio of digital art, this, her first novel, is her reintroduction to the world of healthy, functional people. Morgan now lives in Eagle River, Alaska with her boyfriend and two goofy dogs.
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