Welcome to the blog of Ron Leighton, Fantasy Author

Join me in the Shining Lands where gods, giants, werewolves, vampires and bears are real. (Oh, and I may share my art once in awhile so it doesn't get lonely in the portfolio.)

Volováie - A Story of the Bird-maiden

When Aito and Manta, Essence and Wisdom, copulated in their bed under the very first Limewood tree, many bright and lively children filled the world. Two daughters, Hela and Viashetrana, Meadow and Waterwalker, always stuck by one another as they searched for a place to play. Yet Hela wished to play where the grass grew, something she knew as Korkiefráená, ‘green-whisperers,’ while Viashetrana preferred the water, which she called Irčewetospur, ‘silver-glass-magic.’

Manta told Hela of a place that might make them both happy. Hela led her sister to the land of the middle where the rushes were great. There, they found the secret of water and grass. Together they delighted in the marshy place, where their favorite things could be found so close together. Viashetrana was especially delighted and she sang notes the world had yet to hear. From this song, birds were born. The singing creatures enveloped Viashetrana and filled the marsh. Soon, they were so many their singing could be heard in all corners of the world.

Seeing the feathers of the birds, Hela named them voldará, or ‘cloaked-ones.’ She also gave her sister a new name, Volováie, ‘bird-lady.’

When spring had passed and then summer, the season began to turn cold and all the birds were dying as their nests became covered in ice and snow. Desperate to save her beloved singers, Volováie took up a place in the great field of stars that encircles the world. Seeing her bright face, the birds were hopeful and they took flight. Volováie led them over a great distance to a land where the sun shines so strongly snow and ice can never get a grip on the land. The birds were happy and Volováie, too. She bid them return in the spring so that she may see them again. She promised that each autumn she would take her place in the star-path and lead them south. In this way, the star-path became known as Volo Boleita, ‘birds’ road.’

(This is the East Kuetran version of the story, as told to Néama and Ránaša by Palmašoa the ladycrow at Valakoaia. The West Kuetran, Vodar and Birviodish versions vary in some details but are essentially the same. For instance, the West Kuetran version sets the story more specifically in the region of Rushy Lake; the Vodar version calls Volováie Fulesnayeda ‘bird-friend;’ and the Birviodish version omits mention of Aito and Manta and begins the story with Hela and Viashetrana’s search for a place to play. Hela and Viashetrana are younger sisters of Baláva, the Moon Maiden.)