As you wander through the tranquil forest in paradise, listen intently. Eventually you’ll here melodic singing. Follow the enchanting sweet voices to its source –- the white and gold birds. Look up and around. Among the birds perched in the trees should be their sister: Gamayun.
Gamayun, unlike her sisters, does not sing, she…tells stories. What kind of stories, you ask? True ones! She is the Slavic bird of prophecy -- symbol of wisdom and knowledge. In her deep, rich, and bittersweet voice, she’ll tell you stories of the future.
If you listen and believe her, there will be no way to avoid it. How can that be, you ask? Can’t we change it once we know about it? Let me tell you about her past…
Long ago, Gamayun once went mad from the overwhelming onslaught of the visions she saw. Most of them showed her beloved country burning and being conquered. She left her paradise home to warn people, screaming prophecies to anyone who would listen, to no avail. People feared her. Some listened and fled, while others refused to listen. No one wanted to hear that the country would burn. With dark wild eyes, she screamed and screamed until her voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. Eventually, she went underground, and even there she prophesied the country’s terrible destruction.
Once it came to pass and the country recovered, she emerged and flew home to her paradise, where she sits to this day telling stories of the future to curious travelers who visit her forest.
I’ve searched extensively to see if any author ever used this most interesting character in Slavic folklore in a novel. So far, I’ve found none. Will you be the first?