Friday, May 22, 2015


"Amongst those anisgina things, I should offer that the Raven Mockers can be put down for near about the worst of all. They were given that name because they can fly if they want to, and when they fly, they make a noise like a raven. Reuben Manco imitated it for me, kraa-kraa, a pure down ugly noise. They make it their chief business to help a man to die,  you might could say. If somebody gets down flat on his back, bad sick or wounded, the Raven Mockers fly in and crowd all round and over him like a bunch of, well, like ravens. Most times they make themselves right hard to see by air real man or woman except maybe a wise old Cherokee medicine man. And the medicine man has got to pray his strongest prayers and work his best and fastest and sensiblest with  all the magic he knows, so as to keep those Raven Mockers off from one they're out to kill."

"They're heads were round and dark, with a knobby look all over them, and the heads and those wrappings were the same sooty-looking color that, in the sunlight, might could have been a deep diry brown. They'd come on out and spread this-a-way and that to surround us, and they stood and looked on us with eyes like coals of fire that had died 
down to a scummy pink."

"It had a monkeyish look to it, only not just monkey, either. Monkeys are funny, and this wasn't funny. I mean, the skull was squashed low and shallow above and its jaw was wide and shallow below. Its mouth hung loose and ugly and went all the way across, and its two pink-shining eyes hung deep back in it, in hollows like pits under two big bony brows like jackknife handles. But not funny like a monkey, or either with that sad monkey look. It was pure poison mean. And, I reckoned, hungry."

"That stuff was a kind of skin. It grew downward from the wrists and elbows of the long arms, it ws fast to the two sides of the squatty body, all the way down to the ankles of the short, chunky legs. It was like the spread of an umbrella, or of the wings of a bat. Only it had no ribs to it, just the wide-pulled stretch of it you could see the moonlight through."
Manly Wade Wellman, The Old Gods Waken

"Of all the Cherokee wizards or witches the most dreaded is the Raven Mocker (Kâ'lanû Ahkyeli'skï), the one that robs the dying man of life. They are of either sex and there is no sure way to know one, though they usually look withered and old, because they have added so many lives to their own."

"Every little while as he flies he makes a cry like the cry of a raven when it "dives" in the air--not like the common raven cry--and those who hear are afraid, because they know that some man's life will soon go out. When the Raven Mocker comes to the house he finds others of his kind waiting there, and unless there is a doctor on guard who knows bow to drive them away they go inside, all invisible, and frighten and torment the sick man until they kill him. Sometimes to do this they even lift him from the bed and throw him on the floor, but his friends who are with him think he is 
only struggling for breath."
James Mooney, Myths Of the Cherokee


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