They Came For Silver


oil and silver leaf on hand stretched linen
24 x 24 inches

Out of stock

It was long believed that silver held a magic that would bring rainfall for the crops. Assigned villagers would periodically venture deep into the mountains just outside the township in search for silver.

Through time and experience the searchers improved their searches. They improved their capabilities and even started inventing machinery to help their efforts. More and more the villagers started decimating the land and inadvertently poisoning their own crops.

A drought eventually blanketed the land as the silver became scarce. The village struggled, but maintained as they kept searching for more and more silver.

On a particularly sweltering day, a group of discouraged, yet determined searchers discovered a nice vein of silver that the town could continue to mine from for a very long time. On this same day, a beautiful great horned owl hovered above the searchers and perched on a lone tree breaking through the vein of silver. The searchers, in awe, immediately stopped what they were doing to look up at the stunning bird, having never seen an owl before. The great bird would swoop down every time a searcher got close to the silver. Almost as if to protect it. The searchers were desperate, but so exhausted that they decided to retire to their village and try again the next day.

Before the dawn of the next day, the villagers awoke and before heading out to the search site, they noticed a few ores of silver at the center of the village. As the villagers noticed the pile of silver, they all looked up to the sky to begin praising the gods. Tiny droplets of rain slowly began to fall from the sky.

The rain continued periodically and the villager’s crops thrived. The satisfied villagers  decided not to send searchers out. Simultaneously, the village elders noticed the pile of silver at the center of the village would be slightly bigger just before a nice stormy rain. Curious, the elders began camping out around the pile of silver. One night deep thunder could be heard in the distance. Just as the elders were about leave the village center to grab shelter in their own huts, one of the elders heard a “hoo-hoo”. This elder stayed for a moment and looked up. The Great Horned Owl from the mining site gently swooped down to drop some ores of silver which had been clinched in her talons onto the pile. A blanket of dark clouds began to block the full moon. Droplets of rain began to fall as the great bird flew away. The elders looked down at the pile of silver, slowly backing away as the rain plummeted. The silver ores had formed an effigy of the great owl. This centerpiece for the village was a daily reminder to the villagers to never forget the importance of their animal brethren.

The owl brought silver, the silver brought rain, the rain brought crops, and the crops brought mice which the owl could feast, and the owl brought silver, and the silver brought rain.


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