Edited by Yeats scholars Catherine E. Paul and Margaret Mills Harper, the volume presents the "system" of philosophy, psychology, history, and the life of the soul that Yeats and his wife George (nee Hyde Lees) received and created by means of mediumistic experiments from 1917 through the early 1920s. Yeats obsessively revised the book, and the revised 1937 version is much more widely available than its predecessor. The original 1925 version of "A Vision," poetic, unpolished, masked in fiction, and close to the excitement of the automatic writing that the Yeatses believed to be its supernatural origin, is presented here in a scholarly edition for the first time.
The text, minimally corrected to retain the sense of the original, is extensively annotated, with particular attention paid to the relationship between the published book and its complex genetic materials. Indispensable to an understanding of the poet's late work and entrancing on its own merit, "A Vision" aims to be, all at once, a work of theoretical history, an esoteric philosophy, an aesthetic symbology, a psychological schema, and a sacred book. It is as difficult as it is essential reading for any student of Yeats.
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About the Author
William Butler Yeats is generally considered to be Ireland’s greatest poet, living or dead, and one of the most important literary figures of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.
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THE POETRY OF SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON I
This article appeared in The Irish Fireside of 9 October 1886, under the heading "Irish Poets and Irish Poetry." Sir Samuel Ferguson had died on 9 August 1886, and the present article was one of two pieces written by Yeats to sum up the achievement of Ferguson. This article may have been written after the longer, more detailed one that appeared in The Dublin University Review of November 1886, pp. 10-27 in this collection. In the present article Yeats writes about Ferguson's Conary, from Poems (Dublin: W. McGee, 1880), "Of this poem's splendid plot, which I have no space to describe here, I have written somewhat copiously elsewhere."
Sir Samuel Ferguson (1810-86), Belfast-born poet and antiquary, most heavily influenced Yeats by his attempt to use ancient Irish legends and heroic sagas as subjects for his poems. What Ferguson's work meant to Yeats is writ large in this and the following article.
Of old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago.
In the garden of the world's imagination there are seven great fountains. The seven great cycles of legends the Indian; the Homeric; the Charlemagnic; the Spanish, circling round the Cid; the Arthurian; the Scandinavian; and the Irish all differing one from the other, as the peoples differed who created them. Every one of these cycles is the voice of some race celebrating itself, embalming for ever what it hated and loved. Back to their old legends go, year after year, the poets of the earth, seeking the truth about nature and man, that they may not be lost in a world of mere shadow and dream.
Sir Samuel Ferguson's special claim to our attention is that he went back to the Irish cycle, finding it, in truth, a fountain that, in the passage of centuries, was overgrown with weeds and grass, so that the very way to it was forgotten of the poets; but now that his feet have worn the pathway, many others will follow, and bring thence living waters for the healing of our nation, helping us to live the larger life of the Spirit, and lifting our souls away from their selfish joys and sorrows to be the companions of those who lived greatly among the woods and hills when the world was young.
It was in Ferguson's later poems that he restored to us the old heroes themselves; in his first work, Lays of the Western Gael, he gave us rather instants of heroic passion, as in 'Owen Bawn', and 'Deirdre's Lament for the Sons of Usnach', or poems in which character is subordinated to some dominant idea or event, as in the 'Welshmen of Tirawley', and 'Willy Gilliland', or tales round which is shed the soft lustre of idyllic thought, as the 'Fairy Thorn'.
In other words, he was more lyrical and romantic than dramatic in this first and best known of his books. 'The Fairy Thorn', does the whole range of our rich ballad literature contain a more beautiful ballad of 'the good people' than this? I will quote almost the whole of it:
'Get up, our Anna dear, from the weary spinning-wheel,
For your father's on the hill, and your mother's asleep;
Come up above the crags, and we'll dance a highland-reel
Around the fairy thorn on the steep'.
At Anna Grace's door 'twas thus the maidens cried
Three merry maidens fair, in kirtles of the green;
And Anna laid the sock and weary wheel aside,
The fairest of the four, I ween.
They're glancing through the glimmer of the quiet eve,
Away, in milky wavings of neck and ankle bare;
The heavy sliding stream in its sleepy song they leave,
And the crags in the ghostly air;
And linking hand in hand, and singing as they go,
The maids along the hillside have ta'en their fearless way,
Till they come to where the rowen trees in lonely beauty grow
Beside the fairy hawthorne grey.
But solemn is the silence of the silvery haze
That drinks away their voices echoless repose,
And dreamily the evening has still'd the haunted braes,
And dreamier the gloaming grows.
And sinking one by one, like lark-notes from the sky
When the falcon's shadow saileth across the open shaw,
Are hushed the maidens' voices, as cowering down they lie
In the flutter of their sudden awe.
For from the air above, and the grassy ground beneath,
And from the mountain ashes, and the old whitethorn between,
A power of faint enchantment doth through their beings breathe,
And they sink down together on the green.
Thus clasped and prostrate all, with their heads together bow'd,
Soft on their bosoms beating the only human sound
They hear the silky footsteps of the silent fairy crowd,
Like a river in the air, gliding round.
No scream can they raise, nor prayer can they say,
But wild, wild, the terror of the speechless three
For they feel fair Anna Grace drawn silently away
By whom they dare not look to see.
They feel their tresses twine with her parting locks of gold,
And the curls elastic falling, as her head withdraws;
They feel her sliding arms from their tranced arms unfold,
But they may not look to see the cause.
For heavy on their senses the faint enchantment lies
Through all that night of anguish and perilous amaze;
And neither fear nor wonder can ope their quivering eyes,
Or their limbs from the cold ground raise.
Till out of night the earth has rolled her dewy side,
With every haunted mountain and streamy vale below;
When, as the mist dissolves in the yellow morning tide,
The maidens' trance dissolveth so.
Then fly the ghastly three as swiftly as they may,
And tell their tale of sorrow to anxious friends in vain
They pined away,6 and died within the year and day;
And ne'er was Anna Grace seen again.
You must go to the book itself for that ringing ballad, 'Willy Gilliland', or that other, 'The Welshmen of Tirawley', which I am told the English poet Swinburne considers the best Irish poem, for I cannot do them justice by short quotations. I could give no idea of a fine building by showing a carved flower from a cornice.
His well-known poem, the 'Lament of Deirdre', is a version from the Irish. It is one of 'the things of the old time before'. The name of him who wrote it has perished, his grave is unknown; and she in whose mouth it is put beheld the dawn from her tent door, and heard the long oars smiting the grey sea, and beheld the hills and the forest, and had her good things long ago, and departed. Well then, perhaps, some one will say, if it has come from so far off, what good can it do us moderns, with our complex life? Assuredly it will not help you to make a fortune, or even live respectably that little life of yours. Great poetry does not teach us anything it changes us. Man is like a musical instrument of many strings, of which only a few are sounded by the narrow interests of his daily life; and the others, for want of use, are continually becoming tuneless and forgotten. Heroic poetry is a phantom finger swept over all the strings, arousing from man's whole nature a song of answering harmony. It is the poetry of action, for such alone can arouse the whole nature of man. It touches all the strings those of wonder and pity, of fear and joy. It ignores morals, for its business is not in any way to make us rules for life, but to make character. It is not, as a great English writer has said, 'a criticism of life',9 but rather a fire in the spirit, burning away what is mean and deepening what is shallow.
Sir S. Ferguson's longest poem, Congal, appeared in 1872. Many critics held this to be his greatest work. I myself rather prefer his Deirdre, of which more presently. Deirdre is in blank verse, which, I think, sustains better the dignity of its subject than the somewhat ballad metre of Congal. Nevertheless, Congal is a poem of lyric strength and panther-like speed.
It is the story of the death in the seventh century, at the battle of Moyra (or Moira) of Congal Claen. Congal was a heathen; his enemy, the arch-King Ardrigh, was a Christian. This war was the sunset of Irish heathendom. Across Ireland, eager for the battle, march Congal and his warriors. The demons of field and flood appear to them and prophesy their destruction. Defying heaven and hell, on march the heathen hosts. One morning, in the midst of the ford of Ullarvu, they behold that gruesomest of Celtic demons, 'the Washer of the Ford' a grey hag, to her knees in the river, washing the heads and the bodies of men. Congal fearlessly questions her.
'I am the Washer of the Ford', she answered; 'and my race
Is of the Tuath de Danaan line of Magi; and my place
For toil is in the running streams of Erin; and my cave
For sleep is in the middle of the shell-heaped Cairn of Maev,
High up on haunted Knocknarea, and this fine carnage-heap
Before me, in these silken vests and mantles which I steep
Thus in the running water, are the severed heads and hands,
And spear-torn scarfs and tunics of these gay-dressed gallant bands
Whom thou, O Congal, leadest to death. And this', the Fury said,
Uplifting by the clotted locks what seemed a dead man's head,
'Is thine head, O Congal!'
Still on they go, these indomitable pagans. Surely nothing will resist their onset. Will they not even shake the throne of God in their sublime audacity? No; Congal when he has accomplished deeds of marvellous valour is slain by the hand of an idiot boy who carries a sickle for sword, and the lid of a cauldron for shield. Ah, strange irony of the Celt.
Notice throughout this poem the continual introduction of the supernatural. I once heard a great English poet, in comparing two existing descriptions of the battle of Clontarf, the Irish and the Danish, say that the Irish narrator turns continually aside to discuss some great problem, or describe some supernatural event, while the Dane records only what affects the result of the battle. This was so, he said, because the Celtic nature is mainly lyrical, and the Danish, mainly dramatic.
The lyrical nature loves to linger on what is strange and fantastic.
In 1880, was published Ferguson's last volume, Poems.
In England it received no manner of recognition. Anti-Irish feeling ran too high. 'Can any good thing come out of Galilee', they thought. How could these enlightened critics be expected to praise a book that entered their world with no homage of imitation towards things Anglican?
Sir Samuel Ferguson himself, declares the true cause of this want of recognition in English critical centres in a letter published the other day in the Irish Monthly. He sought to lay the foundation of a literature for Ireland that should be in every way characteristic and national, hence the critics were against him.
In this last book of his are his two greatest poems, Conary, which de Vere considers the best Irish poem, and Deirdre.
In Conary, thus is the king of Ireland described by a pirate's spy
One I saw
Seated apart: before his couch there hung
A silver broidered curtain; grey he was,
Of aspect mild, benevolent, composed.
A cloak he wore, of colour like the haze
Of a May morning, when the sun shines warm
On dewy meads and fresh-ploughed tillage land;
Variously beautiful, with border broad
Of golden woof that glittered to his knee
A stream of light. Before him, on the floor,
A juggler played his feats; nine balls he had,
And flung them upward, eight in air at once,
And one in hand: like swarm of summer bees
They danced and circled, till his eye met mine;
Then he could catch no more; but down they fell
And rolled upon the floor. 'An evil eye
Has seen me', said the juggler.
Of this poem's splendid plot, which I have no space to describe here, I have written somewhat copiously elsewhere.
Deirdre is the noblest woman in Irish romance. Pursued by the love of King Conor, she flies with her lover and his brethren and his tribe. Who has not heard of their famous wanderings? At last peace is made; but she who has been like a wise elder sister to the sons of Usnach knows that it is treacherous, and warns Naoise, her lover. He will not believe her. Sadly she sings upon her harp, as they leave their refuge in Glen Etive
Harp, take my bosom's burthen on thy string,
And, turning it to sad, sweet melody,
Waste and disperse it on the careless air.
Air, take the harp-string's burthen on thy breast,
And, softly thrilling soul-ward through the sense,
Bring my love's heart again in tune with mine.
Alba, farewell! Farewell, fair Etive bank!
Sun kiss thee; moon caress thee; dewy stars
Refresh thee long, dear scene of quiet days!
Slowly they are meshed about and entrapped; the sons of Usnach are slain, and she kills herself that she may escape the power of King Conor.
Sir Samuel Ferguson, I contend, is the greatest Irish poet, because in his poems and the legends, they embody more completely than in any other man's writings, the Irish character. Its unflinching devotion to some single aim. Its passion. 'The food of the passions is bitter, the food of the spirit is sweet', say the wise Indians. And this faithfulness to things tragic and bitter, to thoughts that wear one's life out and scatter one's joy, the Celt has above all others. Those who have it, alone are worthy of great causes. Those who have it not, have in them some vein of hopeless levity, the harlequins of the earth.
One thing more before I cease; if I were asked to characterize, as shortly as may be, these poems, I should do so by applying to them the words of Spenser, 'barbarous truth.'
Compilation copyright © 2004 by Michael Yeats
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Articles and Reviews by W. B. Yeats
1. "The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson I," The Irish Fireside, 9 October 1886
2. "The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson II," The Dublin University Review, November 1886
3. "The Poetry of R. D. Joyce," The Irish Fireside, 27 November and 4 December 1886
4. "Clarence Mangan (1803-1849)," The Irish Fireside, 12 March 1887
5. A fragment of "Finn MacCool" from The Gael, 23 April 1887
6. "The Celtic Romances in Miss Tynan's New Book" (review of Shamrocks), The Gael, 11 June 1887
7. "Miss Tynan's New Book" (review of Shamrocks), The Irish Fireside, 9 July 1887
8. "The Prose and Poetry of Wilfred Blunt"
(review of Love Songs of Proteus), United Ireland, 28 January 1888
9. "Irish Fairies, Ghosts, Witches, etc.," Lucifer, 15 January 1889
10. "Irish Wonders" (review of D. R. McAnally's book), The Scots Observer, 30 March 1889
11. "John Todhunter," The Magazine of Poetry (Buffalo), April 1889 86
12. "William Carleton" (review of Red-Haired Man's Wife), The Scots Observer, 19 October 1889
13. "Popular Ballad Poetry of Ireland," The Leisure Hour, November 1889
14. "Bardic Ireland" (review of S. Bryant's Celtic Ireland), The Scots Observer, 4 January 1890
15. "Tales from the Twilight" (review of Lady Wilde's Ancient Cures), The Scots Observer, 1 March 1890
16. "Irish Fairies," The Leisure Hour, October 1890
17. "Irish Folk Tales" (review of D. Hyde's Beside the Fire), The National Observer, 28 February 1891
18. "Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling" (review of G. E. Leland's book), The National Observer, 18 April 1891
19. "Plays by an Irish Poet" (review of J. Todhunter's A Sicilian Idyll), United Ireland, 11 July 1891
20. "Clarence Mangan's Love Affair," United Ireland, 22 August 1891
21. "A Reckless Century. Irish Rakes and Duellists," United Ireland, 12 September 1891
22. "Oscar Wilde's Last Book" (review of Lord Arthur Savile's Crime), United Ireland, 26 September 1891
23. "The Young Ireland League," United Ireland, 3 October 1891
24. "A Poet We Have Neglected" (review of W. Allingham's collected poems), United Ireland, 12 December 1891
25. "Poems by Miss Tynan" (review of Ballads and Lyrics), Evening Herald (Dublin), 2 January 1892
26. "The New 'Speranza'" (article on Maud Gonne), United Ireland, 16 January 1892
27. "Dr. Todhunter's Irish Poems" (review of The Banshee), United Ireland, 23 January 1892
28. "Clovis Hugues on Ireland," United Ireland, 30 January 1892
29. "Sight and Song" (review of M. Field's book), The Bookman, July 1892
30. "Some New Irish Books" (review of books by G. Savage-Armstrong, W. Larminie, and R. J. Reilly), United Ireland, 23 July 1892
31. "Dublin Scholasticism and Trinity College," United Ireland, 30 July 1892
32. "A New Poet" (review of E. J. Ellis's Fate in Arcadia), The Bookman, September 1892
33. "'Noetry' and Poetry" (review of G. Savage-Armstrong's collected poems), The Bookman, September 1892
34. "Invoking the Irish Fairies," The Irish Theosophist, October 1892
35. "Hopes and Fears for Irish Literature," United Ireland, 15 October 1892
36. "The Death of Oenone" (review of Tennyson's poems), The Bookman, December 1892
37. "The Vision of MacConglinne" (review of K. Meyer's edition), The Bookman, February 1893
38. "The Wandering Jew" (review of R. Buchanan's poem), The Bookman, April 1893
39. "A Bundle of Poets" (review of A. H. Hallam's poems, etc.), The Speaker, 22 July 1893
40. "The Writings of William Blake" (review of L. Housman's selection), The Bookman, August 1893
41. "The Message of the Folk-lorist" (article, and review of T. F. Dyer's The Ghost World), The Speaker, 19 August 1893
42. "Two Minor Lyrists" (review of poems by J. D. Hosken and Fenil Haig [F. M. Ford]), The Speaker, 26 August 1893
43. "Old Gaelic Love Songs" (review of D. Hyde's Love Songs of Connacht), The Bookman, October 1893
44. "The Ainu" (review of B. D. Howard's Life with Trans-Siberian Savages), The Speaker, 7 October 1893
45. "Reflections and Refractions" (review of C. Weekes's poems), The Academy, 4 November 1893
46. "Seen in Three Days" (review of E. J. Ellis's poem), The Bookman, February 1894
47. "A Symbolical Drama in Paris" (review of Villiers de L'Isle-Adam's Axël), The Bookman, April 1894
48. "The Evangel of Folk-lore" (review of W. Larminie's West Irish Folk Tales), The Bookman, June 1894
49. "A New Poet" (review of AE's Homeward, Songs by the Way), The Bookman, August 1894
50. "Some Irish National Books" (review of books by M. MacDermott, E. M. Lynch, and C. O'Kelly), The Bookman, August 1894
51. "An Imaged World" (review of E. Garnett's prose poems), The Speaker, 8 September 1894
52. "The Stone and the Elixir" (review of F. E. Garrett's translation of H. Ibsen's Brand), The Bookman, October 1894
53. "Battles Long Ago" (review of S. O'Grady's The Coming of Cuculain), The Bookman, February 1895
54. "An Excellent Talker" (review of O. Wilde's A Woman of No Importance), The Bookman, March 1895
55. "Dublin Mystics" (review of AE's Homeward, Songs by the Way, 2nd ed., and J. Eglinton's Two Essays on the Remnant), The Bookman, May 1895
56. "The Story of Early Gaelic Literature" (review of D. Hyde's history), The Bookman, June 1895
57. "Irish National Literature, I: From Callanan to Carleton," The Bookman, July 1895
58. "The Three Sorrows of Story-telling" (review of D. Hyde's translation), The Bookman, July 1895
59. "Irish National Literature, II: Contemporary Prose Writers," The Bookman, August 1895
60. "That Subtle Shade" (review of A. Symons's London Nights), The Bookman, August 1895
61. "Irish National Literature, III: Contemporary Irish Poets," The Bookman, September 1895
62. "Irish National Literature, IV: A List of the Best Irish Books," The Bookman, October 1895
63. "The Life of Patrick Sarsfield" (review of J. Todhunter's biography), The Bookman, November 1895
64. "The Chain of Gold" (review of S. O'Grady's book), The Bookman, November 1895
65. "William Carleton" (review of Carleton's autobiography), The Bookman, March 1896
66. "William Blake" (review of R. Garnett's book), The Bookman, April 1896
67. "An Irish Patriot" (review of Lady Ferguson's biography of Sir Samuel Ferguson), The Bookman, May 1896
68. "The New Irish Library" (review of books by R. A. King, J. F. Taylor, and C. G. Duffy), The Bookman, June 1896
69. "William Carleton" (review of Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry), The Bookman (New York), August 1896
70. "Greek Folk Poesy" (review of L. Garnett's collection), The Bookman, October 1896
71. "The Well at the World's End" (review of W. Morris's romance), The Bookman, November 1896
72. "Miss Fiona Macleod as a Poet" (review of Macleod's [William Sharp's] From the Hills of Dream), The Bookman, December 1896
73. "Young Ireland" (review of C. G. Duffy's book), The Bookman, January 1897
74. "Mr. John O'Leary" (review of O'Leary's Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism), The Bookman, February 1897
75. "Mr. Arthur Symons' New Book" (review of Amoris Victima), The Bookman, April 1897
76. "Miss Fiona Macleod" (review of Macleod's [William Sharp's] Spiritual Tales, Tragic Romances and Barbaric Tales), The Sketch, 28 April 1897
77. "The Treasure of the Humble" (review of Maeterlinck's book), The Bookman, July 1897
78. "Mr. Standish O'Grady's Flight of the Eagle," The Bookman, August 1897
79. "Bards of the Gael and the Gall" (review of G. Sigerson's book), The Illustrated London News, 14 August 1897
80. "Aglavaine and Sélysette" (review of Maeterlinck's play), The Bookman, September 1897
81. "The Tribes of Danu," The New Review, November 1897
82. "Three Irish Poets" (article on AE, Nora Hopper, and Lionel Johnson), The Irish Homestead, December 1897
83. "The Prisoners of the Gods," The Nineteenth Century, January 1898
84. "Mr. Lionel Johnson's Poems" (review of Ireland, with Other Poems), The Bookman, February 1898
85. "Mr. Rhys' Welsh Ballads," The Bookman, April 1898
86. "The Broken Gates of Death," The Fortnightly Review, April 1898
87. "Le Mouvement Celtique: Fiona Macleod" (article with a review of The Laughter of Peterkin), L'Irlande Libre, 1 April 1898
88. "AE's Poems" (review of The Earth Breath), The Sketch, 6 April 1898
89. "Le Mouvement Celtique: II. M. John O'Leary," L'Irlande Libre, 1 June 1898
90. "Celtic Beliefs About the Soul" (review of Meyer's translation of The Voyage of Bran), The Bookman, September 1898
91. "John Eglinton and Spiritual Art," The Daily Express (Dublin), 29 October 1898, reprinted in Literary Ideals in Ireland, 1899
92. "A Symbolic Artist and the Coming of Symbolic Art," The Dome, December 1898
93. "High Crosses of Ireland," The Daily Express (Dublin), 28 January 1899
94. "Notes on Traditions and Superstitions," Folk-lore, March 1899
95. "The Irish Literary Theatre," Literature, 6 May 1899
96. "The Dominion of Dreams" (review of Macleod's book), The Bookman, July 1899
97. "Ireland Bewitched," The Contemporary Review, September 1899
98. "The Literary Movement in Ireland," The North American Review, December 1899, reprinted in Ideals in Ireland, 1901
Copy Texts, Emendations, and Notes
Copy Texts Used in This Edition
Emendations to the Copy Texts
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
CONTINUE!!!!!!!!! <p> &hearts SnowFall &hearts
I don't usually like Warriors Fan-Fics, but.... <p> This was amazing! I encourage you to continue! Keep up the good work!
Love it. Star Dark
Hey Reflections! Not be rude or anything but will you put my application in the story? <p> Name~Goldenstone/star <p> Appearance~Golden brown she-cat with warm green eyes and dark brown tabby stripes <p> Does~Is part of a addition prophecy that may say: the warmness shall glow like burning gold melting snow away saving the water from destruction <p> Thanks! Btw read story at mjy res 1+2 application plz!!!
(Sorry for the delay for another chapter, I was honestly pondering about what the prophecy would be without giving away who it's about immidiately. Ppl will probably figure it out as soon as they hear it, though :D at least I tried.) "A prophecy?" Winterpaw asked optimistically, wanting it so badly to be about who the leader should be. But all hope was drained from her as she saw the grave look on Oceanheart's face as he nodded. <br> "Spit it out," Fawnspots spat impatiently. <br> "They said that 'The snowflake will shine light on WaterClan and warm the cold rocks it faces.' I-I don't know what it means. Snowflakes don't give off light and how can they warm a cold rock? Snowflakes are chilly, not warm! The cold rocks that WaterClan faces? Does that mean the toubles we have? Well, we'd hve a lot less touble if StarClan would just tell us who the leader is!" Oceanheart growled, kicking a bank of snow with frustration. <br> *Oceanheart is blind with anger. He's forgotten that prophecies don't just give you the answer if you figure them out; it gives you a lesson to learn from it.* She thought. From the corner of her blurry vision, Winterpaw noticed Jaysong signaling to her with her tail. She followed her mentor to the edge of camp, where they met Jumpflare and her apprentice, Lilypaw. Winterpaw nodded to her friend in acnowledgement. <br> "I know now's a chaotic time in camp... but let's go hunt with Jumpflare and Lilypaw. You and I expecially haven't trained in a bit because of... well, you know what from," Jaysong explained. <br> *Yes, I very well know why we haven't been training. The ScorchClan/Dustpaw incident.* <br> "Let's try for mice or squirrels today, Jaysong," Jumpflare mewed, "Lilypaw has already mastered fishing," she bragged. Lilypaw looked proud, but then apologetic when Winterpaw gave her a look. <p> "Keep your tail low, Winterpaw," Jumpflare ordered. "Lower!" <br> "Must you be so harsh? She's an apprentice. She's learning. Isn't that what apprentices are suppose to do?" Jaysong interruped as politely as possible. <br> "Yes, and I'm /teaching/," she sneered back, eyes challenging. Lilypaw whispered "Sorry about my mentor" in Winterpaw's ear, but she just shrugged. <br> "Watch my technique as I hunt that squirrel," Jaysong whispered to Winterpaw. She crouching, belly fur almost brushing the powdery snow, and crept forward, as sleek as snake. A thunk came from somewhere. It wasn't Jaysong. Or Winterpaw. Or Lilypaw. Jumpflare was chasing her own shrew and tripped in a rabbit's burrow hidden by snow. Jaysong's squirrel stood erect, ears twitching, before it dashed to a tree. She growled and went after it, faster than Winterpaw ha ever seen her. The squirrel went up the tree, but so did Jaysong, claws digging into the bark. She was so focused on the chase that she didn't notice the squirrel leapt onto the edge of a branch. And the tip of branches are their weakest spot. The branch bent under the cat's weight, and before Jaysong could do anything, it snapped, sending Winterpaw's metor falling to the gound at a dangerous height. -Reflections♦