'When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!'
- William Blake -
Extract from: Chapter 2: Remera
Canana's mother Remera, is searching for food, now the olive harvest has started food is even scarcer due to the busy activities of the humans. Remera reflects on how rich and bountiful the valley was when the eagles first came, than how their troubles began with the arrival of man. How this trouble turned into hatred, eventually leading to the decline and death for the eagles.
Farmers are not soldiers, they do not like to fight, and more so if there is a strong chance that they may die. Yet they value and depend on their livestock and will not allow anything or anybody to take it away from them.
Over the following years, the balance of power slowly started shifting in favour of the farmers, as his weapons became more sophisticated and thereby more lethal.
Bows and then crossbows were used with greater accuracy sometimes with the arrowheads dipped in poison, so that the farmers themselves would avoid physical combat with these dangerous creatures.
The eagles in return, realised they would have to adjust their methods and counteracted the threat of their new weapons by hunting in pairs.
The strategy was simple but quite effective. The circling eagles would scout the area from high, their keen vision able to identify how many guards where protecting the heard. If there were more than two guards, they simply flew off in search of other prey.
It was a different story if there was only one guard spotted.
The plan of attack was simplicity itself, and one that never failed. As soon as the location of the guard had been located, the first eagle would dive at the flock, not actually to attack, simply to taunt and scare them. The terrified animals would scatter in panic, running in all directions. Inevitably, the farmer in his anger would quickly retaliate, shooting their deadly arrows at the swooping bird. So long as the raptor was aloft and in flight, there was little chance the missiles would make contact.
Meanwhile, the second eagle would be high up circling, waiting for the moment their enemy became sufficiently distracted. The moment he saw the farmer busy trying to kill its partner, it would attack. Seeking out the animal that was the smallest, lightest and greatest distance from the action, down it would dive. Deadly talons would rip into its target, and with a few rapid wing beats, away it would soar, giving the hapless farmer no time to counteract this new threat.
There were many farmers in the valley by now, each with their own livestock to protect. Most farmers in the Guadalquivir were not very rich and could not afford to have armed guards around their animals all day and every day. As it was also impossible to guess where and when the eagles would strike, it was left for each family to protect their own livestock, where and when they could. In other words, a form of stalemate had now come between the two deadly foes.
This stalemate was to last for many hundreds of years and although there were still the occasional encounters that resulted in injury or deaths between the two sides, they were a lot less frequent. As much as the farmers hated the plundering of their stock, the loss of an occasional sheep or goat seemed a cheap price to pay, when compared to the loss of a life. In reality, neither the eagles or farmers were happy to co-exist along side each other, but necessity ensured they did and it was only when the stalemate was eventually broken, that the Great Eagles finally found out what is was to feel fear.
Humans are an ingenious specious of animal. A social animal that forever strives to move forward, break down old barriers and discover bigger and better ways of doing things. This talent he also applies to destruction and slowly, yet inevitably, the weapons they developed become more complex and far more deadlier.
They no longer hunted with pointed wooden sticks and flying arrows, they had finally developed a far more dangerous weapon and one that gave them the advantage over their ancient foes and there seemed no way that the raptors could counter this new device.
To the Great Eagle, it was a stick of death. A stick which when pointed at them sent out a clap of thunder and a fiery ball that could travel faster than they could over great distances. The balance of power had finally changed against the eagles, for even with their powerful vision they could not see this fireball, and thereby could not avoid it. All they knew was that when they heard the clap of thunder, immediately after a red hot ball would slam into their body, sending a tearing, burning pain ripping into them apart. Death soon followed. Sometimes it was a slow painful death; if they were lucky, death would come quickly.
The Great Eagle