Once there was a crow who notice this strange dark shape following her. She tried to see over her shoulder at it but she could never quite get it fully in view. Eventually she got bored and gave up. She shrugged and carried on with her day, and at the end of the day went to sleep as normal. When the crow awoke with the sun as it rose the next day, she noticed this strange dark shape was there again at her side. And again she could never quite see it properly. She was quite put out that it should silently follow her about. To top it all, it persisted in moving about her in a really rather infuriating way. As the sun was getting ready to go to bed just as the crow was getting ready to go to bed, the strange dark shape had completely shifted from where she had first found it that morning. But when she yawned and stretched and nestled in her nest, for that is what nests are for after all, the strange dark shape had gone!
The very next morning however, it had returned. The crow remembered then the tales told of tricksters. If this strange dark shape following her was one of these tricksters trying to cause trouble, well, the crow was not having any of it at all. At all.
She set out to plot a plan.
She had also heard tell of a sister crow who appeared to have had a similar problem. Of a thing that followed sister crow about. A thing that shifted throughout the day. A thing that she could never quite catch or speak to. Sister crow got so annoyed and so irritated at this thing that silently followed her about all day that she pecked at it and pecked at it and gulped it down. Sister crow ate until there was hardly a sliver of this dark thing left at all. Sister crow was so very proud and so very smug that she had defeated this thing that was attacking her all day long and puffed out her chest and cackled. But when she took the last peck to completely remove the very last bit of the thing, sister crow made a funny croaking noise and dropped down dead.
Our crow knew that that was not going to happen to her. Our crow was not going to start pecking at this strange dark shape. She decided instead to try and talk to it. To find out why it was with her all day long. Why it moved about with the sun. The sun. The crow looked up in the sky and shielded an eye with a wing, all the better to see. As she moved and raised one wing up. As she put one wing down. She noticed that this strange dark shape was raising one wing up and putting one wing down too. When the crow moved, the strange dark shape moved. When the crow raised a wing, the strange dark shape raised a wing.
‘It is most definitely playing with me’ the crow thought to herself. The crow decided she would play back. She started to create funny tottering dance. The strange dark shape danced too. The more complicated the dance became, the more this strange dark shape moved with the crow. The strange dark shape did its own movements in its own way but kept in step with the crow all the same. Some of the movements were longer than those of the crow, some were shorter, some she could see straight away, some she could not see at all. And so in these funny little ways, the crow began to get used to having this strange dark shape following her about all day. As she nestled down at night as the sun went to bed, the crow would whisper a goodnight to the strange dark shape that would disappear too. The crow found she started to look forward to seeing the strange dark shape the next day. She started to enjoy the strange dark shape coming to her as the sun woke each morning. She looked forward to the dance they were to create together. The crow even started to sing to it. Although the strange dark shape stayed quiet, the crow could somehow sense that the strange dark shape liked the singing too. What had at first irritated the crow because it just would not leave her alone, what she had wished to outsmart because she thought it a trickster trying to tease and tempt her, began to change. A bond began to form between the two of them, the crow and the strange dark shape. Other creatures started to hear of this crow that danced and sang with the morning sun. So curious were they, that these other creatures came to watch the crow and the strange dark shape. At first they came to watch probably out of ridicule, because not a one had ever heard of such a thing as crow dancing and singing to the sun in the morning. How ridiculous!
The other creatures found on arrival instead, a sight quite quite marvellous indeed. It was wondrous and magical and did something unexpected to their hearts. It made the other creatures think that if the crow can choose to sing to the sun, if crow can choose to dance with the strange dark shape that follows her all day, then maybe they could too. Creatures that had attended the gathering would be seen trying to mimic one or two of the crow’s steps. A little embarrassed perhaps, but nonetheless feeling just brave enough to move a limb a tiny bit, to just let their behind waggle a tiny bit, so that their mouths turned upwards a tiny bit. ‘I need to give you a name’ the crow said the strange dark shape. ‘I heard a human song once, I don't really know what it means but it feels right. Me and My Shadow it was called. I seem to think that maybe in the song they were best friends too.’