Something had changed; but I couldn’t tell what. It was as if the world tilted, and nothing was quite as it had been. Or as if there were the very smallest turning in the pathway, just a tiny deviation, but to take it meant you would end up somewhere quite different. And it was already too late to go back.
The Wild Swans, Arthur Joseph Gaskin, 1928 by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Via Flickr: Self-explanatory as part of the Animals and Birds tour, this painting was the last Gaskin did before his death in 1928. The picture depicts the scene in the Grimm’s fairytale of ‘The Twelve Brothers Turned into Swans’ where their sister is rescued and distributes the shirts that will turn them back into men.
Birdwing by Rafe Martin, a retelling of “The Six Swans”
Once upon a time, a girl rescued her seven brothers from a spell that had turned them into swans. But one boy, Ardwin, was left with the scar of the spell’s last gasp: one arm remained a wing. And while Ardwin yearned to find a place in his father’s kingdom, the wing whispered to him of open sky and rushing wind. Marked by difference, Ardwin sets out to discover who he is: bird or boy, crippled or sound, cursed or blessed. But followed by the cold eye of a sorceress and with war rumbling at his kingdom’s borders, Ardwin’s path may lead him not to enlightenment, but into unimaginable danger.