My stepson had all the capacity. He just didn’t have the will. One day he came home after hunting, and I said, “Have you brought me much game today?”
Nothing. He had nothing but the feather of a blue falcon.
I held it by the feather tip. What was the feather worth to me without the bird?
I put a curse on him. I said: “May you always be cold and wet and dirty, and may your shoes ever have pools in them until you bring me the blue falcon on which this feather grew!”
I hardly had the words out when the dirty lad cast a spell on me, too. “May you stand with one foot on the great house and the other on the castle till I come back again, and may you face the wind from wherever it blows!”
He went off to get the bird, while I stood with one foot on the great house, and the other on the castle, with my face turned towards whatever tempest would blow.
Stepmother With Her Face in the Wind in How Ian Direach Got the Falcon, Orange Fairy Book. Image by Pablo Picasso.