I promised to post it so here’s The Manciple’s Tale aka The Crow. The story’s quite close the original with a twist at the end. Not a final version but going in the right direction I hope. Still got to work on the names but the story’s set. Think black and white horror film:
Why I come here? You ask me I come.
I bring good wine, you cook. I like you
but my heart is in cage. Me and you,
it not work. This house is clean. Like you.
Your hand, there is no ring. Why I come
to this land? They say good wine speak truth.
Why is crow black? I speak with my heart.
Where I from like this. Small place. Is cold
but life good. I young, strong. I look good,
my hair is bright sun. Look at me now.
I play harp, I sing like bird. No man
sing like I sing, no shoot like I shoot.
Live in wood, I read bird, sky like book.
I build house, kill pig, sell pig. Grow rich.
They say, he good man, work hard, clean heart.
I see girl black hair like you. Wild bird.
I love her. Put her gold ring in church,
put her on perch, feed her meat and drink.
I work hard. Buy wife fine dress, red shoe,
fur coat. She cook, she clean. I pay maid.
My wife, she is my queen. I buy her
white bird for pet, white like snow-white swan.
It talk. It say my wife word. It say
Pavel to me, my name. It don’t talk
to my wife. Just me. Pavel! it say.
One day it rain bad, sky break in two.
I stop work, come home. My wife not there.
Bird in cage wink. It say, I love you,
Igor! Not my name. Bird say twice,
I love you, Igor. My heart break in two.
My wife, my wild bird, eat worms in wood.
She come home. I don’t talk. Her white bird
say, I love you, Igor. She go white.
I take knife and…she dead. I kill her.
Then I break harp, stab knife hard in chair.
This bird, it see all. I mad. My hair
fall out like snow. The shock. Wish I die.
My wife, my gem make love me, not him.
She lie dead, swan white face. White bird lie.
I curse bird fork tongue. But curse come back.
When hair grow back, they black. I sleep bad.
I lose taste, sweet tongue, song. I see things,
bad things. I know when it storm and rain,
know when man die. Crow sit in my heart.
So I come here. Small place. Make new start.
They say, he good man. No one know me.
You see all things, Pam, you know is true.
You love me. Do not say. Cage your tongue
in teeth and lips. Your tongue, it cut love
in two. Cage your tongue, sweet snow-white bird.
Put your hand here. My heart, it is wild.