ROBERT GRAVES
DOG, ROEBUCK, AND LAPWING


      On the surface, the sequence is all about Fiona's notion that singer-songwriters are, by definition, if not by skill or inclination, enchanters. In fact, another more subtle and beautiful mystery is being revealed, and the lapwing's presence is our clue.

      I promised to return to these creatures of bardic symbolism, and here we are. In The White Goddess, Robert Graves tells us that dog means "guard the secret," roebuck means "hide the secret" and lapwing means "disguise the secret." I dealt with the roebuck, earlier, when it appeared just prior to the Furies' First Challenge. The dog, a Mastiff, appeared for the first and second time, apparently in league with the Furies. In this sequence, the Mastiff is not only present, but a player, so the beseeching lapwing makes its entry to distract us from, and disguise the Mystery of the Dog.

      Dogs are widely recognized as symbolic of the underworld, but in Morningstone, that is only the tip of the dog's tale. We first see the huge Mastiff apparently allied with the Furies. The Furies represent elemental forces of Nature, often in opposition to Man, and in that earliest appearance, the Mastiff independently represents Nature in its role as Guardian of the Threshold, and recognizing no threat from Morgen, saunters on its way.

      In the Furies second challenge, the Mastiff and the Furies are actually on different sides of the Stream of Consciousness in which Morgan stands, cold, wet, and disappointed. As a Guardian of the threshold, the Mastiff could as easily have been present to warn the Furies not to attempt violence against Morgen, as to block his retreat. And now, that same Mastiff approaches Morgan, and elects to join and safeguard Morgen in his journey. This, then, is the real beginning of the mystery of the Dog. Both man and dog spring from nature, but in their alliance, they have set themselves apart from it. Henceforth, the dog will share Man's food, Man's fire, and Man's fate.
Travis Edward Pike
28 January 2019, Otherworld Cottage