The stirring legend of: L’Agula ‘The Eagle’

That morning Simonè got up a little earlier than usually.

Everybody was still sleeping. His steps made the wooden staircase creak as he slowly descended. The fine smell of coffee he was preparing near the fireplace soothed his anguish a little, but did not free him from the indefinable pain that tormented him.
He slowly turned the key in the lock. Outside, day was breaking on one of those last chilly autumn mornings announcing the coming winter. On the weaving dirt road under the chestnut trees, Simonè allowed his steps to guide him.

Behind him, the village had now disappeared. The fragrance from the maquis was a nostalgic reminder, as all his islands scents were awakening whilst the first rays of sunlight pierced through the branches of trees, like gaunt silhouettes. 

After having taken a long walk he sat on a stone. His eyes stared at an imaginary spot, and he allowed his thoughts to fly away through the deep silence of the soothing nature that surrounded him. 
“What are you dreaming about, you who seem so sad ?” The soft calm voice was that of a lady advancing towards him, haloed by a faint cloud of mist – it was Stella, a fairy that all of the inhabitants of the village had spoken about, without ever having seen her. Without being moved, and as though he had been waiting for her, Simonè smiled and replied:
“I do not know what I am thinking, and I do not know what I am running away from, but sometimes I would like to be elsewhere, in order not to be what I am”
“Listen to me, you have never stopped believing in me” said Stella, and to thank you for your fidelity, today I would like to grant you your most secret wishes, what are they ?”
Simonè replied after having thought about this and said:
“Often at night, I dream I am flying, I would like to be a bird”
“What kind of bird ?” she asked. He replied immediately “an agula” 

Immediately, he saw himself rising above the trees and heading towards the shivering sun, whirling with intoxicating freedom above the chestnut trees. 
With his piercing gaze, he scanned the village that was awakening little by little. 
His silent  shadow hovered over the roofs of the houses and he could hear every little sound and the voices too. He saw the men so tiny from the vastness of the sky, that he found it ridiculous and uselessly vain to see them gesticulate so much; he saw his brother come out from his house, and speaking with his sisters – they were worried, they wondered where he could have gone to, then they stopped worrying and started to laugh. 
Then, the enchantment was over. He returned to where he had left and settled with a light rustle of wings. 

Stella offered him a second wish.
“I would like to be the wind”
“What type of wind ?” she asked. 
“The Libecciu !”

Immediately, his breeze became powerful, and the leaves from the trees started to tremble, whilst the branches bent under his fit of anger. He pushed the clouds that had accumulated in the sky and directed his breath towards the village, spreading gusts of wind above the houses which made the shutters slam, scattering the washing that was drying out in the gardens, taking away the ‘baretta’ from the men and raising mischievously the girls dresses. 
It amused him to see how human nature was fragile and helpless, in spite of its excessive pride. He saw his brother and his sisters searching for shelter, and blew away their laughs in a whirlwind. 
Then, the wind became just a murmur and was calm. 
Simonè looked at Stella. She put her hand on his shoulder and offered him a final wish – but, he was exhausted and refused, after all he had felt with these two experiences. So, the fairy didn’t insist and accompanied him back to the entrance of the village, taking his hand just before disappearing. 

Day after day, Simonè became more and more silent. He went through long moments of solitude, taking long walks into nature, and remaining many hours without moving behind the window of his bedroom, lost in his thoughts, and having lost interest in everything, even having lost his appetite. His brother and sisters were sad, for they had become like strangers, refusing to understand him. 
One morning, and without any explanation whatsoever, he left at daybreak.
He remembered a Genoese tower overlooking the sea, and he walked for many hours towards it – within steep paths, through the mountain and under the new spring sun of the month of April. When he arrived, Stella was there waiting for him, smiling and radiant with beauty. He took her hand and climbed to the top of the tower with her, whilst the ‘Libecciu’ blew without a break. 

Simonè was happy standing on a breach, touching the sky and dominating the sea, with the waves breaking in uproar on the rocks at the foot of the edifice. 
He heard Stella’s voice whispering to him “you are an ‘agula’, you can fly”
Then, without hesitation he closed his eyes for the last time and tumbled into the unknown, in order to join that ‘elsewhere’ he had dreamt about so much at the end of his fall. 

 

Source: 
Contes et légendes de Corse Corsica Mea 
 http://www.corsicamea.fr 
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