I have a pair of ravens who visit each morning having worked out when I get up to feed the chickens... if I am late it's not unknown for them to let me know by tapping on the door or sitting on the edge of the vellum window banging the glass with their beaks. They are incredibly intelligent charming birds.
In our tale of The Dream of Rhonabwy as retold in The Mab Rhonabwy uses the call of the raven as a way of signalling to the prince's men to come and arrest some bandits. Rhonabwy uses the original tale as a story that he uses to distract the bandits, and within that tale the caw of the raven acts as a signal. In the original version, slightly less pleasantly King Arthurs squires torment Rhonabwy's ravens.
You can read a summary of the original story here.
If you'd prefer a full text you can find one here on Project Gutenberg, scroll down for this particular tale.
If you'd like to listen to the story, this is an audio version.
In the story King Arthus plays chess with Owain, the Lewis chessmen are the most well known chess set from the 12th century, around the time when we think these tales were becoming well known. Chess arrived in Britain sometime in the 11th century, and was generally only played by people of a high social status and level of knowledge
Todays fibre is called Raven, and there's lots of this lovely purple in the shop together with all of the other 12 Days of Christmas fibres, and all the colours that aren't special editions.
And this concludes our 12 Days of Christmas. Tomorrow is St Distaff's Day when spinners would get back to work following the midwinter celebrations. I hope you've enjoyed these posts revealing a little bit behind the inspiration for this years theme.