This story adapted from the version found in The Sandman no. 40, by Neil Gaiman, as told by Cain and Abel to Daniel, Eve, Gregory, and Matthew.

Rooks are the most social of the corvidae. There's a mystery about rooks, one that not even ornithologists have been able to understand, though they birdwatch themselves blind. It is from this mystery that the the collective noun we use for rooks comes. A Parliament of Rooks. There's a field. Empty. And suddenly the sky is filled with birds, rustling feathers, musty stink of droppings and parasites, blackening the field entirely. Almost. There is an empty space in the center of the field, with all beaked heads turned attentively to that expanse of cleared grass. In that space sits one lone rook. It caws loudly, shrill and hoarse, continuously, echoing out over the silent throng. Thousands of black beady eyes watch it soliloquize. From time to time, they call out, as if they're asking questions. Like a trial. Like a parliament.

This can go on for hours. From dusk till dawn, or vice versa. Then one of two things happen. On some signal, which humans watching have been unable to identify, either all birds take wing all at once, leaving the central bird alone in the field, or, in unison, they fall on it and peck it to death.

I am purposely leaving Abel's secret out of this wu, in order to preserve the integrity of the mystery.

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