White Flutters in Munich


"A large bluish-black bird is standing before the doorway and watching our approach. Undaunted, we start up the steps but the crow opens its beak and caws loud enough to startle us into a retreat.

Crowing of a human sort then catches our attention and we turn to be confronted by a birdlike old woman clutching a small dog. In a mountain dialect similar to Bavarian, she wants to know what business we have there.

Manon explains that we're looking for Herr Johann König.

The old woman cackles in a humorless way and says, 'Zu spat' which I know means too late. Glancing at the bird, she continues talking but the only thing I can pick up from her words is Sankt Jakob.

Manon then asks her a question about Sankt Jacob. I don't understand much of the question or answer but Manon whispers that the old woman is talking in riddles!

I can hear the frustration in Manon's voice as she asks another question and then I notice her eyes widen. She turns to me and says, 'She said to follow the crow!'

The words are barely out of her mouth when the fluttering of wings causes our heads to turn. We watch as the bird takes off and, when we turn back, the woman has disappeared.

Manon says, 'That old woman is batty!'

I shake my head. 'No, she’s right. We have to find Sankt Jakob and the crow. I have a feeling it’s important.'”