ONCE, long ago, there was a time when the ravens could talk.
But the strange thing about the ravens' speech was that their words had the opposite meaning. When they wanted to thank any one, they used words of abuse, and thus always said the reverse of what they meant.
But as they were thus so full of lies, there came one day an old man, and by magic means took away their power of speech. And since that time the ravens can do no more than shriek.
But the ravens' nature has not changed, and to this day they are an ill-tempered, lying, thieving lot.