The beads on this necklace are absolutely beautiful - not sure if they are bone or stone. It also has a wonderful carved hook. The weird looking things in the top photo are Chinese lucky key chains - I bought them because I really like the bells.
And now .... Once upon a time...
..a young man, hunting by a stream in the woods, spied a swan. As he reached for his bow the hunter was amazed to see the elegant creature transform into the most beautiful woman the hunter had ever seen. Every day for a month the hunter crept back to same spot to witness the transformation, and each day his love for the swan maiden grew ever stronger. Finally, he could wait no longer and as she swam in the stream, he crept out of his hiding place and, before she could transform herself back, professed his love and begged her to stay as a human so they might be together. Now whilst the swan maiden, who had seen the hunter watching these many weeks past, was flattered she explained to him that for her to remain as a girl was impossible. Even though she sometimes appeared as human, she explained, she was always a swan on the inside and, to remain human, would mean giving up her swan self completely. For many months the hunter searched the land for a way he and the swan maiden could be together. He began to despair of ever finding a solution until one day he met a wise woman who, on hearing his story, said she would help him. The very next day the hunter returned to the stream and presented the swan maiden with an amulet necklace fashioned by the wise woman. He explained to the swan maiden that as long as she wore the necklace she could keep her swan self safe inside but remain human on the outside. The swan maiden put on the necklace that very day and returned with the hunter to his village where they lived happily together, the swan maiden remaining unchanged, but the hunter growing older and frailer as the decades passed. On the day that the hunter died the swan maiden took off her necklace and transformed herself back into swan and was never again seen as a human woman.
'til next time.