My book series ecosystem is fleshed out. The skeleton is established. Muscles, flesh, and a beating heart are in place. End of that analogy. I can see the way from beginning to end(ish) now. As in the prior post, numerous research accidents led to additional inclusions of relevant people, places, and things that were (are) too good to pass up.
Which is how we arrive at the hoopoe and 28 ways to translate a two letter word. Read on for a complete(ish) answer.
This book series originates way back in time, tracing the monk's story line to his starting point. The monk began life in River and Ranch, as a character standing on in a monastery driveway, waiting for my main characters to pedal by. That happened because in real life (my own) there is a Buddhist monastery out in the country and I have pedaled by it numerous times. It is a nice, tucked away place, the kind that makes a good neighbor because it is so quiet and unseeking of attention. And it is such a unique piece of the world plopped down in an unexpected place. The monk's presence is part of the answer for my growing interest in kuan yin. This is a thread that is pulled way more in the books. The whole sweater gets unraveled (my favorite analogy).
It turns out that historical King Solomon was a wise man, or possibly a bit of an anal orifice (to keep things family friendly). Anyway, history (biblical folklore) has him relying on a hoopoe to act as a sort of spy to help him out in his efforts to be a wise and just king, or even more of an anal orifice, depending on which version you choose to believe.
That's it in a nutshell. You'll have to wait for the details as they get revealed in my book(s).
By the way, here is an absolutely superb blog from the Santa Monica Bay Audobon Society and a post on the hoopoe, its role in religious history, including a Solomon story, AND an ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING discussion of the many ways translating ancient text and language can take a left turn when maybe a right turn was called for. a Hoopoe, Solomon and 28 ways to translate 'on'