Showing posts from September, 2020

The Little Boy and His Learning

  Rain streamed from the sky as though a sky god were pouring water out of bathtubs. The earth was drenched, sodden, soaking like a sponge that has yet to be wrung. And an old woman sat at her hearth, feet stretched out to the fire, basking in the glow of orange and gold flickering warmth. No one was coming today, she knew, and the thought was a welcome one, for she had gathered and picked, crushed and mixed herbs all week long for the aches, pains, and ailments of a needy village. So, when a knock came at the door, it was with a groan and several creaks that the old woman opened it.             Standing before her was a small boy, sopping wet and carrying a jar.             ‘What do we have here?’ the woman asked, trying to put some cheer into her voice.             The boy remained silent, and seemed to think for a moment, before suddenly holding out the jar. At the sight, the woman almost jumped, and certainly she gasped, for inside was a tiny fairy—her wings crumpled, and e

The Bird's Song

  Once upon a time a bird flew to the top of a tree and began to teach herself a new song. It was one of love and kindness, an ode to the beauty of a world at peace.             But the words stuck in her throat.             Hour after hour she tried to sing her song, a gorgeous melody of joy and laughter that welled up in her mind’s eye, but no matter how hard she tried to offer the tune, it caught in a stunted way over and over, until she began to choke.             Recognizing the futility of continuing in such a way, she rested awhile, and then slowly allowed a melody to take its own shape.             At first it startled the bird to hear the sounds of mourning that emerged. Sorrow followed, delicately shaped by weighted sadness. As the notes began to blend, a dirge came forth that told of hardship and anguish, heartbreak and loss. So sorrowful were the tones, that as she sang, she herself began to mourn. And so striking was her lament, that the world mourned with her.  

The Frightening Path

  A man stood at a crossroads.             One way was crooked and filled with dark and thick growing things. Twisted trees—aged and knotted—thorny shrubs, and winding vines filled either side of the path so heavily that the higher growth of leaves and branches met and intertwined. Cloaked and menacing figures trod that way, their faces covered, their hands gnarled. Strange creatures with red eyes would dart this way and that, from one side of the path to the other, never visible long enough to do any more than make a scratching sound that raised the hairs on the man’s arms. And from a long way down the path the sound of weeping and sharp gnashing drifted on a swift, stunted wind.             The other way was straight and simple. A dusty trail that kicked up slightly as people in normal clothes traveled with their neat bags slung over their shoulders. These took normal steps, with their faces shiny, their fingers unbent. In the distance the sight of structures, plain and robust, g

The Old Man and the Stars

  Once upon a time there was a man who lived by the sea.   Every night, just before he lay down to rest, the sea would whisper into the heart of the man, telling him to look up.   And every night the man would ignore the sea, thinking briefly as he slipped into sleep that he had too much work to do the next day. On a day when he had become an old man, he was hauling driftwood from the shore just as the sun set beyond the sea.   He had hoped to get another task done before turning in for the night.   But in the dark, he tripped and fell flat on his back. Stunned for a moment, he heard the sea whisper in his heart.   He opened his eyes.   That was when he saw the stars. The sea ceased to whisper then, for there was no more need.