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The River

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I have heard of a river that holds the cure to all illness, and it is this river that I seek. Across the mountains of the white-peaks, through the trails of golden trees, and past the darkest shadows of the land beyond our village, this river flows. My daughter has fallen to the pale-man’s disease, and I will embark upon this journey to heal her dreadful sickness.

I left my tribe before the sun arose in the distance. I walked, through changing skies and passing suns, across the grounds of endless tales, in storm and in heat, with thin fur and scarce food. I walked until I could walk no more. Within the vast mountains of white-peaks, I set fire. Darkness enveloped the skies and the moon lit the land with its watchful glow. I sat quietly in thought, when suddenly, a wolf approached from the shadows. He strode in grace onto a rock beside me, with an air of might and wisdom. He gazed at me and said, “The bitter winds have brought upon my kind a time of hunger and despair. Our prey has vanished beneath the snow and ice, and our young will not survive much longer.” Within his eyes I saw a familiar pain, a sadness I have known before, and my heart ached for him. I gave him of my food and he left.

I left the mountains with the rising sun. I walked, through changing skies and passing suns, across lands of rock and sand, in rain and in drought. I walked until I could walk no more. Within the trails of golden trees, I set fire. An array of wondrous purples and pinks cloaked the sky, and a gentle wind swirled countless golden leaves above the ground. I sat quietly in thought when a little, auburn doe appeared at my feet. She was timid and alert as she said, “Our dwelling has been raided by a vicious fox. We created a new burrow, and yet terror resides amongst us. We fear his return and know not how to protect our kin.” I looked upon her hopeful eyes and compassion rose within me. I gave her my fur made of fox, to be placed at the burrow’s entry as a hoax, and she left.

I left the trails of golden trees as darkness fell upon the land. I walked, through changing skies and passing suns, across the trickling streams and brooks, in hail and in desiccation. I walked until I could walk no more. Within the darkest shadows of the land beyond my village, I set fire. I shriveled beneath the moonless skies as the spirits howled into the night. A deer approached the fire from the gloom. He swiftly leaped into the warmth and was startled at my presence. He radiated elegance and beauty. He said to me, “I have come from afar and am lost in the shadows. I fear the evils of this land which I cannot overcome. I am weary of running and the darkness is enclosing upon me.” I could feel his terror and concern grew in my heart. I kneeled and placed a necklace upon the deer. It was the necklace of my father, and it protected me from harm. It had his courage and the love of my ancestors within it, and its strength was infinite. I gave the deer the last of my possessions, and he left.

I left the darkest shadows of the land beyond my village as the sun was highest in the sky. I walked, bare of all possessions, hungry, cold, and defenseless. I walked until I reached the river. The river lay within a land of vast splendor, as vibrant flowers and fruitful trees swayed in unity to the afternoon breeze, and the water shimmered beneath the glorious sun. The earth was calm and peaceful. Within the river, upon a wooden raft, sat an aged woman, with the knowledge and authority of many years engraved within her features. She smiled and softly said, “You have come to seek the cure to your daughter’s illness. You have helped creatures in need during your journey, and you have brought great joy to many. You have a kind heart and a strong spirit. However, to bring this cure back to your village you must make one last sacrifice. I will heal your daughter if you spend the rest of your days, roaming the skies and the lands, as an eagle.”

Over the mountains of the white-peaks, above the trails of golden trees, and the darkest shadows of the land beyond his village, he flew. And from the sky he saw his daughter heal, and from the sky he watched her. And as her longing eyes searched above for meaning, there he was.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Madeleine S. said...
Oct. 2, 2008 at 10:14 am
Very moving. The author shows great talent.
 
LDW said...
Oct. 2, 2008 at 1:58 am
This is a fabulous fable. The writing is beautiful and I love the poetic flow from paragraph to paragraph. Fabulous!
 
neighbour730 said...
Oct. 1, 2008 at 10:15 pm
B E A U T I F U L !!!!!!
 
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