Everything on here is purely symbolic and nothing more.
Still hobbling on my sprained ankle, I walked past fields and farms until I
came to a little streamlet. I sat on a large granite rock near it and
soaked my ankle in its cool water. In relief, I closed my eyes.
"Hello," said a female voice behind me.
I turned around to find a pleasant looking woman with a bright smile on her
face. I smiled weakly back.
"Hello," I said.
"How did you sprain your ankle?"
I started telling her about the trail with the ruts in it, and ended up
telling her about my whole journey. She listened and nodded. Then when I
finished she shook her head.
"You made a mistake with your princess," she said.
"I couldn't think of anything else to do. I tried to heal her. I tried to
make herforget and go on with her life, but she keep holding on to a fantasy."
"You forgot the real reason she loved Faust in the first place."
"He made her feel special and then deserted her," I stated.
She shook her head again. "That was just a peripheral thing. She loved him
because he encouraged to in her efforts to be the person she truly wanted to
be. That was what she loved. Not the pretty words. Not the fantasy.
That's why your efforts didn't work. You were confused on what you needed
I sat there and let the woman's words seep into my mind. I realized she was
right about my princess. That was why she--we loved him in first place. I
"But there is no hope there," I told the woman. "It would never work."
"Probably not, but most likely there is someone else out there who would
believe in you and your dreams. Someone willing to share their dreams with
you. There is no need to settle for a creature or that ferryman. You are
not alone. There will always be someone further down the river willing to
help without forcing you into captivity."
"I see your point."
"So, what have you learned on this journey?" she asked.
"I have learned that what I truly want in life is to develop my talents as a
writer, to show my children how to be happy in spite of other people's
actions, and to someday find someone who will be an equal partner and
encourage me to be the best that I can be."
"You have had a fruitful journey then."
"But it will not bring my princess back."
"But this will." The woman pulled some ferns away from a rock spurting
water. In amazement, I knelt and rubbed my hand across it. The rock was
solid. There were no holes. The water continued to flow from it, as if it
was a piece of cloth. I looked up at the woman.
"But I thought this stream was much farther away than this," I said.
"The journey is different for everyone. Take some of this water and give it
to your princess. It will revive her, just as it has healed your ankle."
I looked down and saw that she was right. In tears, I thank the keeper of
the spring and fill my waterskin with the precious fluid.
She smiled and lead me around the trees surrounding the spring. There stood
a dappled gray mare, saddled and waiting. I thanked her again and mounted.
In no time, I was back at the pier, waiting for the second ferryman and his
wife. They greeted me warmly and their children petted my horse. Bidding
them a fond farewell, I rode back to the road I had been traveling,
carefully avoiding the first ferryman and the rutted trail. I think he
called something out to me as a sped on, but it might had be the wind. By
evening, I was back at Josh and Mabel's. I was going to go onto the city,
but they insisted I stay the night.
This time I bedded down in the stable with my horse. Nothing disturbed me
that night. After breakfast, I rode back to the city. I regarded the Great
Endeavor again. From its height, I caught sight of a man waving at me. It
was Byron. I wave back. Though it was hard to tell for sure, I felt he was
happy. I rode on.