The Forest Bower
Mon Mar 22 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Upon a cold and moonless night a young lad walked beneath stars. As he went about his business he was pierced by the beauty of the cosmos around him. How bright the stars shone above him! No wonder the ancients had so many myths about the heavens!
His musing upon the stars were distracted by a bright light from the ground. A bonfire? Not at this time of year! No partiers would be in the bush at this time of year! Besides it was clearer light than the flame of wood-fire.
This is where a conscientious man would return to his home and give little thought to the phenomena . . . or call the police. But our lad was hardly a conscientious man. He might have been an adult but he still possessed the imagination of a child. So, lad-logically, he started off into the night to investigate the shining light.
As he moved into the darkness, it seemed to him that his objective could be no more than a hundred paces off, but looks are deceptive. A half-kilometer later he reached a little wood. An intelligent man stopped advancing and a child would have fled from the first he continued into the thorny woods and soon came to a magical sight.
There sat upon a stump, a lady full of wisdom and strength seemingly conversing. A vision then seemed to veil his eyes and he stood in some courtyard furnished with living wood. Surrounding him were a group of somber creatures of human form but with a ethos beyond anything he had known. Their faces spoke of the wisdom of years, yet possessed the innocence of children. With a slight expression of surprise one of them welcomed him,
"May the stars greet you! I perceive you are not of our kind--what brings you to this sad event?"
"Sad event? What vision is this?" the youth replied and rubbed his eyes.
"Oh, that it were but a vision--you must be a child of Adam, for you do not understand our presence. Do you care for refreshment? I hope our bitter ale is not unwelcome to you . . . we have nothing sweeter to quench your thirst in this sad place."
The creature led him to a table filled with the queerest delicacies he'd seen. There were choke cherries wrapped in some faint green fiber and mushrooms stuffed with a dark meaty substance. The ale tasted like old-fashioned medicine, but when it touched his lips he felt a strange lightness come over body and his heart quickened.