A chance meeting with a Unicorn opens the door to adventure... To be continued
|Author's Note ▼ |
There was one day, now faded with time,
So pure and perfect, it was utterly sublime.
That day I found out Fairy Tales are really true,
I’ll share my secret, if it is kept between us two …
Away in the woods, I'd wandered from camp,
A rustling in the leaves, I heard hooves stamp.
“Pray tell, who is there?” I whispered my plea,
“Show yourself, there is naught to fear. You see?”
Angry snorts and stomping were my reply,
Why did I come alone, oh why, oh why!
I gulped as I prepared to part the brush,
And suddenly I was hit with a terrible rush
Of fear for what might spring forth at me -
Hungry perhaps - lying in wait, behind the tree;
What came next was even more a surprise,
I stepped forward, unveiling its disguise;
There before me stood, bathed in unearthly light,
Caught in a trap and putting up a fight,
A Unicorn, as told of in lore and myth.
Amazed, could I really be standing here with…
I blinked, and rubbed – could not believe my eyes,
And yet it was all there, for me to surmise,
A horn, purest gold, jutting from its forehead
Surely I must be asleep in my bed!
“Your vision is fine, now if you don’t mind,
Liberation I am most anxious to find.”
It spoke! Now I could not trust my ears,
I’d gone mad for sure, the worst of my fears!
“Your ears and mind are both sound and intact.
Sooner I’ll be free, the quicker you act.”
Shocked again, and snapped out of my trance,
As I pried the trap open, the Unicorn began to dance.
“Thank you, thank you, dear human child,
I don't find many of your kind so gentle and mild.
What reward would you ask me to bestow?
It is the very least to you that I now owe.”
Bewildered now, even more than before,
I’d met a Unicorn, who could want more?
Yet it stood waiting, wanting to give me some gift,
So I pondered a little, let my mind drift.
Revelation found me, it came and took my hand:
“Take me to your home, your magical land.
Where all of the creatures of old reside,
Away to your realm, where you’ve chosen to hide.
It is from your kind that I wish to learn,
Knowledge of your ways is for what I yearn.
What drove you away, kept you from my eyes?
What can you learn as you watch us like spies?
What do you do, love, and deplore?
I want to know this, and so much more.”
I knew in an instant I'd asked for too much,
Centuries of keeping secrets could not be wagered on such
A fool, a simpleton, a dullard as I –
There was no chance with this the Unicorn would comply.
“A fool of more worth I have yet to meet,
To show you my home would be an honor, and treat.
Guests are very few, and far between,
So you will see much that has never been seen
By the eyes of another human still alive:
That is the one way we know to survive.
Step up now, and sit up on my back
We must return tonight before the moon leaves the sky black.”
This creature before me, so majestic and sure,
Knelt down, tempting - an irresistible lure.
Slowly I moved forward, stepping with care,
With anticipation that was nearly too much bear.
All thoughts of my family, asleep in the tent,
Flew from my mind – away they went!
A true adventure - at last - I’d longed for this,
An opportunity I would be fool to miss.
I reached timidly and stroked his mane,
The silken strands somehow assured I was sane.
“There are those like you whose paths we intercede,
Without worry, understanding our rules you will heed.
It comes not often, the decision is most heavily weighed,
When we share our secrets, the right choice must be made!
Upon you, the gift of knowing our kind I bestow
This is how knowledge of our myths continue, and grow.
In the Land of All But Forgotten Things,
The nymphs dance ‘round as faeries flutter their wings;
The Sandman prepares for his nightly rounds,
While Gaea manages the seasons o’er Earths' grounds.
Griffins and hippogriffs keep to opposite ends,
And Zeus and Hades will never be friends.
That's all for now, time we shall not waste,
Up, up on my back, we must make haste!”
I drew up my courage, and threw my right leg up,
My left leg became wobbly like a newborn pup,
I lost my footing, and landed most awkwardly posed,
A moment passed before my nerves recomposed;
But I rose up, determined to succeed,
Wondering what measure of the Unicorn’s amusement this did feed.
I threw up my leg, and slid onto his smooth back,
And wrapped his mane (respectfully) in my fist, as I had no tack.
The Unicorn stood, with me now high astride,
I finally realized this would be one unforgettable ride.
“How do we get there, is it hard to locate?”
“No, not difficult, but we mustn’t be late;
The door is only open every now and then,
If we miss it we must wait for the next when.”
“How will we get there, without being seen?”
His response was a sound that was laughter, from what I could glean.
The Unicorn reached full speed before I could draw
Breath in; I held on and clenched my jaw.
We traveled so fast it seemed we flew,
Scenery flashing in streaks of brown, green and blue.
Suddenly it occurred my absence wouldn’t seem such a blur
To the sight of my parents; indeed it would spur
A panic; a search of the woods that wouldn't cease
Until some trace of my whereabouts gave them peace.
How could I have made such a terrible mess?
But the Unicorn spoke, sensing my duress;
“Upon your family I have placed a charm,
In the end it will leave them no harm;
But while you’re gone they’ll stay asleep in their tents,
Safely remaining uninformed of these events.
"They will all dream the same – of how they spent the day,
And they will think you were with them all the way.
Tomorrow when you wake, so they will,
Thinking you spent the whole night there, still.
They’ll dream of a day they spent fishing with you -
We must remember to leave a piece of evidence or two –
And wake refreshed, but with ravenous appetite;
Which will distract them from inquisition if they notice the site
Seems in any way amiss. It will go unnoted, they'll forget,
So you can unwind now; enjoy our time with no regret.”
Immediately the Unicorn had soothed my worry,
Which left room for my eagerness to hurry,
I could no longer suppress the overwhelming joy,
Like a child finding a lost favorite toy,
I raised my fists high, threw back my head,
“YEEEAAAHHHEEEE!” (Surely that was heard by the dead!)
We flew on for miles, though it was only for seconds more,
The Unicorn came to rest by a clear pool, along the shore.
My eyes drank in by the dawn’s still young light,
A glittering waterfall, flowing from a cliff of towering height.
The Unicorn spoke loudly, to ensure it was heard,
Over the roaring water, trying to drown out each word;
“The Land of All But Forgotten Things lies beyond the fall,
We must pass through, envision it a door in a wall.
Now hold on tight, I must be quick
And if you let go, the magic won’t stick
To pull you through, you would be lost,
I couldn’t bear for you to pay that terrible cost.”
It had not occurred to me yet to think
While on this quest, into danger I might sink.
"I will hold tight, as fast as I can,
Is there anything more I need know of this plan?"
A "Neeeiiiiiggghhhh" was his response as he shook
His mane, then he turned his head to give me a look,
"Here we go," he whispered as he sashayed back
Just a few steps more, to lengthen the track;
Before I knew it we broke through the wall
Of water, as it roared from the fall.
I was soaked to the bone; the cold took my breath,
I wondered if that feeling was anything like death.
The atmosphere was thick, a black blanket all around,
Wiping out touch and taste, sight, smell and sound.
Next I noticed I was dry once more,
Simultaneously before us appeared a gilded door
Which opened inward, to light welcoming us in.
As we passed through, the air began to thin,
My senses returned, and it was less effort to breathe,
Then I remembered what I'd come to acheive ....
Beyond the Door
There was more before me than my eyes could take in,
I honestly don't know where I should begin.
The sky was a bright and brilliant blue,
With the strangest hints of a violet hue,
From above warmth and light did radiate,
But no orb was seen from which it could emminate.
Ice cream scoop clouds hung delicately above,
And then across my line of sight flew a dove,
Which led my gaze to the land ahead,
A view which no other has compared with in its stead.
We stood near a pond in the center of a glade,
Filled with wildflowers of every design and shade,
This vision gave way to an emerald green wood
I felt I should be wearing a red cloak with a hood.
Beyond I could see rising rolling hill upon hill,
And a snow capped mountain peak even farther off still.
So amazed, I was dumb with awe;
Never would anyone believe what I saw
If and when I returned to them.
The unicorn broke the silence with an abrupt "Ahem."
Deeply enthralled, I hadn't noticed he'd knelt to the ground,
Onto which I quickly slipped, safely and sound.
"Welcome to my home, and all the wonder it brings,
This is the Land of All But Forgotten Things.
Any moment now, we should be greeted by gnomes,
As soon as they feel safe to emerge from their homes.
"Then again, the pixies or faeries we may first meet,
It's more in their nature to come out and greet."
As though his word was their command,
Up rose from the flowers a fairly large band
Of winged people, none more than two inches tall,
I had imagined, but never really thought they would be so small.
On wings of butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds,
Most of them circled around me, at least two thirds,
"Greetings, and welcome to The Land of All But Forgotten Things,
Where oceans calm when a mermaid sings.
We are so glad you've come to play,
This indeed is a monumental day!"
An instinct took over, I put out my left hand,
A beautiful fairy woman took it for her place to land.
Her dragonfly wings veined in shimmering gold,
Studded with tiny gems, they looked to heavy to hold
Up, and yet, so she did, with remarkable grace,
In contrast they paled the radiant beauty of her face.
There I was, with the Faerie Queen in my palm,
With tremendous effort, I remained casual and calm.
She looked to the Unicorn, and asked, "Does this child understand
The responsibilities borne upon a human entering our land?"
The Unicorn, my guide seemed to have something to hide,
"Our time was short, I may have left something aside."
She regarded me carefully, gazing deep in my left eye,
She was wary, and wanted me, clearly, to understand why.
The Faerie Queen's Tale
"Faeries are fewer, and more scarcely seen,
Come, and sit, I'll explain what I mean.
Not long ago, we lived free in the realm of men,
Usually unnoticed, our paths crossed only now and then,
When humans wandered in the woods too deep,
Our distance, most of us sought to keep.
One day, some men were followed by few foolish fae,
Wondering at what games they might play.
Goodhearted mischief they had in mind,
But, their inexperience made them blind,
To the prospects of danger in store for them,
When the first fae was seen, out broke all mayhem.
For, these men came knowingly into our wood,
With their own purpose, which was not understood
By the playful, curious and innocent fae,
Two were lost, three captured, only one got away,
He watched, following them back to their house,
The closest help he could find was two gnomes and a mouse.
They planned to sneak in when the men went to bed,
Sadly, one of the gnomes was caught instead.
That poor young faerie was never the same,
He felt responsible, and carried the blame.
To be continued....