Upon entering the wooded forest, the child cautiously awaited the arrival of the stranger. She hid behind a large white tree trunk that bears the most beautiful fruit in the village. One by one, the fruit fell from the tree, enticing the child to pick one up.
The timid child would not budge, not even for the temptation of the delicious fruit that lay within her reach. She was not giving up her hiding place, not for anything.
After what seemed to be hours, the child heard the pounding of hooves in the distance. She became erect and with piercing eyes she awaited the arrival. As quickly as she turned her head to look, the stranger appeared. He was a magnificent man, tall, lean, and dark skinned, wearing a white robe and carrying a very shinny sword. The child was beside herself; finally she was going to meet the Stranger from the Glen.
The child was as quiet as a mouse, and as still as a stagnant hot summer day.
As the Stranger rode closer and closer to where she was hiding, her heart thumped louder and louder.
Abruptly, the Stranger came to a complete stop, looked at the tree and called out "You there, child, come out and let me see your eyes.”
Just as the child was about to run away, a strong wind blew and pushed her into the clear view of the stranger.
He laughed with such heartiness the trees shook and shed some of their leaves.
The child was in the middle of a leaf storm.
Just as the leaves began to fall they stopped in mid air.
All stood still, for a brief moment, as the stranger held out his hands as if to stop all movement.
The Child was astounded by the Stranger’s ability to stop the trees from shedding their leaves. As the child grew more curious, she walked closer and closer to the stranger. Just when the child was no more than an arms length away from the stranger, a rainstorm began. It was as if a damn had broken. The water was up to the child's knees. The stranger scooped the child up and off they rode seeking shelter from the storm.
Away they rode deeper into the woods. Quick as the lightning that flickered over their heads, the horse's hooves pounding upon the Earth as they dashed away. Deeper and deeper into the forest, the Stranger and the Child road toward the Stranger's shelter.
The Child was amazed at how quickly they traveled, the horse sure and strong beneath them, as it galloped ever ahead. But at the same time, The Child was frightened to her little toes by all that was happening around her. Something told her though to trust this Stranger, as she felt his protective grip around her little waist.
The Stranger suddenly whistled and the horse slowed its cadence. The Stranger and the Child were slowly approaching a small cabin, nestled within a clearance in the forest. To the Child, this place was most magical!
The Sun shone directly upon it, and all around the perimeter, life absolutely flourished. Blue birds and robins and cardinals sang sweetly and played in the air surrounding the cabin. Rabbits and Raccoons scurried about; searching for nourishment and other playmates. The Child squealed with delight upon seeing such a fantasy land before her.The Stranger slowly set her down upon the ground.
The Stranger then took from his large pack; a thick walking stick adorned with precious jewels and waved it briefly into the air. Suddenly butterflies by the hundreds danced around the Child...
Gleefully, dancing along with the butterflies, the child flapped her arms as if they were feathery wings of golden amber. While dancing in a circle of blissful laughter, the child mesmerized the stranger as he watched in delight. He was sure that this was the child. She was a beauty, long auburn hair of curly locks, glistening in the sunshine like a radiant fire.
He admired her jade green eyes that dwelled deeply into his soul. He knew without a doubt, that he had found her at last. The next hurtle to jump, was to convince this child that he meant no harm.
As he was about to utter a word, the child stopped her dancing and turned to him and said "Sir, Stranger of the Glen, May I speak my peace?"
"Of course, little one, speak your mind, go ahead", the stranger answered.
"I know who you are, I understand what you do, but I do not understand what I am to do? Can you help me with this?" the child was very brave and forthcoming.
The Stranger of The Glen turned to the child, and said “Child of the Universe, that is who you are, what you are to do will be entirely up to the Universe. The best that I can tell you is to listen for the clues as they are revealed. I have the first one do you want to know what it is."
"Of course!" screamed the child from excitement.
"One day soon, you will see an old woman with a patch on her eye. Do not cry for her, but shed your tears and heal her affliction".
"Okay, kind Stranger of the Glen, I shall remember this first clue, I will not cry for the woman, but I will heal her affliction!"
The wind was picking up once more and the butterflies were swirling like a mini tornado surrounding the two figures. They were amidst a flurry of butterflies as if in a glass globe with snowflakes falling around them.
The child turned her back to the stranger and asked if she could be lifted upon his shoulders. Without hesitation he hoisted the child skyward and up onto his shoulders.Just at that moment, the child knew that the stranger was not a bad person.He is a magical man that dwells among the Earth.He has found a resting place and will dwell among the trees and the butterflies until the end of his life.
The child squealed from excitement and touched each wing that came within her reach.It was a magical moment that only lasted a few minutes.After the butterflies scurried away, the stranger carefully dropped the child onto the ground.“See child, now this is what they mean when they say a person is grounded.Don’t you feel the solid Earth beneath your feet?Doesn’t it feel good to know that you have two feet planted firmly on the ground?”
“Oh yes, kind stranger, I can feel the Earth grounding me.It feels wonderful, as does the touching of the butterfly wings.I feel as though I can fly and land safely back to where I started.”
I shall go now, and find the old woman with the patch.First I will go back home and rest for the night.Will you be safe here in the forest tonight?I shall come looking for you at dawn.”
“My Child, do not search for this woman, she will find you, and you will know who that is, trust in the Universe; Never forget that!”
“Yes sir, I will remember, thank you for your blessings and now I must go home to mother and help her with the babies.”
The child walked back to her home, and the Stranger of the Glen slowly walked back to his safe place among the trees and the butterflies.
That night the child had disturbing dreams of many levels.She dreamt of the Stranger of the Glen.Also, of all the beauty that the forest has to offer, but there was a dark part to her dream.It was the woman with the patch.In her dream she was the old mid wife that delivered her momma’s babies last spring.She dreamt that the old woman stole the babies from their beds.It was so real that the dream woke the child up.In a cold sweat, the child ran to the babies room and upon entering, she let out a huge scream.
The old woman with a patch was standing over the babies bed about to steal them.She pushed the old woman down, and in her head she heard the Stranger of the Glen’s words, “Do not cry for her, but shed your tears and heal her affliction".The child began to cry tears of healing rain upon the old woman’s face.In an instant the old woman stood and pronounced, “I can see, what on Earth have you done child?”
The child stood back a bit and looked at the old woman.“I know who you are.You are my grandmother, why are you trying to take our babies?”
“My child, your mother has banished me, and I have never had a chance to hold any of you.I have been very lonely since your grandfather left us all those years ago.I just wanted to hold them.Never did I expect to be able to see them.Thank you my granddaughter, you are a miracle in this world.I shall go now, please do not tell your mother I was here.”
As quickly as she arrived she was gone. Vanished into the dark night as if a magic spell banished her once more.
The child was astounded by the events, but felt very drained and tired.She walked back to her bed and fell soundly asleep.
At dawn, as she promised, she went to meet the Stranger of the Glen.
He was there sitting beneath the tree where they first met.
“So Child, do you have something to tell me?”
“Yes, Sir, I do, I have seen the woman with a patch and she can see again.Do you know who she is?”
“No I do not know who she is, but I feel that you are going to tell me.”He chuckled and touched her head.
“It was my grandma.She was banished by my mother for some reason.She was at my house last night within my dreams, but when I awoke she was really there.I stopped her from stealing the babies.She said she was lonely ever since my grandfather left us.”
“Oh My, that is quite a story you have told me.Let me think on this a while and I will let you know what to do next.”
They played among the forest animals.Having a great time and getting to know each other better.It was approaching noon time when the child said,” I feel that I have met you before, have we ever met before?”
“I am not sure of this, but perhaps the Universe will answer that question for you.You seem to find your answers in your dreams.
Why not think about that tonight and let us talk again tomorrow at dawn.”
“But, I don’t want to wait until tomorrow, please stay, can you come to my house for some food to eat?”
“Oh, Child, I do not think that would be a wise move.We must be careful, people don’t understand us.They will not accept us for who we are.We will never be able to be seen together.Do you understand?”
“Not really, but I trust you and I trust in the Universe to guide us.”
“That is a very good answer my child.You must always trust in yourself and the Universe.”
‘Let us make a plan for tomorrow kind Sir.I want to bring you somewhere special.Can you go tomorrow?”
“Of course I can”, said the Stranger from the Glen.
They parted company and the Universe was at peace for the moment.The day flew by, and the evening fog was rolling in.
The child stood at the edge of the forest looking at the tree that held her at bay until the Stranger of the Glen found her.Somehow she felt that tree was important to him.I will ask the Universe for answers to my questions.
That night the child dreamt of a war.It was a very terrible war.
During that war her father was killed.She remembers her mother crying for days when she was pregnant with the babies.It was a very sad time for her whole family.Now everything is good.No more war.What was she to do about her grandmother?She wanted her grandmother to be a part of her life once again.
Before awakening, she had another dream.It was about the butterflies that she saw the other day.They were telling her a secret.“Beware of the evil spirit of the forest.It wants you.It will pretend to be your friend.It wants your babies too.Beware of the evil spirit of the forest”.
She awoke with a feeling of dread.Did they mean the Stranger of The Glen?No, that couldn’t be true .