I don’t know about you, but I was a little excited as I travelled home from work on Friday. It was 4:45pm and it wasn’t completely dark. The glorious anticipation of space that that little bit of extra daylight sent spinning into my soul, was wonderful. A lightening of the spirit in all the darkness that winter has caged me with. It got me thinking about dark things that coil around us and dampen our souls. How easy it is to live with the fear and terror the unknown, so I wondered… are you ready for a story?

Here is part 1 of   The Wiseman and the Dragon

There was once a village, which was located on a wide flat plain by the edge of a deep, dark wood. A wood so deep and dark, that the poor villagers would not enter for fear some great danger might come upon them. “There are monsters!” they said. “We will be eaten alive!” So they never went anywhere near, not even to gaze in from the edge.

In the spring and summer the village was a happy place. The people were good, simple and hard-working. The men and women toiled all day long in the nearby fields, while the children had many chores to complete. The weather was warm and food was easy to come by. However the coming of autumn brought dread, for the villagers knew that soon they would endure the great storms of winter. Their flimsy houses would be damaged and destroyed, while bitter cold and savage hunger would become their companions again.

Now the wood, which was indeed a deep and dark, longed to be tended and cared for. It was lonely. It desired the company of humans. For it knew it could help the villagers during the winter. However every time the wood tried to help, something when wrong, and the poor wood only succeeded in making the people more afraid. Once the trees tried to give the villagers their dead branches, by dropping them as close to the edge of the wood as possible. But the noise only echoed round the valley, scared the crows and terrified the villagers into thinking that a terrible monster was about to devour them. As a precaution, the elders moved the people further away from the trees. So the wood tried again. Next the woodland grew blackberries to provide food for the villagers in the winter. But as the untended brambles grew tall, the wood became dark and foreboding and the people moved even further away.

When fear coils round your soul

Woods, Klosterneuburg, Austria

Now it just so happened that a Wiseman came to live in this village. No one really knew where he had come from or exactly when he had arrived. It was simply one day he was there and from that time on, it seemed as if he always had been. The Wise Man said little and watched from a distance. The villagers, knowing him to be a Wise Man, kept their’s.

One early autumn day, as the villagers began making preparations for winter, smoke was seen to rise in thick grey plumes from deep in the wood. The villagers saw it and became terrified. “What shall we do?” they cried. No one had any answers. For three days the same thing happened, until finally one of the villagers cautiously approached the wiseman.

“Wiseman, smoke is rising from the deep in the wood, we do not know what it is, or what to do?”

“It is the dragon sleeping.” The wiseman replied calmly.

As you can image this confirmed the villager’s worst fears.

“If you take your axes and enter the wood, you will be able to find and kill the dragon, before he wakes. Otherwise he will find his way out of the wood and attack the village.” The wiseman finished.

“We will be killed!” the villagers cried in great panic.

“Maybe you will.” said the Wiseman.

Find out what happens next week

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