Ron Macris

The Angel and the Gardener


The Angel

And
The
Gardener
 
Ron Macris
 


 
 
 

 
Table of Contents
 
 
 
 
Chapter                   Page
 
 
 
1.                Book of Life         4
 
2.                The Setting         5
 
3.                The Inquisitive Princess         7
 
4.                The Fisherman and the Mermaid         22
 
5.                Conclusion                                                         27                                                                                                             
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Book of Life
 
When my
father arrived in Australia from the Greek Islands at the turn of the Century,
he had but one possession. It was a book he had been given by his father on his
departure. It contained his observations and experiences of life. Each saying
captured a valuable message that my grandfather said would provide the
necessary tools and wisdom to be successful.
 
In this book I have
adopted a similar theme but have chosen to use a garden setting in which the
three main characters are an Angel, a Gardener and a little flower. The
relationship between the three and the feelings they share enable us to partake
in their joy, sorrow and happiness.
 
The story revolves around
two tales the Gardener recites to his two friends, which contain the pearls of
wisdom the Angel seeks, and the hopes and dreams the little flower yearns. The
words of wisdom are for those in search of dreams, and answers to the mysteries
of life.
 
They aim to provide the
teachings by which, we can also learn to experience the wonder of love, enjoy
the fullness of life and ultimately, to awaken that spiritual aspect which,
like a dormant imprisoned splendor, resides within us all.
 

The Setting
 
Secretly
concealed in the mists of time far away in a land shrouded in magic and mystery
existed an enchanted garden. Many beautiful plants flourished there and a wise
Gardener who loved them dearly tended them. His best friend was an Angel who
would often fly down from heaven and speak to him in an endeavor to understand
the mysteries of the human realm.
 
One
night a fierce storm raged. The winds blew strongly, the clouds billowed and
the trees and flowers bent their trunks and stems. The Gardener scurried
amongst his charges to protect them from the fury. From the corner of his eye,
he saw a small seedling drop from the beak of a bird flying high, fleeing from
the wrath of the storm.
 
From
whence the tiny seedling came the Gardener did not know. All he knew was that
she landed in his garden and possessed a special quality. As the Angel had
often told him, nothing happens by chance.
 
He gently picked her up and cradled her in his hand. She was quite
battered and forlorn. With what little strength she still possessed, she whispered
in his ear, “I fear I may die.”
 
She
then fell asleep in the palm of his hand. The Gardener kissed her softly and
gently planted the little seeding close to him in a special plot, away from the
other flowers. He covered her with warm autumn leaves and dried rose petals, so
that another bird would not devour her, after the storm had settled. He asked
his friend the Angel to say a small prayer. The Angel smiled. He could see that
in a single moment the Gardener had fallen in love with the little seeding.
 
Each
day the Gardener would tend the seedling and surround her with his love. Over
the ensuing weeks, she grew strong and blossomed into the most beautiful flower
in the garden. She had ravishing golden petals, captivating azure buds and a
mesmerizing smile. She possessed a fickle nature, loved life and constantly
chased the butterflies in pursuit of her dreams. The Gardener loved her deeply
but could not bring himself to tell her.
 
One
morning as the sun was breaking the Angel asked the gardener to reveal the
secrets of life. The little flower too, desired to hear of the mysteries of
love and hope. The Gardener considered their request and beckoned they sit
beside him. He then commenced to tell two stories The first tale, The
Inquisitive Princess contained the wisdom the Angel eagerly sought, the other,
a story of a Fisherman and Mermaid that he knew would answer the little
flower’s curiosity and, which veiled his love for her.
 
The
Gardener secretly knew that by sharing the teachings, his two friends would
eventually leave him and his garden, as they would no longer require his
wisdom, counsel or support. However, life is about assisting others to grow and
so the stories had to be told.
 
So the
Gardener commenced narrating the two tales whilst the Angel and the little
flower sat at his side excitedly anticipating the adventures and rich messages
that would unfold.
 
The
lessons buried deep within each story traverse time and space and are
applicable to all. Such is the wonder of truth.
 
 
 
 
 
The Inquisitive Princess
 
Looming over the City Square
stood a splendid castle in which a beautiful Princess resided. Her father was a
great King who lavished her with every imaginable luxury and delight. But he
forbade her to ever leave the walls of the castle lest she meet people from the
outside world and discover sadness and misery.
 
The young Princess was beautiful
and had golden plaited locks that flowingly fell over her shoulders. Her
resplendent emerald eyes sparkled like crystal. She loved her father greatly
but longed deeply to explore the outer walls of the castle and discover answers
to her questions. Being a high spirited young lady she asked her maid in
waiting to help her leave the castle for just one day. The loyal old maid was
afraid that the King may discover the Princess’ absence but finally succumbed
to the wishes of the strong willed young Princess.
 
Together they forged a plan that
would enable the Princess for just one day to pursue her dreams. At the
appointed hour, the maid led the young Princess to a secret exit from the
castle, which led down a long tunnel under the moat.
 
She bid the Princess farewell
and said, “Remember you must return by the time the sun rises tomorrow.” The
Princess replied, “I shall return no later.” With that, the Princess vanished
down the secret tunnel to explore the outer world.
 
As the Princess emerged from the tunnel, she
looked back at the grandeur of her abode. She had never seen the castle from
outside the walls before. She was attired in a long blue dress with a violet
cloak and carried a small purse with ten pieces of gold. Her crystal eyes
glistened in the early morning sunlight as she set off down the meandering path
to the city.
On her way, she came across a poor blind man
begging for alms. He had a crooked back, shabby clothes and a face that
reflected great hardship and sorrow. She had never seen such a sight, and was
overwhelmed with pity. Without thinking she dropped a golden coin into the
Beggar’s battered bowl. As the sound of the coin reverberated from his empty
canister, the Beggar said to the young Princess,
 
“Thank you young lady, that was a very kind
deed. What is it you seek?” The Princess felt great sympathy for the poor
Beggar and replied,
“I am searching for things you cannot help
me with, because you cannot see.”
 
The old Beggar smiled with his head tilted
to one side and softly said to the Princess, “The things you seek will reveal
themselves if you take the right path.” “And which path is that?” asked the
Princess. “It is the one that leads to happiness,” croaked the Beggar.
 
The young Princess bridled at
such a suggestion and said, “I have experienced more happiness than anyone
could imagine, I have no need to pursue such things.” The old man laughed aloud
and exclaimed, “If that were so you would never have left the castle walls.”
 
The proud young Princess
defiantly asked the Beggar, “If you know what it is I am in search of, then
tell me the essence of happiness?”  “By
the time you return to the castle you will have discovered the answer to that
question and your sadness will have disappeared.” Feeling quite stunned the
Princess asked the Beggar,
 
“Then, if you will not explain
happiness, tell me of sadness?” The Beggar lowered his head and the Princess
could see a teardrop form in his eye.
“Sadness”,
he replied, "Is when one loves another more than she loves him.”
 
The Beggar recounted a story of
when he was a young man, he met a beautiful Lady, and they became close
friends. Together they would share their inner most secrets. Hers was to find
the Prince of her dreams whilst his secret dream was to gain the Lady’s love.
Over time the Beggar said, he fell hopelessly and deeper in love with the Lady,
but he could never tell her lest she be offended. Increasingly he would feel
melancholy as she spoke to him of her dreams and longings because they could
not include him.
 
Eventually, however, he was
forced to say goodbye to the Lady, as he knew she would never love him as he
did her. The pain of being so close but not being able to hold her was greater
than leaving her forever.
 
The Princess was touched and
could not conceal the tears that ran down her cheeks. She felt pity for the
Beggar but also lamented at not having experienced love herself. So she asked
the Beggar, “What is love?”
 
“Love", he replied,
"is wanting to give oneself completely to another without expecting
anything in return.”
 
She had, for a long time, secretly dreamed
of meeting her Knight in shining armor but had not discovered such a lover. She
only had friends. Thus, she asked the Beggar, “What difference is there between
a lover and a friend’?” He smiled as he stroked the wings of a passing
butterfly and replied,
 
“A
lover promises the other dreams, and she languishes in anticipation of an event
that never transpires. The friend gently holds her hand and guides her to
discover them for herself.”
 
With
that, a tiny sparrow flew to the shoulder of the Princess. The Beggar
exclaimed, “It is good you now have a friend to accompany you on your journey.”
The Princess fondled the feathers of the bird; happy she would have a companion
to escort her. The Beggar beckoned the Princess to his side and spoke.
 
“The
answer to your other questions will come from others further down the valley.”
The young Princess was fascinated. Here she was in splendid clothes and
listening to the words of a poor man garbed in the cloak of misfortune, who
could not see. “How do you know what I desire?” inquired the feisty, headstrong
young Princess. The old Beggar replied, “Even a blind man can see you yearn for
the secrets within.”
 
With
that, the Princess bid the old Beggar farewell and continued her journey down
the path in earnest on her way to the city, with the tiny sparrow perched
tightly upon her shoulder. She came to a fork in the road and was unsure which
path to take. “Tiny sparrow, which way should I proceed?” she asked.
 
The
sparrow said that one path led to passion whilst the other to joy. The sparrow
said that if she chose the road to passion, she would find disillusionment but
if she walked the path of joy, she would discover contentment. The young
Princess then inquired of the sparrow, “What distinguishes passion from joy?”
 
"The first", replied
the sparrow, “condemns men, to eternally
seek many different cruets of wine, in search of the thrill and pleasure
experienced from the first. The other is the bliss that springs from a simple
kiss, the lingering sweetness of which, can transform dark memories into
luminous dreams.”
 
So together they chose the right
path and continued walking until they heard a deep sobbing echoing from the
side of the road. The young Princess parted the long wispy leaves of rambling
heath, where she observed a beautiful Wild Flower with down turned petals
crying. “Why are you sad?” asked the Princess of the Wild Flower.
 
The Wild Flower answered, “I
have been stung by a bumble bee whom I trusted. He then returned and promised
he would never hurt me again. As I opened my petals for him to kiss my heart,
he wounded me once more. I can no longer love anyone, as I am unable to
distinguish when one is being sincere or distrustful, and I fear I may remain
lonely for evermore.”
 
The Princess desperately wanted
to console the flower and sought the advice from the sparrow. Within the
twinkling of an eye the sparrow said to the Wild Flower.
 
“If you heed my counsel it will
help you discern the qualities between worthy and unworthy men.” “What advice
is that?” inquired the Wild Flower.
 
“Listen to their words
but observe their actions for they often say so much more.”
 
The Wild Flower nodded her head
and dried her eyes. and promised to remember the words. “I feel so much better
now,” she smiled. She thanked the Princess and sparrow for showing her
compassion, and directed them back to the path and once more, the two
recommenced their journey down the hill.
 
“The Wild Flower uttered the
word “compassion” and yet I do not understand what that means,” said the
Princess to the sparrow. The tiny bird stopped chirping and considered deeply
before he answered. 
 
"To use the judgment
mind is to see one's own darkness in others but to use the wisdom mind is to
see the beauty in all.  This is called compassion.”
 
The Princess marveled at the
tiny sparrow’s wisdom and was satisfied with his answer. The sparrow continued
to chirp and sing and together they meandered joyfully along.
 
Eventually they came to a small
cottage with a thatched roof nestled into the side of the hill. A brightly
painted picket fence surrounded the dwelling and beautiful roses adorned the
front. The door was made of oak and delicate lead light patterns adorned the
windows. Through an opening, they saw the silhouette of a handsome young man
painting a portrait of a beautiful pink Orchid.
 
The curious young Princess could
not conceal her excitement and drew closer to watch the Artist use his deft
brush strokes to bring the flower’s face to life. The smile etched onto the
canvas was beautiful. She could see that the Orchid was special to the young
man and so, inquired of him, "What captures a special moment?"
 
"It
is”, he replied, "to bathe in the radiance of the Orchid’s smile which beams from
the bottom of her heart”.
 
The Princess was fascinated and felt an
unusual flush beset her. Her heart pounded quickly and her eyes flickered as
she listened to the young painter’s words. She knew the young painter loved the
Orchid and sadly realized no man had ever loved her as deeply. She was
fascinated to understand why the Artist longed so much to see his Orchid again.
 
The curious Princess, careful not to give an
impression she was prying, asked the Artist, "What makes a man desire to
return to the same flower again?” He replied,
 
“Many
flowers have enchanting scent, beautiful petals and lustrous buds, but all
these things lose their attraction and fade aver time. It is the inner tapestry
woven of the threads of honesty, kindness and understanding that draws men to
return and, which is revealed through her smile, spoken word and poise.”
 
But, the Princess could sense a deep
emptiness within the Artist’s eyes, and said to the painter, “What causes your
sadness?”
 
He replied, “The Orchid you see constructed
of oils and brush strokes, once existed and tragically broke my heart.” “And
what is tragedy?” asked the Princess. The Artist lowered his head and answered,
 
“To
watch the Orchid chase a butterfly in pursuit of her dreams and fail to see the
one she seeks the most is standing right next to her.”
 
The Princess was touched. She could see the
Artist was poor and offered him three gold pieces to assist with his
endeavours. The handsome young man thanked her and began to weep with
gratitude. “You have bestowed upon me a great gift,” he exclaimed.
 
The Princess felt quite awkward. Three
pieces of gold meant so little to her but so much to the young man. She had
been surrounded all of her life with fine embroidery, precious jewels and
lavish surroundings. The Artist who caught a glimpse of her thoughts continued.
 
“It is not the three pieces of gold that is
important, it is that you gave of yourself to help another that makes your gift
so treasured.” The Princess was taken back. She had never considered that the
act of giving was more valuable than the gift itself. With her curiosity
aroused, she asked the young painter, “But what is the most precious gift one
can give another?”
 
"To
help another discover the key that opens their treasure chest deep within,” replied the Artist.
 
The young Princess was overcome. She had
been bestowed with gifts of great value all her life and yet here stood a man
speaking of an inner treasure chest that she could not understand. “And what
jewels does this inner treasure chest house that my father’s vaults do not?”
 
The Artist smiled and said the inner
treasure contains stone of more value than all the pearls and diamonds in the
world, called “peace”. The Princess eager to attain such riches asked, “And
where to I find such a gem?”
 
‘Peace’ is discovering that the key to contentment resides
within and shall not be found traveling hither and yon”, replied
the Artist.
 
The tiny sparrow then tapped the Princess’
shoulder and reminded her that it was time to continue her journey as time was
swiftly passing by. She thanked the Artist for sharing his words and then
resumed her journey with the tiny sparrow gleefully singing whilst snuggly
nestled between her shoulder and ear.
 
With the city walls in sight, the young
Princess became excited. As they turned the final bend, they stumbled across a
beautiful Butterfly with large golden wings. The Butterfly was frantically
flying from one flower to another and the Princess could see the Butterfly was
becoming severely distraught and distressed.
 
“My dear Butterfly, what is it that you seek
so desperately?” asked the Princess. The Butterfly briefly stopped flapping his
wings and flew to the Princess’ hand.
 
“I seek mutual love,” exclaimed the winged
creature. “And why is that so important?” inquired the Princess.
 
“Without
love and nourishment, these flowers will die and without a response, so will
I,” replied the Butterfly.
 
The Princess asked the Butterfly why mutual
love was so difficult to attain and the Butterfly recounted a story of a single
flower whom he loved most but who no longer would permit him to touch her
petals. “Then why does that flower not come to you anymore?” queried the
Princess.
 
“It is
because I tried to stifle her growth and place her in a vase,” replied the Butterfly.
 
The Butterfly then explained he had tried to
imprison the flower because he desired no other to softly touch her as he. He
had used hurtful words to assist his selfish pursuits. In doing so, he had
broken the flower’s heart.
 
“Then express your regret and sorrow and I
am sure she will forgive you,” said the young Princess, feeling quite proud
that at last she could offer some advice of her own. The Butterfly then sadly
confessed,
 
“A broken heart is just a
temporary wound to one’s pride, it will always heal, whereas the spoken word is
more injurious than the sharpest sword as it can never be retrieved.”
 
“Now I am left with a great feeling of guilt
at the irrevocable hurt I have caused,” said the Butterfly to the Princess.
The tiny sparrow who, until now had remained
silent, then settled softly upon a wing of the Butterfly and explained to him
that guilt and regret were quite different. Whereas one hindered growth, the
other stimulated learning.
 
“Guilt is when one
laments for oneself for an action that cannot be reversed. Regret is when one
feels great remorse for the effects of their actions on another.”
 
The
sparrow said that if one feels sincere regret they needed to love and be gentle
with them selves and ensure they never made the same mistake again.
 
The
Butterfly listened intently and was able to see that his hurtful act could
serve as a lesson that would make him a better person. He said to the sparrow,
 
“You are correct, from this
day forward I shall practice accepting others for who they are and not for what
I want them to be.”   
 
The Butterfly flew back to the flowers, but
this time his intentions were pure. It was fast approaching evening and the
Princess was keen to see the city just once before she had to return to the
castle. The sparrow led her to the bottom of the path, and soon they entered
the City Square.
 
There the Princess witnessed the market
place. Bakers, tailors, fruit merchants, store vendors and gypsies. Children
clung to their mothers’ clothes and old men sat at corner taverns sipping
coffee and drinking wine. Every imaginable animal, creature and bird was to be
seen. The market possessed a vibrant life of its own with the sounds of people
bargaining for goods and the hustle and bustle of others scurrying along the
narrow paths that separated the stalls.
 
The tiny sparrow directed the Princess'
attention to the poor urchins begging for money for their supper. The Princess
had never seen such misery and rushed to distribute the last of her gold coins
amongst the children.
 
At that time a Wise Man presented himself to
the Princess and said, “You have shown great compassion for which I shall grant
you three wishes as a reward.”
 
The Princess replied, “I seek happiness,
which no one will tell me how to obtain.” The Wise Man smiled and said, “The
answer to that wish will be revealed when you discover silence.” The Princess
replied, “How can I know the words if I cannot hear?”
 
The wise man answered, “In the stillness the
answer will deafen you, which you will finally realize on your return to the
castle. Then you will discover real freedom.” The young Princess was confused.
She had learnt so much but the wise man spoke in riddles. “What is freedom?”
she inquired of him. The Wise Man responded by saying,
 
“It
is when one no longer needs to grasp and
possess. It is being able to love someone with all your heart, share their
wildest dreams, embrace them completely then set them free, without regret.”
 
The Wise Man continued. “When
you discover freedom you will also find joy,” he said. “But what is joy?”
implored the despairing Princess. The Wise Man answered thus,
 
“To
take delight in the happiness of another rather than merely share their
sadness.”
 
“But”, exclaimed the poor
confused Princess, “if I do not know what happiness is, how can I share it with
another?” The wise man smiled softly and whispered to the Princess. “You do,
you just are not aware of it yet.” The poor Princess was feeling even more
confused and beseeched the wise man to answer her question. “The answers to
your last questions will be provided shortly. You have used all of your three
wishes now, by asking three questions, all of which have been granted,” said
the Wise Man.
 
The Princess turned to the tiny
sparrow to seek his opinion but when she went to speak once more to the Wise
Man, he had vanished.  
 
Feeling frustrated and confused, she
approached a splendid Knight riding on a beautiful white stallion. She could
see he had been victorious in many battles and was certain he had conquered the
souls of men and the hearts of women. She was curious to understand the delight
he felt in achieving such victories and the feelings of disappointment of any
defeats. So the Princess mustered up the courage and asked the Knight. “Is
victory so different from defeat?”
 
"Both can be quite deceiving", smiled the Knight. ”We
can be seduced into trading our inner being, for the crown of signature, that
we secretly desire others to bestow, or providence can bequeath upon us the
opportunity to enlist the celebration of humility. The question is," whispered
the Knight, “which is triumph and which
is impairment?”
 
The
young Princess was more overcome. Every time she asked a question the answer
would make her less clear. “My dear Knight, you are committed to chivalry and
protecting ladies in distress. Please help me in my moment of despair and
explain what is ‘truth’ ”.
 
‘ Truth’ said
the Knight, "Is realizing that every
deed has a consequence and that nothing happens by chance.”
 
The Princess feeling
increasingly distressed begged the Knight to return her to her castle.
 
She had come in search of
mystery and was now consumed by confounding thoughts. She yearned once more to
be the Princess in her home. There things had been simple to understand and she
had been content to play games with her maid and marvel at her riches. The
Knight then gently lifted her on to his horse and whispered to the young
Princess,
 
“You have commenced a voyage
from where there is no return. Once you open the door to your inner kingdom, it
can never be closed again. It would be foolishness to grasp for the past.”
 
“But what is the consequence of
foolishness?” demanded the Princess. The Knight replied,
 
“A fool will lose the
wonders of tomorrow by searching for yesterday’s dreams.”
 
With her mind beguiled with
thoughts and feeling increasingly confused, the inquisitive young Princess
became totally dismayed, closed her eyes and fell asleep in the Knights’ arms.
The tiny sparrow then kissed her on the cheek and flew back to whence he came.
His task was complete.
 
When the Princess awoke, she was
back in her bed in her chamber within the castle. She stretched her arms above
her head and wiped away the sleep that the sandman had cast in her eyes the
night before.
 
She noticed her maid was
preparing her breakfast of fresh fruits. The sun was dawning and cast silver
and golden light beams through her bedroom window. 
 
The Princess wondered if she had
been dreaming but at the end of her bed lay a long stemmed rose and silver
gauntlet left by the Knight to remind her that her dreams and reality had been
one. For the first time in her life, she had found a Knight who had loved her.
She lifted the rose to smell its scent and held the gauntlet close to her heart.
 
The old maid inquired of the
Princess, “What did you learn on your journey?” The Princess pondered, turning
her eyes downward. She then explained.
 
“The
three things in life which are most important are the understanding of desire,
love and happiness.
 
“Desire
causes all suffering. Like a thirst that cannot be quenched we strive aimlessly
at attempting to fan a fire that intoxicates us even more because we know it
can never be sustained.
 
“Love
is not a thing to grasp or hold, but rather our actions and attitudes towards
others and ourselves.
 
“Happiness
resides in us all and it is released when we overcome desire and discover
love.”
 
The Princess then returned to a
deep slumber and her maid could not but notice the peaceful smile that embraced
her lips.
 
The Angel and the little flower were spellbound at the
conclusion of the Gardener’s story. They sat speechless as his words flooded
their minds.
 
 The old Gardener smiled and prepared to continue with his other
tale.
 
Whilst the first story had
revealed the lessons and secrets required to discover happiness, the second
spoke of the rewards that spring from eternal hope and never ending love. This
he knew would bring tears of joy to his beloved little flower. And so the
Gardener told his two friends the story of the Fisherman and the Mermaid.
The
Fisherman and The Mermaid
 
On a magical island snuggled between the edge of time and
where dreams come true there once lived a Fisherman.
 
Each day the Fisherman would walk to the
rocks where he would cast his net into the deep cobalt blue waters that
surrounded the island. Although he sought to catch simple fish he secretly
desired to capture the seductive Mermaid which he had heard the wise men and
philosophers describe in stories and myths. The villagers thought him odd that
the young man would seek such a dream. 
 
One day as he sat at the waters edge he felt
a strong tug at his net. The young Fisherman became rather excited, as he knew
only a big fish could pull so hard. He trembled as he gathered his net, his
anticipation increasing, as was the beat of his heart.
 
To his utter amazement, when he finally lifted his catch
to the surface he observed the most mysteriously beautiful sight.
It was a Mermaid. She had golden silky locks of hair that
fell teasingly below her shoulders and covered her bare breasts.
 
Her seductive blue eyes sparkled and her smile resembled
the half crest of the moon when it beams to the stars. Her soft pale skin
glistened in the sunlight and her wondrous tail was a deep turquoise with
silken scales that were velvet like to touch. The young Fisherman was
captivated.
 
After his initial trembling subsided, he called to the
Mermaid, “At last I have caught you.” She smiled softly and replied, “Yes my
dear young Fisherman, you have finally discovered your dream.”
 
The Fisherman then said, “I shall pull you to shore and
you will be mine forever.” He felt so proud of himself and his catch. The
seductive Mermaid replied, “It is true you have trapped me in your net but if
you pull me to shore I shall perish.”
 
The young Fisherman became sad. The Mermaid was so
wonderfully enchanting and in that single moment, he experienced a joy that
surpassed all pleasures. He simply fell in love with her. “I shall release
you,” called the Fishermen. The beautiful Mermaid fluttered her eyes and
whispered, “But I am caught in your net, can you swim to me and untangle the
strings?”
 
The young Fisherman’s eyes welled up. He could not stand
the thought of the seductively beautiful Mermaid being trapped against her
will. He dived into the water to set her free. As he swam to her side she
beamed the cheekiest smile and fluttered her eyelids.
 
Then without notice she kissed him softly on his lips. The
young Fisherman became powerless and fell into her arms. The Mermaid then
whispered, “My dear Fisherman, it is I who have captured you”.
 
With that, she began to show off, submerging deep into the
water and teasingly surfacing and prancing around the mesmerized helpless young
man.
 
When he was completely under her spell, she placed her two
arms tightly around his chest and dived deeply into the water. She swam so fast
as though time had stood still and took the young Fisherman to a place called
paradise. She besieged him with magical kisses, softly caressing his whole body
at the same time. She whispered in his ear, “Your dreams have come true this
day my dear Fisherman.”
 
With that the Mermaid returned the Fisherman to the shore
and like a twinkle of a star, she vanished. The young Fisherman climbed wearily
to the rock. He was exhausted and fell into deep slumber. When he awoke, he
wondered if he had only dreamed of the Mermaid. She was nowhere to be seen.
But, like a caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful butterfly, the Mermaid
had touched his heart and the Fisherman would never be the same again.
 
The Fisherman returned to his village and recounted his
story. All the townspeople laughed. They knew he was a dreamer and felt he had
suffered a tad too much sun.
 
Each day the Fisherman would return and cast his net hoping
that he may ensnare the Mermaid again, but she never returned. He began to
think the Mermaid had only ever existed in his imaginings but still returned
each day in the hope.
 
Years went by and he grew old. His beard became white like
the bleached shells on the sand. His back was slightly arched and his eyesight
poor. As he watched the tides repeatedly come and go and the sun yawn broadly
before it went to sleep each day his thoughts were constantly of the Mermaid.
 
One day as he sat watching the clouds and pondering his
life, a giant wave washed him into the water and pulled him far out to sea. The
old Fisherman closed his eyes. He knew it was time leave this world. As he
gasped his last breath, thoughts of his beloved Mermaid encompassed his mind, and
longings of what might have been. He struggled not in the water but surrendered
himself to the mercy of the sea. Then the most astonishing thing happened. Two
arms reached around his chest. A large silken tail swept between his legs and a
voice softly called,
 
“My dear Fisherman, on each day that you have longed for
me I too have yearned for you. Sometimes when mortals believe in dreams the
Gods grant their wish. In your case, the test was to see if you could believe
in me for a lifetime. In doing so you have freed me to be with you forever.”
And with that, the Fisherman and the Mermaid swam to paradise.
 
The
villagers never saw the Fisherman again and presumed him drowned. To this day
however, it is said that if one stands upon the rock from where he first cast
his net, one can hear the deafening sounds of laughter below the water’s
surface and watch bubbles of joy rise to the top.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Conclusion
 
After the Gardener had concluded his stories, his
relationship with the Angel and the little flower was never the same again. For
a brief period they continued to meet but the Gardener knew that the Angel had
no more to learn and that the little flower sought the same adventures as the
Inquisitive Princess. He knew both would leave his garden soon.
 
One morning whilst he was tending his flock
the little flower approached him with tears in her eyes. The wise old Gardener
could see she had something important to say.
 
The little flower then told him of an
intimate encounter with another that had secretly occurred whilst the old
Gardener had been asleep dreaming of her. She said it had created feelings of
discontentment and that she was leaving the garden to pursue her happiness
elsewhere.
 
The old Gardener responded kindly but his
smile could not conceal his profound sadness.
 
The dreaded day came the next morning when
the little flower kissed the Gardener on the cheek and left his paradise in
search of another. The Gardener, who had spent his life realizing others’
dreams, had his own destroyed in a single moment.
 
As he dried his eyes his friend the Angel
appeared and said, "I know you must be devastated at the little flower
leaving your garden today.” “It is
the nature of life,” choked the Gardener.
 
"In both life and
heaven, nothing is permanent, mountains crumble and sunrises come and go. It is
in realizing this that one seizes life's opportunities, embraces those he loves
with all his heart, then sets them free to conquer other worlds, capture other
dreams and discover their imprisoned splendor within.”
 
The Angel then told the Gardener that he had
returned from heaven where he had told God of the lessons he had learnt from
the Gardener. The old man summoned a smile and said,
 
“There is nothing that I have said that God
does not already know. My words were that of a simple man, not those of a wise
one.”
 
And the Angel replied, “God said no greater
love has a man had for another than yours has been for the little flower. Like
the Mermaid she will meet you somewhere else in time and bliss and happiness
will prevail forever.”
 
With those words barely passing the Angel’s lips the Gardener’s
eyes slowly closed and he collapsed into his friend’s winged arms to commence
his journey back to the stars. The Gardener had simply died of a broken heart
and both he and the enchanted garden vanished forever more.
 
 
The End

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Ron Macris.
Published on e-Stories.org on 26.08.2007.

 

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