Authors Note: The following story is based on a true person. Which
person, however is up to you. Read the story, and think who the best person to take this
journey is a friend, a family member, perhaps an historical figure. Know then, that
that is the hero of this tale.
He was lying down on the floor of the
workshop, his head rested in her lap, while she was slowly and gently passing her fingers
through his hair and beard. Suddenly, his contented smile broke out in a wide grin.
"I suddenly realized," he said,
"that you finally told me something about your past."
"Yes, in those postcards you sent me before
you came back you mentioned your grandfather in one of them and being in Austria in
"I did, didnt I?" she smiled back
at him "Well, thats hardly much revealed you can learn far more about me
by reading Spenser."
He rose into a seating position and looked
straight into her deep, black eyes. "I know that you have a reason for not telling
me, but, well, weve been lovers for over fifteen years, I just wish sometimes I knew
more about you, what your lifes been like before I came to this damned Estate".
"Well," she said "Theres one
story I think I can tell you. Go to the kitchen and start making the coffee and Ill
be down the moment I get dressed and you can hear it."
Many, many years ago,
when the world was still not fully explored and still possessed its undiscovered
corners of mystery, there lived a traveler, renowned for extraordinary bravery and
curiosity, who took a long and dangerous journey overseas. The journey brought within it
many exciting and interesting adventures perhaps you have already heard some of
them but then again, perhaps you have not. It was as a result of one of these
adventures that a contingency arose, that demanded that the main ship be abandoned, and
the traveler was forced to seek safety in a small lifeboat. After several days of rowing,
with supplies just about to run out, just as the traveler was about to give up all hope of
ever reaching the shore, there appeared over the horizon a great cliff-face, reaching out
of the ocean like a wall. The traveler knew not if the cliff was climbable, but any ray of
hope was better than none at all so the course was set directly towards it.
Imagine the travelers astonishment when, as
the little boat approached the cliff, it was made clear that it was not totally
uninhabited in fact, exactly in the path of the boat lay was a jetty, sticking out
of the cliff like a finger pointed towards the traveler. Excited, yet somewhat mystified,
the traveler started rowing frantically towards the jetty. As the boat came even closer,
the traveler saw that the jetty was not abandoned in fact, sitting on the jetty,
looking directly in the travelers direction, was a young-looking, beautiful woman,
with long black hair and deep, dark eyes. She smiled at the traveler, and it seemed the
there was something not quite human about her looks, something that suggested lost lands
of magic and heros.
" Greetings, oh noble traveler", the
woman said as the traveler climbed onto the jetty, " I have been waiting many days
"For me?" the traveler exclaimed.
"Oh yes, for there is a great task to be
done, one unequalled by all others. That is why you have come and that is why this jetty
has been set up in waiting, and I upon it. You see," and here she pointed at a
narrow, winding path leading to the top of the cliffs "the land up there is set out
for a great and curious destiny, one whose rules and purpose are still being figured out.
Soon, a great and terrible Estate will be set up there, and a game be played where many
things are decided. But before this may happen, one thing must be done, for the land is
uninhabitable in its current state. You see, there is an infestation of mice
everywhere you look you see thousands of the creatures. No work may begin on the Estate
before these mice are cleared off and no one but you may get rid of them."
"Me?" asked the traveler "but I am
no pied piper I have no tools to get rid of mice. I am an explorer, a traveler, and
I have just survived a long and treacherous journey, which has sapped all my strength.
While I would love to help you, my lady, I fear myself not up to the task".
"Dont worry," she said "for
I have a magical potion, which shall not only sustain you but provide your body all you
need. All you have to do is climb the cliff, and drink the potion just remember not
to drink before you reach the top."
The traveler was obviously confused by all of
this, but being a generous, caring person could not refuse the ladys request. Potion
in hand, the traveler began climbing the grueling track until the summit was reached. But
the trek upwards proved difficult for the travelers aching muscles, so difficult
that not much further than halfway up the traveler fell down and felt that further ascent
was impossible. Then the traveler suddenly noticed the potion and immediately the
traveler thought "why, what difference could it make where I drink the potion? Let me
drink it now, for otherwise I shall never complete my climb", uncorked the potion and
drank it in a single gulp.
Immediately, the traveler began to feel better
and stronger better, in fact, than ever before and without hesitate set out
to complete the task. Easily reaching the summit, the truth of the ladys words
became inherently obvious the entire land was crawling with mice, so that no one
could take a single step without treading on at least three. The traveler leapt at the
nearest mouse and tried to grab it with both hands but the mouse managed to escape.
Then, the traveler tried chasing another mouse, but it too got away. This continued for
several hours the traveler chasing mice, but all to no avail.
Just as the traveler was about to give up, the
mysterious woman appeared as if out of thin air. "You drank the potion before the
proper time," she said "and thus, while you now possess great strength and
agility, you are unable to fulfill your task. But fear not, for I have a second recourse
I can grant you a magical ability that will allow you to complete the task. But
because you have not fulfilled your original promise, you must then leave this place and
never return, no matter how much you would want to stay." She then touched the
travelers forehead, and turned away and left.
Then, reaching down to grab a mouse, the traveler
discovered the nature of the magical ability for the moment the travelers
fingers touched the mouse the mouse was transformed into Swiss cheese. This, of course,
attracted all the other mice, which the traveler promptly turned into cheese as well. And
thus, after a whole days work, not a single mouse remained, and the entire Estate
grounds were covered with Swiss cheese for as far as the eyes could see. The traveler then
took the cheese to the lifeboat, and thanking the beautiful woman sailed on with renewed
supplies to have more and even more mysterious adventures. But for the rest of the
travelers life, there existed a desire to return to the grounds and see the Estate
that was built there, a desire that was never fulfilled until the travelers death.
And that is the story of the Jetty.
* * * * *
He looked at her with a puzzled expression.
"You dont expect me to believe that thats a really stupid story,
and it makes no sense. Of course, it would explain this" and he pointed at a
small, newly made figurine lying on his workbench. "Oh well, I just give up".
She just smiled at him, then pulled him over and