The Spirit of Joy

Walter lived in a town where people are superstitious. They especially told stories of magic and creatures that exited in the Black Forest, a placed they feared and revered. If he asked anyone in town, each would have a tale to tell, so fantastical, it made his imagination run wild. But Walter was no skeptic, he believed in them. The Black Forest was not like any forest he has ever seen. It was dark and eerie where the sun could never penetrate its thick trees and its heavy dense underbrush.

At the Swan Inn, travelers and hunters told even wilder stories about the Black Forest. They talked about a stream that ran through the forest. The water had properties for anyone who drank it. It can heal the sick, make a mad man sane, make the old young again, the brave more braver, and the wise more wiser. It had tempted many to enter its bowls of death and decay to taste the fresh, crisp water that flowed through the forest.

“It was one Christmas day,” said a traveler. “When a friend decided to enter that forest. We tried to stop him, but he would not head our words of warning. He entered and was never seen for years. Ten years passed when he finally returned home one Christmas Eve. We were happy to see him. We took him to a nearby tavern and drank with joy. By midnight, he said he needed to leave, but he wouldn’t tell us where. We thought this was strange but didn’t pursue the matter any further. The next day he was gone… We didn’t know it then but a few years later a friend of ours was ill. He was so ill, we thought he was on his deathbed. One night before Christmas, I went to visit him.”  The Legend of Archibal

to be continued