The traveler continued with his story. “I went to his room,” said the traveler. “I heard him laughing and talking to someone. I waited awhile not wanting to intrude. When the door finally opened, I walked inside and saw my friend lying in bed as happiest I have ever seen him since he had fallen ill. Only a candle lit his room, but I saw no one else inside. I asked him who he was talking to and he told me, our friend the one who had ventured into the Black Forest. I didn’t believe him because I saw no one come out. But he assured me it was him.
“That night I visited a tavern in hopes to warm my belly and lift my spirits. I didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas. Suddenly, my long lost friend appears. I was glad to see him that night. We drank and spoke of many things. By the end of the night, he had lifted my spirits. I wasn’t even bothered by the caroling that was being sung outside. He then told me he had to go, before I could ask him where, I noticed a golden glow about him. I just couldn’t believe my eyes but its true. He said goodbye and just like that he was gone.
“The next morning, I spoke to others and they had seen him too. Then we understood… He appears only when we need him. Once he brings us joy, he leaves. I still see him… Especially around Christmas when my spirits are down. Whatever happened to him in the Black Forest, I cannot say, but he became the spirit of joy.”