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A long time ago in a land long forgotten
Lived a maiden by the name of Willow
She grew up sheltered
Never tasting the sweetness of love

She prayed each night
For a bow to come
Her dreams were filled with the hope of love
Each morning she awoke hoping dreams came true

One day while she enjoyed
The serenity of her parent's garden
A stranger came riding on a steed as black as night
Asking for directions to the nearest inn

"Sir!" The maiden asked in a voice as sweet as honey
"Sir what brings you to this place?"
"I'm a scholar. I'm here to enlighten people."
He said trying to put an air of sophistication in his voice

"If you were a real scholar you wouldn't need to tell people you were one; you'd merely say something wise." The maiden said grinning all the while.

"My lady sometimes there is wisdom in things left unsaid."

"Are you a religious man?"

"You mean do I believe in God? Yes I do!"

"Do you believe that a Messiah will come?"

"A wise man doesn't seek to reach the Divine at its narrowest point."

"If you don't believe in the Messiah coming what do you believe in?"

"My many questions. Perhaps you should tell a little of yourself before I confess all to you."

"All right. My name is Beatrice Willow. I have lived here my entire life I know no other place. I believe in God. I believe a Messiah will come, and he will be the way and the light to God. Now what do you believe in?"

"My name is Arthur Reign; as for my beliefs. A wise man sees the good in all religious and philosophical texts. I seek truth wherever it may lead."

"Seeking truth in so many places will leave you empty, the path to truth is a narrow, either something is true or it isn't true there is no middle ground."

"There can be it's in everything around us. The sky isn't light one second than dark the next. The trees aren't alive one moment than dead the next."

"That's foolish. I meant there can be only truth about the Messiah, either he will come or he won't. I think he will come."

"I don't care either way. I have to ask though, why choose such a small path to Heaven."

"Because the Path to Hell is wide and far reaching."

"And God isn't. Why do you insist on praying for something that may never be?"

"Because it makes me feel good. The Inn is down the road." With that, Maiden Willow turned and walked off.

The scholar rode toward the Inn
He rented a room for the night and say by the fire
Thinking of the strange encounter, he had with Maiden Willow
She amazed and puzzled him
"She knows not the ways of the world!'
He thought to himself
"All she has is religion and family"

Down the road at Maiden Willow's home
She lay in bed tossing and turning
Feeling mixed feelings toward the stranger

Therefore, the night went on
Long and sleepless for them both
After hours of insomnia, they both fell asleep around the same time

Dawn broke through each of their windows
The light played softly on Maiden Willows skin
The wind softly kissing her hair
Though both only slept for a few hours
They both felt invigorated
A strange air of happiness flowed through them both

After breakfast the Maiden sat once more in the garden
Enjoying the beauty of the plants
She sat hoping for the stranger to come back

The scholar went into town and talked with people
He told them stories told to him on his travels
He told them of great adventures he never made
He talked all through the night recalling Kings that may or may not exist
He kind of made these treks; he visited them each night in his dreams

The Maiden still sat in the garden
As night began to fall
She grew a little sad
"Had I scared him off?"
She thought to herself

Finally, the Maiden went into eat
Then off to bed
She lay in her bed
As a few tears spilled down

Suddenly she heard a tapping at her window
She went to it and opened it
There was the Scholar throwing pebbles at her window

"Thank God I picked the right window."
"What are you doing here?" She asked
"I wanted to apologize"
"Apology accepted!" She snapped
"Can we talk?"
"We are talking." She said
"I mean face to face."
"Now!"
"PLEASE..." He begged
"Fine I will be down soon, meet me under that tree."

He went and sat under the tree
A few moments later
Maiden Willow snuck out and met him under the tree

"I'm sorry." He whispered
"I am too." She whispered back
"For what?"
"For my rudeness." She said

So it began
Each night they would meet under the tree
They soon fell in love
However secret their love was

As time went on
As days became months
She got bolder staying out until nearly sunrise

He began to tell her
How beautiful she was
How her eyes shined
Like the stars in the night sky

So they whispered sweet things to each other
Falling deeper and deeper in love
Then......

THE FIRST KISS
It was magic to them both
The world seemed to stop
There was only the two of them

A few days later
Two strangers came into town
One tall man than never spoke
One short blind man who never stopped talking

The Scholar met them one day
Listening to the old man weave a wondrous story
He came to the Maiden late that night
"What took you so long?" She asked

"I love you." He said
"Ah. I love you too!" She said
"I want us to be together forever!" He said
"So do I." She said
"That's why I must go!" He said
"What? Why?" The Maiden said sobbing
"I've heard news of where the Holy Grail is. If I bring it back we will live forever!"
"I thought you didn't believe in the Messiah, how can you believe in the Grail."
"This is different, these two old men came into town today; one of them didn't talk and one didn't see, well the blind man told me about an expedition he went on, where he caught a glimpse of the Guardians of the Grail, a group of men chosen by God to watch over the grail. Well he saw them transporting it, but was soon discovered, they shot him with a poison arrow, which caused him to lose his sight, but before he did, he drew this map. He sold it too me for a mere 2 gold pieces."

"You are as blind as that old man! How can you see any truth in that story? And even if it were true, what would prevent you from suffering the same fate."

"I have love to protect me."

"From an arrow, its love not armor."

"I am going."

"Do what you must, but if you don't find it in a few weeks promise me you will end your foolish search and return to me."

"I will find...."

"Promise"

"I promise."

They had one final kiss
The Scholar rose to find the Holy Grail

Days became weeks
Weeks became months
The Scholar kept searching
The Maiden kept her vigil
While weeping under the tree

After a few months
Came the night the Maiden
Would never rise from under the tree
It was a little colder that night
The Scholar still searching
Died in a climbing accident
Alone on a mountain
The maiden died of heartbreak

It began to rain
As God looked over the whole mess
God felt like honoring the Maiden
For showing True Love
The tree branches began to sway
Stretching down around the Maiden
Nearly scratching the ground
Melting into and with her
Her soul entered the tree

The God spoke
"Love is patient, Love is Kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, nor self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always prevails. Love never fails..."

Rain came down harder
God looked down and spoke again
"Thank you Maiden Willow for showing love and kindness. I am pleased with how you lived your life. I am pleased with the love you have shown. You will forever be revered. Many will write about you but few will know your secrets.

It rained all night
It rained all the next day
As it rained, the tree grew stronger
As it poured, its branches bent lower to the ground.....
I am still working on the new version of this which takes place in 3000BC, here is the first version... Hope you like it. Note this story takes place a few hundred BC. Hence the Messiah stuff....
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July 7, 2004
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