(Four Quills of a Tale is a folktale about losing one’s creativity and the struggle to regain it)
My hand cramps and I must stop. Not from fatigue, but sadness. How can a great storyteller lose her voice, her color, her light, her purpose in life? Because I, like the rest of you, are fools. Although we would like to believe otherwise, she is not immortal.
The goose-feathered quill quivers on my desk and pleads for me to continue. I pick it up and point the nib to the fine parchment and allow it to take control.
I had been walking both old and new countryside for so many years that, whenever I chanced upon a pond’s reflection, I scarcely recognized myself. The lines in my face became more abundant. My once beautiful auburn hair was laced with coarse gray. Even my thoughts became barren as if poured out of a once beautiful and ornate decanter.
And, my sweet Goose. Her feathers were also withering as if in sorrowful response to my countenance. Or, perhaps, I withered in response to her feather’s atrophy. Who is to say? And which answer matters?
Remorsefully, feeling I had little if nothing left to give, I finished a brief story then left the crowd of villagers awaiting more.
I am unsure as to whether Goose followed me, or I her. But my heart says it was the later. We continued to wander and the further we traveled, the more my footsteps played a sorrowful tune. Needing rest, I discovered a large rock to serve as my pillow. I laid my weary body and soul on the crisp, dying grass and watched as Goose pecked around for silverweed and clover roots before she settled beside me.
Hours, perhaps day later, I awakened to find the empty space beside me where Goose had last been.