The Caregiver

As the sun retreated below the horizon, and the sky turned pink, the people gathered. The fire spat out a spark, and the sweet sound of music flew from a harp. The boys sat on cushions, laughing and playing, while the men reclined on furniture and conversed of a day of hunting and fighting. The women sat calmly, one singing over the strings of the harp. The tune stopped for a second, as a boy picked up his flute, and began to blow into it – sad, strong, beautiful music. The pot of tea began to boil over the fire and a woman went and retrieved it, her long chocolate hair almost touching the sweet, hot liquid. The song finished with a beautiful note, and the people cheered and clapped, filled with merriment. The only persCaregiver Picon who didn’t move was the old man, who sat on the ancient chair in the middle of the room. It took him a few minutes, but he decided that there was no better time to stand up. The room fell silent. Everyone’s eye fell on him. His face was of bright complexion; it was wrinkled and old, but when he smiled it was the epitome of true joy. If one were to stare into his bright blue eyes, they would know his thoughtful nature, as if the azure irises were windows into a complex soul. There was excited whispering from the children, some of them smiling with joy, others staring with anticipation. The old man raised his boney hand, and showed them his wrinkled palm. The room once again fell silent, and each person fell to the ground. Each of them bowed their head and raised their hand to the man, as if asking for forgiveness. The old man, when he was ready, lowered his hand, and the people lowered theirs, and raised their heads. A man leaned over to his son and whispered something to him. The son rose, and pulled out a brown, leather bound book, old enough so that the pages were loose and yellow, heavy enough so that the boy’s small figure trembled under it’s weight. He brushed the dust off his shoulder and slowly handed the book to the old man in the middle. The old man sat in his chair, and rested the heavy book on his knee. He slowly opened to a page and cleared his throat. The old man began to read.

 

“There was once a great land, whose caregiver went by the name Glorianous, which means King of Glory. This land was lush and green, plentiful in both livestock and plants. The gentle wind blew the long stalks of grass that danced over the rolling hills, and put waves and ripples in the mighty sea. These lands were named the Glorian Plains, after its master. After the great war and the thousand years’ plague, four men emerged from the ashes of civilization, and onto the Glorian Plains. With these four men came the few men and women who were left of their people, and to each of these men were promised great and mighty gifts.

 

“The first man, who called himself Alexander, came from the once great lands of the far east. Once, so long ago so that it seems like a distant dream, the people from the east were mighty and powerful. They had dominion over all the earth, with unmatched military power. But the people of the east became obsessed with war, and eventually, they started to fight themselves; like a pack of hungry rats, who turn to feast on each other. They killed almost all of themselves off, and pillaged each other’s shelters. The bundle of those who survived fled the war torn land, in search of a place which would consist of what they needed – food, shelter, and protection. The journey across the land however, was one wrought with toil and danger.

When they set off, Alexander’s people were hopeful. About one thousand of Alexander’s followers left the eastern lands, around three hundred of them lucky enough to mount a horse, while the others travelled by foot. Few fools chose to stay behind and rot in the carcass of a once great civilization. Their plan was to first track south, where the plants were much more plentiful, so that they could find nourishment for their long journey. Then they would head west, where the lands were free of enemy tribes. Along this path, they continuously picked spices, olives, grapes and carrots, enough food to feed the thousand followers for at least a few months. Spirits were high, and with every field or river they crossed, the people knew they were closer and closer to the plentiful western lands. Two moons in to their journey, however, they reached a great and giant forest. The trees towered higher then these eastern folk could have ever imagined. Alexander kept his people on the border of the forest for about three days, before they decided that there was no way around the unpleasant reality of trekking through the woods. The tree covered lands were dark, with only a few straight beams of white sunlight penetrating the green roof of the forest. The people quickly realized that there were a multitude of beasts that dwelled in the forest. One night, while Alexander and his people were asleep, a pack of fearsome wolves ambushed the unknowing travellers. The pack claimed the lives of about one hundred men, and frightened half of the horses away. The men took up their spears and fought the mighty beasts, with their leader Alexander landing the last volley and defeating the pack. The next day, the men skinned the wolves with knives and used their hyde for warmth, for they had found the forest to be cold. The tribe of Alexander continued to meet perilous enemies in the forest, and seven moons later, when the tribe finally reached the outskirts of the forest, the easterners were only about three hundred strong, and only had seventeen horses left.

This is how the tribe of Alexander reached the Glorian Plains with about a quarter of the numbers they had started with. Since their encounters in the forest, they had lost close to seventy to exhaustion alone. Their leader Alexander, his long brown hair flowing behind him, was one of seven who had the fortune to ride a horse onto the plains. The remainder of his tribe however, bloodied, scarred, battered and bruised, followed behind on foot.

When the tribe reached the plains, Alexander went searching for the caretaker of the land. It was a warm afternoon, the sun shining with a beautiful, yet not overwhelming warmth. After a few hours, the sun began to retreat below the orange horizon. Alexander found the caretaker wandering about his cottage, taking care of his lambs and horses. He was a tall man, and he wore a long white robe, that almost touched his bare feet. Alexander approached him and greeted him, saying,

‘Greetings great caregiver, my people have been on a long journey. We have found your land and humbly ask if you would allow us to settle upon it.’ The man waited a while to respond, as he was tending to his lamb and then finally turned, clapped his hands and said, in a genuinely cheerful tone,

‘Great creatures, lambs, wouldn’t you agree? So peaceful, gentle.’

In a slightly confused tone, Alexander responded, saying, ‘I suppose so, yes, although I must admit that from where I come it has been many years since a lamb has walked the soil. It is far too violent a land for such a peaceful creature.’

The man responded in a sympathetic manner, clicking his tongue and saying ‘Mm. How unfortunate. I suppose the wolves you met in the forest were not the sort of animal you wished to see, yes?’

At this point, Alexander became very confused. How did this odd stranger know anything of the pack of wolves they had encountered in the forest? How did he know anything of their voyage?

‘How did you know about that?’ Alexander asked.

The caretaker gave a slight chuckle and responded, ‘I have been expecting visitors for many years now, like a father, awaiting a lost son. This land has been mine longer than these trees have been living. I am older than these hills.’ he said, his hand motioning to the north, where the rolling green hills met the orange sunset sky. ‘I knew of your coming.’ He said. The stranger’s voice became more cheerful once again and he said, ‘how rude I have been, not yet inviting you into my house! Please forgive me and join me for dinner, for we must get to know each other if you are to be living on this land, am I right? Come, eat.’

House was hardly the word for the caretaker’s abode. It was a small cottage, circular in shape, with a cone for a roof. But despite its humble outside characteristics, the cottage was really quite warm and cozy inside. The fire was burning, and a pot of hot tea was sitting next to it. The room consisted of a few soft chairs and couches, as well as a small wooden dinner table, circular in shape. On the table was put a roast beef, along with roast potatoes and bread. The tea was brought to the table along with a saucer of milk and bowl of honey. Alexander filled his mug with the steaming liquid, and told the caregiver of his tribe’s many adventures along the road to the plains. The caregiver, after listening for a very long time, responded by saying,

‘You and your people have endured many perils and dangers on your way here. I wish to grant you a gift. What is your one wish, for you and your people?’

Alexander mulled over this question for many minutes. He thought back to how his civilization was once great and mighty, but their stupidity caused them to fight amongst each other and destroy each other. After a long while of thought, Alexander responded.

‘I wish that my people and I will be blessed with knowledge, for all our days, so that we may avoid the stupidity of war.’

‘I will bless you, and your people, and your sons, and your sons’ sons, and their sons, and all of your descendants with the gift of knowledge, so that you may forever long to know more, and be curious.’ So therefore, on that day, the tribe of Alexander was forevermore blessed with the gift of knowledge, and live on the Glorian Plains to this day.

“The second man was from the far north, and called himself Levi. Like Alexander, he had many followers. In Levi’s case, his tribe was about three thousand strong. The men were strong and giant warriors, who’s long blond hair flowed down to their shoulders. The women, on the other hand, were beautiful maidens, who’s soft pale skin was almost as enchanting as their long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. They were tall and slender, of powerful height, but graceful figure. There were a multitude of horses in the northern lands, so on their great journey every man rode a dark war horse, while every lady mounted a white stallion. On the northern coasts from where they came, there were plenty of resources, many of which the tribe brought down with them on their journey. Despite these resources, the northern coasts held many beasts and enemies. Three moons ago, a clan of invaders came over from the west, and found Levi and his people living peacefully amongst each other. Now, Levi’s people were strong, and could tame any wild beast of the forest, but the group of invaders were strong also. When the barbarians arrived, Levi’s tribe consisted of ten thousand men and women. The invaders, on the other hand, brought an astonishing ninety thousand to pillage and burn Levi’s lands. Levi’s tribe, outnumbered nine to one, fought valiantly for three moons, but were finally defeated. Their lands and farms were burnt, their supplies were taken. Seven thousand of their men had perished, and it was clear that they must flee and find a more peaceful land. They took the food that they had hidden from the invaders and set off for the Glorian Plains. Their men carried spears, and their women carried silver daggers, ready to defend themselves against any enemy. They met few adversaries on their southern path, maybe two clans of weak pillagers and pirates, who were easily defeated, and over all lost a total of seven men on their journey. When the tribe of Levi reached the Glorian Plains, they were dumbfounded with the beauty and brilliance of it. Many said it was even better than the old northern coasts, before they were pillaged. When they saw the tribe of Alexander, only two hundred and fifty strong, tilling the soil and working their fields, the northerners expected a confrontation. On the other hand, when the tribe of Alexander saw the mighty, mounted norsemen coming down over the hill, they were instantly intimidated and afraid. Was all their work to reach this land in vain? Surely, if the norsemen reached them in time, every one of their men, women and children would be slaughtered and killed. Seeing the potential danger, Alexander ran to the caregivers hut, and urgently knocked on the door. It was opened.

‘What is wrong? Why are you so urgent?’

‘There are many people coming over the hills, blond, strong, giants mounted on horses and armed with spears and daggers. Surely we will be crushed!’

‘Ah, Levi has arrived. I expected as much. Do not fret, I will talk with him, surely their is enough land for the both of you. Quick, mount my horse, we have not much time.’

Alexander and the caregiver both mounted a graceful white horse, grabbed hold of its beautiful mane, and road hastily to the farms of the tribe of Alexander. They arrived only minutes before the norsemen did. As Levi and his men travelled down to the plains, they watched as the caregiver, feet bare and robed in white, approached them, his hand extended and palm showing in a sign of peace. The tribe of Levi stopped.

‘Greetings,’ said the caregiver. ‘I am the owner of this land. These people below mean you no harm. All they wish to do is peacefully farm their lands. There is much room for the both of you. Please, do not fight.’

‘What is your name, caregiver?’ Asked Levi.

‘I am who I am. Owner of this land.’

There was animated whispering from the norsemen, many shaking their heads, others scoffing. After a few lengthy minutes, the tribe reached a verdict and addressed the caregiver.

‘We do not trust these people, surely they have more men and if we do not attack you will ambush us in the night. This is a suitable land for our needs, we shall attack.’

A trumpet sounded. Levi readied his horse. It neighed and stood on its hind legs, while its front legs kicked violently at the air. Levi drew his sword, and became ready to attack.

‘HALT! DO NOT ATTACK! THIS IS NOT YOUR LAND!’ roared the caregiver, and for miles the earth shook, the winds swirled, the trees trembled and the seas wavered. ‘Have you not learnt anything from your past experiences? You are becoming the people you ran away from! You are becoming foreign invaders! You have become a beast, so the beast will not break you!’

Silence fell over the land. The norsemen once again conferenced, this time with nodding heads and grunts of approval. They once again reached a verdict.

‘You are right, mighty caregiver. We assumed that the tribe meant us harm, but now I see you mean peace. We will comply.’

‘I am glad.’ responded the caregiver, in a more relaxed and quiet tone. ‘To the north there are beautiful hills, which are filled with plenty of livestock and plants. They will give you high ground to protect you from foreign invaders and enemies.’

‘We humbly thank you, great caregiver.’

‘Of course, of course. But we have forgotten one thing, have we not? I granted the tribe of Alexander their wish, so it would only be fair to grant you yours. What is your one wish?’

Levi responded immediately. ‘Strength, great strength, so that we may never fall prey to an enemy again.’ This statement was met by many grunts of approval from the tribe.

‘Levi, I grant to you and your people, and your sons, and your sons’ sons, and their sons, and all of your descendants the gift of strength, so that you may always have advantage over the enemy.’

So, the people of the tribe of Levi were granted the gift of strength, and live on the rolling hills of the Glorian Plains to this day.

 

“The third man, whose name was Christopher, came from the southern prairies. The people in the southern prairies were once blessed with a great and just society, but over the last few centuries, the society had devolved into dictatorship and anarchy. These dictators were bigots, and targeted groups of people so that they may lose their rights and freedoms. In this case, those with dark skin were tortured and imprisoned. They lost all of their rights, and many were executed. Christopher was a dark man, who knew of the government’s bigotry and executions. He had a group of followers, about five hundred, and for years they lived their life underground, safe from death. One day, one of his followers, James, had become sick of living under the earth. It was wet and dirty, stuffy and unpleasant. He went above ground, and approached the government authorities. At first, they tried to seize him, but he yelled out,

‘Stop! I have knowledge of a group of dark men under the ground. I will grant you their position if you let me have my freedom.’ The leader thought for a few moments, and discussed it with his government companions.

‘Very well. Lead us to this place. But be warned, if you are lying or deceiving, you will be flogged and hung in the middle of the city, and your carcass will be left to rot.’

The young dark man lead the government officials to the small bakery in which the passage was located. They crawled behind the counter, and the man opened up the passage. There was nervous whispering and mumbling from inside, the people fearful for their lives.

‘Do not be alarmed, brothers, it is only I, James.’ The murmuring from inside stopped and the people became calm and relaxed. Silently, James lead the government men down into the underground area. As they were climbing down the ladder, the leader of the dark men, Christopher, caught a glance of a soldiers armoured foot. James did not even wear shoes! Surely they had been betrayed! These must be government soldiers. So, as the soldiers were climbing underground, Christopher silently lead many men out through the secret escape way. When the soldiers found only about three hundred men, they said to James,

‘You promised us five hundred! Where are the others?’

‘They must have escaped through there!’ he said, pointing to the wide open exit.

The two hundred men who had escaped were already making their way through the town, and they soon escaped, for they had planned this all before. It was risky, but many of the town soldiers were trapped down in the passage. However, Christopher knew they would soon be after them. Over the next week or two, Christopher and his people were on the road to the country, escaping from the corrupt government. They were well aware, however, that the town soldiers were not far behind. They were urgent and quick in all of their movements, until one day, they came across the caretaker’s cottage on the Glorian Plains. They saw the caretaker taking a walk in the sun, and Christopher, their leader, said to him,

‘Greetings, sir, you must be the caretaker of this beautiful land, no?’

‘I am indeed.’ Responded the caretaker. ‘What can I do for you?’ ‘I, Christopher, have come here with a group of people. We come from the south, where the government is determined to kill anyone who looks like us. We have escaped, but there are many soldiers who are after us, and will probably will arrive at and search this land in the coming days.’ ‘I see.’ Said the caregiver. ‘Very well, I will go talk with the leaders of the tribes. Meanwhile, there is a lovely piece of flat land just over there,’ his hands motioning to the east, ‘bring your people to that place and settle it. Later, after we have defeated the enemy, we will talk.’

The caregiver mounted his horse and went looking for Alexander and Levi. He reached the farms of the tribe of Alexander and saw many small wooden cottages, with smoking billowing out of the chimneys. He found the largest one, which he assumed was Alexander’s. He knocked on the door, but was surprised to see Levi answer it.

‘Hello caregiver, Alexander and I are dining together, do you care to join us?’

‘I have urgent news to give you. Let us sit around the table.’ The caregiver proceeded to tell Levi and Alexander of the arrival of the tribe of Christopher and how they were being pursued by an evil enemy. ‘Levi, I have given you the gift of strength, and Alexander, I have given you the gift of knowledge. Now use those to do good and enforce justice.’ Said the caregiver. There was a short silence.

‘We will fight the enemy.’ piped up Levi. ‘Our men are strong and we will be victorious.’

‘The enemy is well defended with strong armour. Also, they outnumber you two to one. Your men are strong, but we need some strategy.’ Replied the caregiver. There was a long silence as the two men pondered over how to solve the problem.

All of a sudden, Alexander’s head jolted up and he said, ‘I have a plan. Levi, the women of your tribe are very beautiful and enchanting. The enemy’s soldiers must be very tired and hungry. If we send the most beautiful women of the tribe up the road, with pots of food and kegs of ale, surely the soldiers will be motivated to stop and rest. The women will lead them into a surrounded area, and once the soldiers have filled their stomachs with food and heads with ale, the strong warriors of the tribe of Levi will jump out and surround them, armed with spears. We will capture them and be victorious, yet without causing any death.’

‘This is a strategy worthy of victory.’ Said the caregiver. ‘We must now act with great speed. Levi, go tell your men and women of the plan. Alexander, look after the children of tribe of Levi while the people are gone.’

So it was only an hour later, the sun setting and the night growing cold, that the men of the tribe of Levi made their way up the road, armed with spears. When they reached the dark forest, they hid in some trees around a clearing, ready to pounce on their unknowing enemy. Half an hour later, the women started their way up the road, their arms full of food and drink. Not too long after setting off, the women met the town soldiers coming down the road. The soldiers were discouraged, hungry and exhausted, for they had not eaten nor slept in three days and three nights. When they saw the beautiful women of the tribe of Levi, they became entranced.

‘We come here to greet you on behalf of our town. You will reach it soon, but first, you look very hungry and thirsty. We have brought meat and ale with us. Come with us, and we will find a suitable place to dine.’ The women lead them through the forest and to a clearing. It a fairly small clearing, surrounded by trees. Little did the soldiers know that the men of the tribe of Levi stood armed in those very trees. Hours later, after all the food and ale was gone, the men became very full and drunk. They sat on the grass, laughing, many of them falling asleep. From within the trees, Levi looked at a fellow warrior, and hit his chest with his hand. All of the warriors passed on this signal, and once it had gone though the surrounding trees and back to Levi, he yelled at the top of his lungs. The strong and mighty warriors came out from the trees, and pointed their spears at the soldiers. They retrieved their women, took the soldiers prisoner, and the tribe of Christopher was safe on the Glorian Plains.

Later that night, the caregiver called Levi, Alexander and Christopher all to his cottage. When they arrived they were all asked to sit down and a pot of hot cocoa was placed on the circular wooden table. The caregiver spoke first.

‘Congratulations men, tonight we have achieved a resounding victory!’ There was a triumphant roar from all three men at the table. Once the men had quieted down, the caregiver resumed. ‘Tonight, both Levi and Alexander used their gifts I have given them. Together, these two gifts lead to victory. Without Levi’s strength, we never could have captured the men, but without Alexander’s knowledge, much blood would have been shed. However, there is still one man present to whom I have not yet granted a gift.’ His glare shifted to the dark skin of Christopher. ‘Christopher, what is your one wish?’

Christopher thought back to when they were driven out by a corrupt and unjust government, and responded,

‘My one wish is a thirst for justice, so that we may always be fair and just in our decisions.’

‘Christopher, I grant unto you, and to your people, and your sons, and your sons’ sons, and to all of your descendants, the gift of justice, so that you may always thirst for what is right.

So the people of the tribe of Christopher were granted the gift of justice, and live on the prairies of the Glorian Plains to this day.

 

“The fourth man, who called himself David, came from the west, across the great sea. The western lands had once been a democratic and just civilization, but over the last century, disease, war and hunger had plagued their society. Most of the population had been wiped out by sickness, although some had fallen captive to the invaders from the south. Although it had been scarred by war and disease, the beauty of the western lands was still apparent. The grass of the prairies still danced in the wind, the sky still shone bright. The mountains still jutted out in majestic and awesome power. But there were no more birds and few animals, food was hard to come by. It was for these reasons that a group of seven hundred western seafarers, lead by the man called David, travelled away from the once plentiful western shores. The group of westerners had lived on the coast, where there were once many fish for nourishment. They loved the sea, in all of its beauty and power. There had been many strong and sturdy ships constructed by these seafarers, for they were also gifted craftsmen. The ships they left in seated seven men, and looked like very long wooden canoes, except with a mast and three canvas sails, the largest on the top and the two smaller ones underneath. On the day they decided to leave, they were up before dawn. They left the shores with the rising sun shining down on their canvas sails, one hundred beautiful ships sailing through the sea in a V formation. Over the first few weeks, things were running smoothly. The sea was calm, and the people were merry. It was five weeks in when the storm hit. The westerners were sailing in their ships, David’s boat leading the way, the others forming a large V, like the birds of the sky once did during migration. David felt something prick has bare skin. He felt it again, and again. He stuck his hand out, and watched a rain drop settle on his palm. Before he knew it, the rain was thundering down, hitting the boats like drums. The winds picked up speed, and blew the boats from side to side. The ships began to fill with water, and the people began to bail. Now there was a man by the name of Peter, who was the brother of David, and sailed on the leftmost wing of the V formation. In Peter’s boat was his wife, Rachel, and his five children, who went by the names of Matthew, Asher, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Zoe. Because Peter was the farthest left in the formation, he was the farthest behind the pack while also being the farthest out from it. He was a good sailor, and a trustworthy man. David had put him on the wing for a reason, in the case of a storm, only the most experienced sailor could handle the outmost position in the V formation. At the front of the formation, David was commanding the V. He would holler a command to the man on his left and the man on his right, and they would in turn do the same, until everybody in the formation had received the command. He ordered the formation turn starboard, so as to have the wind hit the sails at the correct angle. He also ordered for the large sail at the top of the mast to be lowered, because in this wind it would tear right off. The gale was blowing into Peter’s face, so that he couldn’t hear the commands hollered by the sailor to his right, and the rain was being blown into his eyes, so that he couldn’t see the formation turn and lower their sails. As the formation turned perpendicular to the wind, they separated themselves even more from Peter. Peter finally saw this, and made an attempt to turn his boat, but it was too much for his exposed sail. The canvas ripped from the mast and billowed away in the wind. Peter now had no control of his ship, and watched as the wooden longships slowly disappeared into the foggy abyss. The tempest continued non-stop for two more days and two more nights, until they reached the third morning. When the sun peaked out over the horizon for the first time in days, there was an excited roar from the followers of David. David looked back at his men, and yelled,

‘Congratulations men, we have all…’ David stopped in mid sentence, and his face took a dark turn. ‘Where is Peter?’ he asked quietly. All the men looked around, their heads turning, some of them shrugging, others keeping completely still. ‘Where is Peter?’ David asked once again, his voice growing in volume and fright. ‘WHERE IS PETER?’ He screamed at the top of his lungs. There was silence, and then a man piped up,

‘We must of lost him in the storm.’

David’s eyes filled with tears, and they came streaming down his face. ‘PETER! PETER!’ Silence. ‘My brother.’ he managed to whisper.

Grief lingered in the hearts of the seafarers for many days, but if they let grief get in the way of their destination, then soon they would all be dead. One week later, they reached another tempest. This storm was fiercer and lasted longer, but the westerners now had more experience in a fierce storm, and survived this tempest easily, without any casualties.

It was two moons later when they reached their most formidable danger. It was a beautiful day. The sun was beating brightly down upon the neck of David, the clouds were white and fluffy, and the sea was calm. The wind was strong enough so that the boats were sailing at a rapid pace, while still calm enough so that it did not present any danger. Little did this tribe of seven hundred westerners know of the great serpent of the deep sea. There had been many legends of this mighty sea monster, and its destruction of any seafarer who crossed its path. Evidently, these legends had not reached the western coast, or else the seafarers may have been able to prevent what happened next. When the sea serpent broke through the surface of the sea, it made contact with the hull of a boat, and sent all the seven passengers and the boat itself high into the air, and back down into the sea. The sea swallowed up the seven men, and no one ever saw them again, although some say that they themselves turned into sea serpents under the ocean. The mighty sea serpent retreated below the surface. Fear was struck into the hearts of all the people. All the people except for their leader, David. He merely stood up in his boat and drew his silver dagger, which glinted in the sunlight. The sea serpent once again hurdled above the water, this time twisting in the air and splashing water all over the boats. The serpent opened its mouth and hissed. David could see the tip of its fangs. David could smell its breath. The serpent lunged at David, its fangs searching for his neck. But before it reached David’s skin, the western leader took hold of his dagger with two hands, and pierced the top of the serpent’s mouth. He pulled dagger out again, and the sea serpent fell with a mighty splash to the bottom of the sea, where it turned to stone. There was cheering from the people as David washed off his silver blade, the crimson blood sinking to the bottom of the murky sea.

Spirits were high, and the group of seafarers endured through three more great tempests before the day they finally saw land. It was early in the morning, three moons after their encounter with the sea serpent. The air was crisp, and there was a thin layer of fog that sat on the surface of the sea. From forward-most point in David’s boat, a man saw the rough outline of the rocky shore.

‘Land ho!’ he hollered. ‘Land ho!’

The message was passed down the formation until soon everybody threw their fist into the air and roared in jubilation. David had heard of the beautiful and plentiful lands they would find if they headed east, so when they reached the shore they landed their boats and headed southeast, until they came to the southern shore. When they reached the coast they continued east, until they came upon the Glorian Plains. Like all the others had been, David and his people were filled with awe at the sight of the land, and decided to stop and settle upon the coast of the Glorian Plains. In the distance they could see the three other tribes to the north, but did not bother them, and instead went about their own business, working the fields and building shelter. After a week or two, the caregiver became confused as to why he had not yet seen David and his people. So he headed down to the shore – for he knew they would be there – and approached them himself. He spotted David working in the fields.

‘Greetings, to you David, I see you and your followers have arrived.’

David responded, saying, ‘How do you know my name? How do you know of our travels?’

‘I am the caregiver of this land. I know much about you that you do not even know about yourself. I have been awaiting your arrival.’

‘I am pleased to be acquainted with you, great caregiver. What is it that you have come for? Do you wish us to leave?’

‘Oh no, not that! Of course not that!’ Replied the caregiver in an urgent tone. ‘This land has been made for you, and you for it. You are welcome to dwell here and use all the resources you need. I have come to give you a gift.’

‘A gift?’ asked David, confused.

‘Yes, a gift, name your one wish, for you and your people, and I will grant it.’

David responded saying, ‘Why would I ask for anything more than I already have? The fields are green, the seas teem with fish, the livestock are ample, and there is no plague or disease. What else is there that I need?’

The caretaker responded saying ‘You are a gentle soul, and have given a wise answer. Therefore, I will grant you a gift that far surpasses the merit of the others. I will grant you and your people with the gift of art. Your descendants will be a race of storytellers and musicians, and you will possess the greatest gift. ‘David, I grant unto you, and your people, and your sons, and your sons’ sons, and their sons, and all of your descendants, the gift of art, so that you and your people will bless the nations with stories, music, and poetry.’

When David returned to his home, blessed with the gift of art, there was a longing in his soul. A longing to release his feelings through his new gift. So when he returned to his humble cottage, David found a piece of yellow parchment, a pot of ink, and a feather pen. He sat at his desk. He touched the pen to the paper and all of a sudden, words started forming from his pen like leaves coming forth from a tree. Before he knew it, a poem was written on the parchment.

 

Brother Peter,

Come back to me.

Brother Peter,

Return.

Like a fire,

That will forever burn,

I will raise my hand,

To the moonlit sea.

 

Like a phoenix rising,

From a holy tree,

Lead by still waters,

Your cup will overflow,

You will be redeemed.

I will raise my hand,

To the moonlit sea.

 

“It was the next night when the caretaker invited the four leaders into his abode. It was a cold evening, so each of them quickly retreated inside, where they were offered woollen sweaters. The pot of tea was whistling by the fire. They sat in the sitting room in five large, comfortable chairs. Alexander sat to the right of Levi, who sat to the right of Christopher, who sat to the right of David. The caretaker sat in the middle. The room was silent for a few minutes while the men sipped their hot tea. Finally, the caretaker began to speak.

‘Greetings, great leaders, I am pleased to have you all here. I have been awaiting this moment for many years. Assembled in this room today, are four extraordinary men, leaders of their tribes, who all posses unique gifts. Alexander,’ he said, motioning to the bronze skinned, dark haired wise man, ‘has been granted the gift of knowledge, he and his people live in the cotton fields, and are the wisest tribe you will find.  Levi,’ he said, motioning to the blond haired, fair skinned warrior, ‘is leader of his tribe of norse warriors, who dwell in the rolling hills, and whose military prowess and strength is far superior to any you will ever come across. Christopher,’ he said, now motioning to the dark skinned southerner, ‘and his people have been granted the gift of justice. They will forever thirst to fulfil what is right. And of course David,’ he said, motioning his hand towards the western seafarer, ‘is leader of a group of seafarers, who live on the southern coast. They have been granted the gift of art, so that they may make beautiful music and tell wonderful stories.’ The caregiver paused, and took a sip of tea. ‘Finally,’ he said, ‘my name is Glorianous, King of Glory, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Glorian Plains. You have all been granted magnificent and powerful gifts, and if you use them together and combine them, you will succeed in rebuilding civilization. If you fight amongst each other however, you, like all other civilizations, will not stand the test of time.’”

 

From inside the warm and merry room, the old man fell silent, and the people smiled with joy. The old man once again rose, and this time, the people rose with him. A lyre and flute began to play, and the room broke out in song. The fire crackled. The people turned, and raised their hands to the moonlit sea.

 


HomerCaregiver Pic