My girlfriend Nic helps me with my English texts. She really finds every mistake I make and so many times she also writes beautiful sentences. (Thank you, Nic!) A few weeks ago I asked her if she would be interested in writing a story for me.
Her answer: I’d rather not, that’s not for me. I did not say anything, but then I received a mail from her: “Always expect the unexpected”
“Well, here is the story I said I wouldn’t write. Hope you can crochet something for it”, Nic.
One brilliant spring morning, it must have been a couple of years back, I was out riding in the warm sunshine along one of my favourite tracks through the woods. I was trying to spot orchids coming up through the carpet of green and yellow at my horse’s feet.
All of a sudden I heard a slight rustle off among the trees. At first I thought it was a deer but as I peered between the gnarled trunks I could just make out dark shape and a pair of piercing eyes trained on me.
It was not the furtive, shy gaze of a deer, nor was the cunning one of a fox, there was such knowing in that look that no ordinary animal intelligence could have been watching me. I felt a slight shiver down my spine as I watched the shape dissolve into the background and fade from sight.
My horse didn’t seem to be too bothered by the presence so I took that to be a reassuring sign. I turned off into a field for a pleasant canter and forgot about my strange observer.
On the way home we passed through a copse that borders onto my field and there I felt that tingling in the back of my neck and knew myself to be once again observed. I peered into the gloom and there was no mistaking the shape that materialised before me, it was a four-footed beast but with a human torso – a centaur.
My pulse raced and my eyes stood out on stalks, this couldn’t be real. I thought I must be dreaming but no; there he was pushing aside the branches of the scrub oak and he came towards me.
My horse made a gentle whicker as if to a friend and I realized that the centaur was no stranger to him. I swallowed hard and then cleared my throat.
I felt that I should take the initiative and speak but not being sure of the protocol for addressing mythical beasts I found myself at a loss. He seemed to sense my disquiet and smiled as he said, “Good day to you, and a fine day it is too.”
I noted that he seemed to be familiar with my horse and I thought it would be wise for us to introduce ourselves. I told him my name and he replied, “I am Chiron but I am already well acquainted with you, you come daily to your horses and I often watch you.”
I was somewhat surprised and said, “You are very far from your usual haunts here in the north, what brings you so far from your mountain retreat on Pelion?”
“Well,” he said, “I am here in search of tonic herbs that I have read of in ancient law that grow nowhere else. Maybe you have seen them on your rambles hereabouts?”
My horse was starting to getting agitated at having to stand still for so long so near to home and his friends. I suggested we resume our conversation after I had turned him out into his field and Chiron agreed.
Chiron met me at the gate and we started talking about plants. After a lengthy description from him I was ready to set out on the hunt for the elusive herb. We agreed to meet again the next morning when I came to feed and water the horses, and we met every morning like that for the next two weeks.
Unfortunately we never did find the special tonic herb he wanted. But I got to see more flowers than I had ever expected to identify, as well as some of the rarest orchids – so I was very happy.
Chiron said he would return the next spring to try again but I haven’t seen him since, although I have looked hard. I always keep my eyes peeled for his herbs and I hope one day I will find them. How I will get them to him, though, is another matter.
Pssssst! Come closer! What Nic does not know: Cheiron visits me from time to time. Mailin and Skyla love to play with him and together they have a great time!
Pattern for Cheiron: Cheiron