The Path of the Herons

Boris Vallejo, Calendario 95 - Marzo - 33.023 bytes

Boris Vallejo
(Calendario 95 - Marzo)

For original italian text click on the flag

Mount Pillar was in front of her. Motionless and immense,very high as far as the eye can see, Lucy watched it with desire, since when she had the wings she dreamed to fly above the summit, in that place where only the herons dared to fly.
She waved to the light wind her wings as transparent as the lace, big wings of dragonfly, transparent and fragile as a web made of rays of stars, she sighed, too fragile wings to overcome the summit of mount Pillar, too fragile for a fly absurd and impossible as a dream, but this was the dream that accompanied her since she was only a small child and now she was there crouched on a cliff that leaned out on a chasm so deep that it was not possible to see the valley.
Many hours of flight, to arrive there but if she looked up she realized that all her effort was a little thing in front of the boundless immensity of rock that was impending over her.
She dropped her wings and raised a timid entreaty to the Lord of the Winds so that He would give enough strength for her fragile wings, so that He would hold up her with His caress of fresh dew in her timeless ascension...
Mount Pillar was there, motionless since many aeons of incalculable time, on its summit only the herons of Celalta could dare to brave the wind and lay down their eggs, but their wings were big and sturdy, their musculatures were powerful, they rode the wind with extreme ease they climbed the sides of the mountain in the half time that Lucy spent to arrive to the cliff where now she was crouched exhausted...
Her light and fragile wings were tired but the desire to win, to defeat the impossible made her to stretch the muscles of the back in the effort to continue her challenge to the highest mountain of the entire Celalta...
It was still morning and the white and blinding light of the sun flooded the side of the mountain making the crags of the color of the coral and jade, the young winged one looked down at the abyss then stretched up her arms, angrily clenching her fists, it was an impossible dream the one of her and she knew it, none of her people had never defeated the mountain, their wings were not made for so high altitude, they were made to fly on the valleys, to dance in the skies above the hills, to play, above the waves of the sea, with the sea-gulls, wings of dream to fly beneath the stars... not made to defeat the God of Rock...
She bent up her head looking the summit that was losing itself in the sky and another time her lips opened in a soft prayer to the God of the Wind...
An impossible dream... and how many time in the past years she had remained awake for hours dreaming the impossible, nights passed with wide open eyes in the dark asking herself if one day she would have ever commited herself in the enterprise... flying higher than all the other ones, laying down her feet on the summit of the mountain that dominated since ever the horizon of her little and peaceful village, dominating from here her world and seeing it opening in front of her emerald eyes like a geographical map... a dream that accompanied her youth and now it could come true if only she would have got the strength to fly up to the summit...
«Lord of the Winds, hold up my wings with your light hand, give me the strength and courage to go up to the summit, the herons do not need your help, their wings are big and sturdy but my wings are fragile as the air, hold them up with a caress made of wind...»
She addressed the Lord of the Winds as an old friend, the one that she always addressed since when she was a little girl as her people had taught her, she was not sure that the god of the air would have some time to spend for a little creature like her but she trusted him and she would have done the impossible to deserve of his help...
She opened the lace of her opalescent wings and threw herself in the flight, the short pause allowed her to take breath and to rest but now she could rest no more,above mount Pillar impended over her and beneath her the peaks of the other mountains, very high but small if compared to the divine mountain.
Or she succeeded in the enterprise or she returned back defeated, even if she would have the necessary strength to fly back, she saw herself falling tired out by the weariness, crashing with broken wings to a ridge of that same mountain that she dared to challenge, she shivered only thinking it, she also shivered because the more she went up the more the air became cold numbing her muscles and making even more difficult controlling her wonderful transparent wings.
She set her teeth and flew for hours always going up, without looking up in order to feel not defeated by the neverending distance that divided her from the top...
A heron passed near her and scanned her with curious seriousness then it stretched one of its big and soft wing and allowed her to lie down on it, to rest for some time. The herons were not evil, they lived in their own world, at inconceivable heights but they did not feel hostility for the other winged ones.
Yet the deed was kind, nearly loving and the young one was thankful for that little unexpected help that allowed her to take breath for some time...
«Lord of the Winds all the winged ones are creatures that belong to you and this heron is your hand that hold me up...»
The heron looked at her again with seriousness and she opened again her wings and abandoned the support after a smile to the kind creature that continued its flight soon disappearing to the sight...
The air was now cold, very cold, she felt even more tired to go up and still she did not dare to look up, she feared to see the summit still too distant and she almost did not have the strength to move her fragile and benumbed wings.
The help of the heron allowed her to rest and for some hours she continued to go up setting her teeth and shivering for the ever growing cold, then in her heart the fear that the mountain was boundless and that she was in any case defeated broke in, then she desperately lifted up her head in order to see for how much she had failed to achieve her dream and she gazed her eyes in the eyes of a chick of heron, a nest...
She knew that the nests were only on the summit of the mountain and she saw a nest...
She looked up and she saw only air... the summit was in front of her... she collapsed on the rock destroyed by the weariness, shivering with cold, with so frozen wings that she could not even fold them...
The chick cheeped a faint but piercing, impertinent, insistent sound and after few minutes a shadow lowered on her...
She feared, for a moment, then a huge wing, plumed and warm covered her and she abandoned herself to the sleep whispering with a even more faint voice «The hand of the God of the Winds protects me against the cold...»
She waked up after many hours of sleep, she did not feel cold anymore, she had slept for the remaining of the day and for the entire night and for all that time the heron protected her from the cold with its wing... She thought to what she had said the day before, that the herons did not need the help of the god because they were enough powerful to ride the wind and suddenly she realized that the herons were the hands of god and those hands to whom she relied upon had protected her because she could achieve her dream...
The heron looked at her with gravity and in that gaze she read estimation and pride, yes the heron was pride of her as a god could be of a creature that challenge the impossible to reach him...
She stood up and looked at the world beneath her... it was a so wonderful vision that made her feeling one thing with the entire universe, she breathed the warm air with gratitude, gratefulness to be alive and to be a part of that world that she loved, of its skies and of the same defeated mountain on which, first of her race, she lay down her feet... now going down would a lot more easy, it was only necessary gliding down, stroking her wings from time to time in order to maintain the right direction, she was no more tired and the long rest had given back the energy which she needed...
She stooped on the chick that had called the heron for her and softly and lovely caressed it then after smiling to the heron, that maybe was the same that helped her in the flight, also if she could not be sure of that... she opened her wings and she threw herself toward her valley, far away and indistinct, where one day her great dream was started...
Firma - 3.979 bytes

This story written during the night of 6th of January 1997 has been for long time one the more read story amongst the whole present on the web, currently is Natale con i tuoi that held this odd record.

If you enjoyed my story and you want tell me what do you think of, you can always reach me by e-mail or tell me in the guestbook... even if i don't reply immediately, you have to be patient, I read everyday the correspondence and sooner or later i'll reply...

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This page was created by Duca Lucifero, © 2001-2005
The english version is made by Gianpaolo Brignolo.

La traduzione è di Gianpaolo Brignolo
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