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Conundrum

“It’s a strange thing being accused of something I didn’t witness or have any involvement. Stranger still that my accusers absolutely believe I am responsible despite my honest explanation of the little I know.”

The young man looked upset, mystified and unusually withdrawn.

“Have they accused you of taking something valuable my friend?”

Laughter without mirth.

“Three or four small pieces of metal with sharp spikes to deter my daughter’s kittens and our old family cat from walking across his balcony wall.”

“He would harm another living creature?”

“Oh, I doubt he would see it like that, but yes, I believe he would.”

“Did you know these offensive pieces of metal were on that wall?”

“Yes, I did. As did several other people who care for cats.  We live in a small village, news travels.”

“So, tell me my young friend. What part have you played in this incident?”

The young man wandered to the edge of the precipice and looked across mountains and valleys. The silver reflection of a river snaked along the valleys, fading to a thin grey line until the eye could no longer discern river from land. He turned back to face his friend.

“Although I know the truth of what happened to the spikes, I had no involvement. Sharing what I know may have brought wrath upon another and I didn’t wish to handle that. My instinct was to protect.”

This may sound strange, but when the young man looked at the wise old man he always saw a young image. There was no telling how old he was but no matter what, he always seemed young and full of love, life and vitality. Age in our regular, mundane sense, is of no consequence and when he talks; the younger man hears and understands every word. There is never any doubt but sometimes his words bring long periods of thought and reflection.

“You sense something deeper at work?”

The young man laughed, this time with humour.

“For a change I have an instant response. The man with the spikes and his wife have something far deeper going on. Something they have carried for a great length of time which they have tried to bury and ignore. This something isn’t shared, it’s different for each. It’s as though a darkness cloaks their true being but, they are so used to it that the truth is far away like the source of that river. They need to ask for a sword of light to cleanse their pain.”

“How will they do that?”

“I’ve sent compassion, love and light but I don’t think it will be enough. They need a physical helping hand.”

“This may be a great opportunity to make new friends, but I see your problem. You are the bad guy, they believe you took their spikes. To share the truth may harm another. A difficult conundrum.”

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