The Magician

A young girl, Priya, grew up knowing all about magic, sharing it with anyone who wanted to know and as she grew, so also did her wisdom. She flourished into a wise woman, entertaining all and any who would talk to her. 

Then one day, when Priya was about 23 years old, a man came to her village, looking for the magician who she had learnt from. He had travelled far and wide to find him until he happened upon this village and began asking for him amongst the villagers, who told him to speak to Priya.

When she saw him, she noticed his dark eyes and that light went into them, but none came out, and she sensed a terrible darkness within them.

“I hear you know of the magician,” said Kayden. “May I ask where he is?”

Priya looked him over asking why he wanted to know. Smiling, he replied, “I am Kayden, an old acquaintance of his. I am looking to re-establish our friendship, but no longer know where he lives.”

“If you travel through the jungle, pass the bodhi tree, then head toward the mountain, go by the narrow path and over the stone bridge till you see a cave. He lives within the cave and you will know it’s the right one for old drawings will be on the cave walls.

“Jungle, bodhi tree, mountain, narrow path, stone bridge and cave with old drawings.”

“Yes.”

“Thank you, young lady, I’m much obliged,” smiled Kayden, then set on his way, as he wrapped a linen scarf around his head and put his staff forward to match his first step. Following the advice, he traveled through the jungle until he passed by the bodhi tree, looked about for a mountain and once he spied it on the horizon, he aimed for it, came across the narrow path and followed it. After a while, he passed over a stone bridge and soon was in sight of the cave. 

  Upon entering, he saw old cave drawings and knew he was in the right place. The cave was deep and becoming dark, for twilight was upon him. Expecting the magician to return soon, he sat down cross legged and awaited.

Then he waited some more. And then waited even longer. 

  As the sun lit up the cave at dawn, Kayden thought he saw the silhouette of a man, but it wasn’t, for it was a monkey. He welcomed the monkey and said, “I know you are the magician and I have come for you. I want the power you possess, so that I may have it, then there will be no more need of you and all who seek, shall find only me.”

The monkey stood still, then laughed, so Kayden tried to catch the monkey. Eventually, he caught it and bound it tightly, so it could not escape and hurt the monkey so it would turn back in to the magician, but this did not work. Then Kayden thought, ‘If I release the monkey, it may turn back in to the magician, for it may be unable to change, being bound and tied.’ So he released the monkey, but it did not change to become the magician, escaping to the jungle instead. So Kayden sat back down. 

  A short while later, a large bird flew into the cave. He welcomed the bird and Kayden said, “I know you are the magician and I have come for you. I want the power you possess, so that I may have it, then there will be no more need of you and all who seek, shall find only me.” The bird settled, then laughed to the sky, so Kayden tried to catch the bird. Eventually, he caught it and bound it tightly, so it could not escape and hurt the large bird so it would turn back in to the magician, but this did not work. Then Kayden thought, ‘If I release the bird it may turn back in to the magician, for it may be unable to change, being bound and tied.’ So he released the bird, but it did not change to become the magician, escaping instead and it flew away. So Kayden sat back down.

 A short while later, a panther entered the cave. He welcomed the panther and Kayden said, “I know you are the magician and I have come for you. I want the power you possess, so that I may have it, then there will be no more need of you and all who seek, shall find only me.” The panther sat down, then laughed, so Kayden tried to catch the panther. Eventually, he caught it and bound it tightly, so it could not escape and hurt the panther so it would turn back in to the magician, but this did not work. Then Kayden thought, ‘If I release the panther it may turn back in to the magician, for it may be unable to change, being bound and tied.’ So he released the panther, but it ran away to the jungle.

  A short while later, a tiger entered the cave. He welcomed the tiger and Kayden said, “I know you are the magician and I have come for you. I want the power you possess, so that I may have it, then there will be no more need of you and all who seek, shall find only me.” The  prowled about, then roared so Kayden went to try and capture it. The tiger became very quiet and Kayden neared, getting closer and closer. The tiger sneered, yet Kayden grew closer and closer still. The tiger roared, yet Kayden took himself closer and yet closer still, until only a breath separated them. Kayden looked in to the tiger’s big, dark eyes and saw light going to the eyes, but none coming out and sensed a darkness within the beast. Kayden moved in to catch the tiger, moving his hands slowly with the rope so to bind it and as he was about to snare the beast, it placed its large mouth over Kayden’s head. Kayden went very, very still. Then the tiger clamped his teeth over the man’s head and wragged  him about, tossing him all over, like a rag doll. Then Kayden’s neck snapped and the tiger stopped, so to eat his body and arms and legs.

  A few hours later, the magician arrived at the cave after his long journey, for he had been to visit an old friend. He saw the bones of a man and they were freshly stripped of meat, with a tiger nibbling at the leg of the dead man. 

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I think I best move to another cave! This one seems much to dangerous,” said the magician.

The tiger turned to him and said, “The cave is not dangerous, but the men who visit here are!”

“Well,” said the magician, “thank you for your advice!”

And the tiger replied, “You’re most welcome.”

  So the magician turned and went to find himself another home. Walking along the path, he crossed a stone bridge and then followed a narrow lane. He passed the bodhi tree then went into the jungle, where he spent the night.

Sougen

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