The Minstrel

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The minstrel sat by the river. He shivered as he had just washed. He had tried to wait inside the library until he was fully dry, but he had been asked to leave; they said that he was getting all of the books wet. It was all right; he had been there most of the day. He loved to read, and this library had a lot of Spanish books. He just wished it wasn’t so cold. Otherwise, outside it was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly. God showed his beauty in the outdoors.

He began humming a simple folk tune. It had been one of Raulita’s favorites as a child, about a princess and her favorite lamb. The princess had magical powers, unbeknownst to anyone but the lamb. She was able to protect her favorite creature from all harm, even from the big evil wolves that lived in the deep black forest. Were it that he had those powers that the princess had. The devil would tempt him to sell his soul for that power, just to have Raulita and Lupe by his side once more, safe and happy just like it used to be. His life didn’t matter much now, for his family had always been his life. Without them he was nothing.

The city lay before him in the distance with its towering statures and corroded air. He listened, wondering if her could hear a single noise amidst the low but audible roar, but he could not. IT was all blended together, enmeshed, confused, devoid of originality. It was where he was born, somewhere in that city or some other city. He just remembered dirt being everywhere in the city where he was born. Always scared. Being glad to survive, just for one more day. Then seeing God. In the faces of pain that also rejoiced. That was where he came from. And he watched it from the peace that he found here in the country. Even from afar, the city had power.

He found a change of attire in a clothing bin later that night. He pack a bunch into his knapsack for later use. Of his old cloths, he dispensed of in the clothing bin. He had no more use of them, for he carried little with him. If someone had use for them, he was grateful. God would lead him from here.

After he had gotten his supply of clothes, he went in search of a place where he could go to bed. In a few days, he would meet with the farmer again and stay with him. For now he was on his own. He liked the solitude, and it he could look for his daughter if he was out on the streets. The streets did not frighten him. There was darkness everywhere, and there was light as well. No place was any less dangerous than any other, for Satan and God could bee found in any corner of this earth. Having God, he had no fear of the dark.

There were trees here; trees that were segregated by fences and house. In the daytime, the trees were a splendor of colors. Now they were dark. He walked through one of the yards. It was amazing how much land just one person could own In the yard, there was an apple tree with its last fruits blooming on it. He caught sight of the apples in the glint of the moonlight, and rejoiced in his findings. The last he had eaten was a loaf of bread that he had found by a bakery, and that had been this morning. As he ate the fruit, he felt all his senses being satiated. He consumed three, then four, then five of the apples. He thanked God for His mercy. Even he, the lowliest and most despicable, was provided for in His presence.

His bed that night was under the tree. The house yielded no light, so he was in little danger of being detected; come dawn, he would wake up and make his way toward his people, and toward Raulita. He was warmly dressed. He could rest peacefully tonight right here.

He dreamed that night of the Caribbean. Ah, but that place was magic. The sand slipped through his toes, the sun gently toasted his bronzed skin, as he watched the blue expanse of a mirror with its corrals, reefs, and shells that were so exotically painted with its mixtures of pale and darkened hues. The people all smiled and waved as he walked by. They were not afraid, for they all were bonded like one big family. They had peace here.

Coconuts. He was there, drinking their inside beauty. A child came up to him, and he cracked the fruit open, giving the child half. She grabbed it and turned to smile at him before dashing off into the blue yonder. It was Raulita.

He called to the disappearing figure. Briefly, she stopped and waved again, then she vanished under a faraway reef decorated with exotic greenery. She was gone. But he was at peace. She was safe, wherever she was. And he knew that he would be led to her again.

And when he woke, he gave thanks to God, rejoicing at receiving this wondrous dream.

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