Tale of the Mush­room Prince

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Eve­lyn Benz

Once upon a time, back when the world was still new, there was a young boy. He trav­eled far and wide, ex­plor­ing the world with­out fear, with­out worry. Alone he trav­eled un­til he found a for­est of grand mush­rooms. The mush­rooms were big­ger than any tree he had ever seen be­fore in his trav­els. They blocked off the sun’s rays far above.

“You are a strange- look­ing crea­ture,” he heard from voices sound­ing like whis­pers com­ing from the gi­ant mush­rooms all around him. Fright­ened, he started to run, but he only got him­self lost deeper into the for­est of gi­ant mush­rooms.

“Don’t run, we won’t hurt you,” the voices said, and the boy stopped. He looked all around and saw noth­ing but the gi­ant trunks of mush­rooms around him.

“Don’t be scared of us, we were once alive like you, but a Pythoness killed us and trapped our souls in­side these grand mush­rooms. You must fi nd your way out within three years when she comes out once more from her castle in the mid­dle of the for­est,” voices whis­pered.

The young boy walked and walked all around the grand mush­room for­est but couldn’t fi nd the exit. The spir­its of the once liv­ing kept him com­pany through­out his end­less walk. They would tell him sto­ries and give them clues of what they were when they were alive. And as the years went by, they all be­came his close friends and they called him their prince.

The three years were about to be up when the prince found an open­ing at what he thought was the end of the mush­room for­est. Over­joyed, he ran to it, only to re­al­ize that it was not the end of the for­est but the very mid­dle of it. He had reached the Pythoness’ castle.

He was in the mid­dle of the mush­room for­est with only one day left to spare. There was no way he would be able to fi nd his way out in just one day be­ing so deep in, he thought. Then the prince started to take his fi rst steps to­wards the castle.

“No, no, prince, you must not en­ter there. That’s the castle where the Pythoness rests,” the voices of the spir­its warned him.

But the prince was sure in what he was about to do as he re­sponded, “My dear friends, I will end the Pythoness’ hold on you and set your spir­its free.” The voices started to weep and cry as he dis­ap­peared into the castle.

In­side the castle, he found a sword and found the Pythoness rest­ing on a bed of feath­ers. But, as he raised his sword to slay her, he felt mes­mer­ized by her beauty and hes­i­tated.

Just as the sun was go­ing down, end­ing the third year of the Pythoness’ rest, she awoke and saw the prince hold­ing out a sword at her in the air. The Pythoness killed him and trapped his soul in a grand mush­room.

And the mush­room prince and the other souls re­mained trapped in the for­est un­til the Pythoness fi nally died and their souls were freed to roam the earth.

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