Musings on the Fool’s Journey: The Fool Meets the Moon

… The Moon sighed. “No, Fool. That was just me giving you a boost of your intuition. You will need it for your life as well as your journey. Now you must rest. I will give you pleasant dreams.”

“Please Moon,” the Fool interrupted. “Can you tell me how to get out of this pond?”

“Ah yes, but first you must tell me what you know about the crayfish, the wolf and the dog.”

When last we left our Fool, he’d been given a hopeful message by the Star. She’d told him that his journey was nearly over. But even with that message of hope, the Fool didn’t sleep nearly as easily as he thought he should.

Tossing and turning, he dozed in fitful spurts. His dreams were filled with wolves and dogs and wild images of impossible, impassable roads. He woke up just past midnight. As his little dog cocked its head at him, he shrugged.

“Might as well walk. I’m awake and there’s no hope for sleep just now.” Gathering up his stick and bundle, he placed his cap of bells firmly on his head. “Let’s go, my little wag-tailed friend.”

The moon lit a clear path for them but he noticed that things looked different even in the full moon’s brilliance. Strange shadows seemed to lurk beneath what might be familiar hedges in the light of day. Sounds came with a more eerie feeling. The shrill scream of a screech owl made the Fool leap with a shriek of his own.

As they crested a hill, he saw a pond just below. Beyond the pond were two towers. For a moment, he paused. When he was sure those towers weren’t going to be struck by lightning, he moved closer to the pond. Then he saw the winding path disappear into the pond to emerge from the other side. Three animals waited on the shore.

“What could that mean?” He asked his little dog knowing he wouldn’t speak. “A crayfish, a dog and a wolf and we have to go past them if we are to go forward. I’m scared.”

“Don’t be scared.” A slightly stern voice echoed above him. When he turned his gaze up, he saw that the face of the Moon was looking at him in a very studying manner. He wondered if his clothes were tattered or if he had a stain on his face. Startled, the Fool stumbled backwards so suddenly, he fell right on his butt. Then he slid towards the pond.

“Nooooooooooooooo!” He screamed as his little dog barked and pranced beside him. Nothing he grasped at could support the weight of his slide. The water rushed up as though it would swallow him whole.

Splash!

He landed right in the pond. Sitting down the water came right up to his chin but no further. He looked at his dog who walked on the water. Walked on the water? What on earth? He stood up but the water rose to meet him or his body sunk to meet the water. He couldn’t be sure.

“How do I get out?” He looked up at the Moon who now seemed to be laughing at him.

A chuckle confirmed his suspicion. “Well now, that’s the question isn’t it. That pond is deceiving. What you think is deep, isn’t. What you think isn’t deep, is.”

The Fool knew a metaphysical riddle when he heard one. He pursed his lips as he turned his head to ponder the puzzle put before him. What was deep wasn’t and what wasn’t deep was. He remembered his recent dreams.

“Could you mean that sometimes I don’t know what something is so I guess and that guessing is the wrong thing to do?”

“No, guessing is never wrong. Guessing shows you are curious. What is wrong is believing your guess without proof. Consider the swallowtail butterfly with eye spots on the back of its wings. The predator who believes that is a creature too large for him to eat will go hungry. The predator who guesses and then checks his guess with his beak has a full belly.”

Nodding the Fool responded, “So my guesses are my intuition. I need to trust my instinct but test the reality anyway.”

“Well done, Fool!” The Moon beamed so hard a ray actually touched the Fool in the middle of his forehead. He jumped for joy then giggled because it did tickle.

“Was that it? Did you just give me my Will? The Magician said I should find it on this journey.”

The Moon sighed. “No, Fool. That was just me giving you a boost of your intuition. You will need it for your life as well as your journey. Now you must rest. I will give you pleasant dreams.”

“Please Moon,” the Fool interrupted. “Can you tell me how to get out of this pond?”

“Ah yes, but first you must tell me what you know about the crayfish, the wolf and the dog.”

The Fool glanced at the three creatures. The crayfish snapped its claws at him while the dog wagged and the wolf growled.

“I think I know. The crayfish lives in the muddy murk at the bottom of this pool. That is my intuition’s messenger. It carries messages to me. The dog is my tame self while the wolf is the wild.”

The creatures all vanished into thin air and the Fool found himself standing on a dry hummock of grass. The Moon nodded. “You have done well. Also remember that what you see by the light of the Moon may not be the same by the light of the Sun. Now reset. Your next encounter will be with my sibling, the Sun, who can burn you or warm you.”

The Fool yawned. He was glad his clothes were dry and didn’t question that magic. Tucking himself into his jacket a little tighter, he curled up on the grass with his little dog burrowing into his stomach. The Sun would have to wait until he woke up.

To be continued…

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