The Lynx


Zeenath Jahan

There was once a man who dreamed of a Princess in the Enchanted Forest who needed his help. For a month he dreamed the same dream, and felt he had dreamed it forever. Finally, he decided to find out what it all meant and packing his knapsack he waded through the stream that separated the Enchanted Forest from the normal world. Standing on the bank at the edge of the Enchanted Forest he looked from right to left not knowing which direction to take until he felt the breeze. Following the beckoning breeze that stroked his cheek he waded deep into the Enchanted Forest.

The man hadn't been on the path for very long when he saw a green eyed Lynx, its eyes shining brightly in the darkness of the undergrowth. Stamping his feet he tried to scare it away. Seeing her tremble with fear he thought she would turn tail and run into the undergrowth; but though she trembled with fear at the man's feigned ferocity, she continued to sit there and watch him.

Deciding that she was not dangerous, the man continued on the narrow path, going deeper and deeper into the Enchanted Forest. After a while the man noticed that the Lynx was following him at a safe distance. Once more he stamped his feet and tried to chase her away; diving into the fronds of the hanging vine, the Lynx cowered in fear but would not leave.

As her curiosity about the stranger grew, the Lynx became braver with time and came quite close to the man. Pretending to tie his shoelace the man grabbed the Lynx by the scruff of her neck. Spitting, scratching, clawing, the Lynx struggled madly, and the man finally had to let her go free. Once free, she only followed him more doggedly as he trekked though the Enchanted Forest.

This was repeated many times, with the Lynx following him and distance between them becoming shorter and shorter each time the Lynx got away. Then until the man decided to allow the Lynx to come close enough for it to get to know his scent and sat on a grassy knoll. Silent and motionless, not moving a muscle, he allowed the Lynx to come closer and closer, without making a lunge to catch it.

The Lynx circled the man, inching its way closer and closer; stopping every now and then to sniff the air made strange with this stranger's scent. Hesitantly it sniffed his hands lying on the grass, rubbing against his unmoving legs. Finally, trembling it crept into his lap. The man smiled down into the Lynx's glowing eyes and softly spoke to it in gentle soothing tones. The trembling soon stopped. The Lynx began to purr as happily as any tabby on a cottage hearth.

Gently lifting the Lynx and putting it down the man stood up. The day was drawing to a close and it was time to turn homeward again. Looking back he saw the Lynx following him. When he reached the stream that separated the Enchanted forest from the normal world he picked up the Lynx and stepped into the stream. With each step the Lynx became heavier and heavier and it was almost impossible to take the last step out of the stream.

Imagine his surprise when he put the Lynx down, to find that in a burst of light and smoke she turned into a Princess; the same Princess he had dreamed of as if forever. She explained that a wicked wizard had put a spell on her that could only be broken by a man with enough patience and courage to withstand the scratching, biting and spitting of the Lynx; a man patient enough to sit for hours, unmoving and silent, to win the trust of the Lynx; and lastly, a man strong enough to carry the Lynx across the stream that separated the Enchanted Forest from the normal world.

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