there was a small child safe and content, with their head upon a pillow carefully listening for the words that would be recited in a soft flowing voice. Listening for the words that began each time and in the same way with..... Once Upon A Time ......they would settle in believing, YES knowing that there would be a happy ending.
The story begins and it is ripe with visions of fairies and butterflies and the sound of flutes vulnerably weaving it's words down a path through beauty and peace. It follows the magic of a beautiful butterfly, like a dream until it finds itself on the edge of dusk and the lurking forest. It continues its flight and leads the participant into darkness and fright. Each grove of tall pines becomes a maze where the traveler feels trapped and confused. The heartbeat flutters until it becomes noticeable enough to cause the breath to wildly hasten it's inhale and exhale. Fear begins to ooze into the soul and mind transforming thoughts until nothing is real. Suddenly the chapter ends and the book cover is closed shut until the next time when the journey would continue. But for now it is time to sleep.
As they grew, the child remembered the lessons they had learned at bedtime story telling, and they mourned the losses of innocence. The soft sweet endings had been replaced with other scenarios. Some were haunting, some were instructive, some were unanswered for decades, and some just waited for the book to be reopened........
......... in every Once Upon A Time the wretched witch, or bully, or demon, or troll is overthrown by a prince, or a spell, or an angel, or the huntsman and the story ends. Here too the darkness of the forest begins to lift in the dawn, and rays of sunshine filter through the trees until the child sees the unwavering safety of home, and she realizes everyone lives happily ever after!
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