just a young boy, barely a man, his backpack full of all things necessary to begin a life's journey
favorite books with worn threadbare covers
a pillow of the softest down
a bulging pouch of sweet delicacies sent as a farewell gift from loving kin
and last, a pointer, which he didn't particularly care for, but always carried just the same.
Full of hope and anticipation, his eyes scanned the horizon- finally settling on a steep path just to the left of a nearby mountain.
The trail was bumpy and narrow, and often he could feel the faint prick of the pointer poking at the center of his back, just next to his spine, which caused him to frequently stop and adjust the heavy load, so as to ease the jagged edge.
He walked for days and days--through flowered meadows, along clear blue streams, wandering into deep green valleys. All the while keeping a wary and watchful eye on the sharp object in his bundle.
Finally he happened upon a choice spot to recline. But while pulling out his soft down pillow, he accidentally touched the pointer and bright red blood began to ooze and seep out from the injury.
At last, he lay down his head and fell asleep--
chaotic images nagged through his mind of
So it was with a start, that he awoke to find a kindly old man sitting by his side, observing him. The old man smiled gently and with the brightest blue twinkle in his eye said,
"Well, where have you been?"
The boy sat upright and stuttered..
"Oh, just a bad dream"
"A bad dream indeed!"
The wizened old fellow stood up, gathered his cane and began to walk in the other direction.
"Can I come with you?" the boy asked as he ran to catch up.
After all, it was tiring to take such a journey alone.
So it ended up they traveled together-- over rough terrains and glistening golden fields. They became great friends--sharing stories, a laugh or two, and even spoke of wishes to come.
But the one thing the boy never revealed was the regretful pointer hidden deep within his baggage.
One day, after a period of time, the old man said
"Come to see my home. We can rest a while there," as he pointed to the top of a tall mountain.
The boy was excited but apprehensive. Would his new companion discover the truth, his terrible hidden secret?
Finally they arrived at the small abode. Glowing yellow lanterns illuminated the perfectly shaped windows and white smoke puffed out of a red brick chimney into the clear mountain air.
Tiny multicolored stones crunched beneath their steps as they approached the sturdy brown door.
Immediately upon entering, intoxicating aromas stirred memories long forgotten in the boy's mind...memories of running carefree on endless sunny days.
"Here, come" the old man motioned the boy to follow him down a long hall to a door at the farthest corner of the cabin.
Curious, the boy dropped his backpack and slowly headed in the direction of his beloved guide.
His heart thumping in his chest, the boy watched intently as the old man turned the key and suddenly flung the door wide open. The boys eyes squinted as he adjusted to the dimly lit room.
There in a large pile in the corner of the room was a jumbled heap of what?
hundreds of pointers of every
"So you see my friend," said the old man with a slight chuckle and knowing nod, "we all have them, but it's all in how you aim them
not to where they point from
but only where they point to"