The Wall

There was once a noble warrior who spent much of his life abroad, defending his homeland and the way of life of his people. Finally, after years in battle, the war-worn hero would begin his pilgrimage home, returning to his place of birth, back to the people and culture he loved, to a place of peace and happiness where the food was delicious and abundant and where the wine flowed like water. He knew his trek would be long and arduous, but in the end would be well worth the effort.

For many years, he trudged along this rugged, untraveled path-one with pitfalls and rocky terrain, with wild beasts and rogue adversaries lying in wait around every corner, all seeking to test the strength and fitness of the warrior. He would best every challenge along the way, always with the vision of his promised land in his heart, pushing him onward.

Finally, he reached his destination, coming over a hill just beyond the city limits. What he saw caused his heart to sink. His beloved town, over the years he had been away, had seen much turmoil and strife. In order to ensure their safety, the townspeople erected a wall fifty feet high and ten feet thick made of mortar and brick. No one could come out and no one could go in. Though now in times of peace and prosperity, the town remained walled-in and isolated. Knowing he could never scale such an edifice, the warrior came to a realization. His only hope, futile though it may be, would be to go through it. Resolved in his mission, the warrior was determined. For the next several years, he toiled, expending all of his life force, smashing away at the wall. Kicking and punching and chipping with his crude axe, he struggled… Many times gathering speed, sprinting toward the barricade and hitting it with all of the strength he could muster, literally willing it to fall. So many times he would jar the wall, and still it stood defiant, strong and immovable.

Over the years, the strength of the once mighty warrior waned. He grew tired of this thankless effort, his hands and feet hurt, his bone and muscle ached. He was hungry and thirsty and exhausted. Finally, the day came that he could no longer manage to strike the wall. This day was a beautiful one, with the sun beaming down and the birds chirping in the trees. Beaten and broken, the noble warrior slumped to the ground, leaning on the wall. Here he would lie in the cool spring breeze and breathe his last breath. After all, this was not such a bad place to die. Alas, the great warrior was no more and his spirit moved on to the next realm.

As the sun shone down on this gallant man and the tiny creatures rustled in the surrounding woods, a butterfly fluttered above. Floating about the remains of the warrior it flapped its wings toward the wall, landing so delicately upon the massive barrier. With its tiny forelegs so lightly making contact, a great fissure was sent down the wall, cracking the mighty partition from top to bottom, setting off a cataclysmic collapse, rendering the wall a mere pile of rubble. The great impediment was now gone, the gates to the town now open, the warrior forever entombed in the crumbled rock and cinder.

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