The stranger sat by the fire at the top of the mountain and waited for an old acquaintance. So much water has flowed from their last meeting, which is not counted. Many times, the rivers changed their course and the shadows changed their length.
Because of the next peak a giant appeared, on an equally huge horse, his figure cast a shadow on several peaks at once, and the stones did not crumble under the hooves of his horse, crushing and condensing into a new breed.
- Be healthy, pilgrim. For a long time, you were not in our area. — greeted the giant knight.
- And you do not get sick, great defender. This and my edges were once. — answered the traveler.
The giant dismounted and sat down by the fire.
This couple was a strange duet, visually the giant should have been bigger than their interlocutor, but the feelings were such that the wanderer had a shadow and more and did not match his size.
- It’s right. Our lands. Many moons here there was no one who remembered it. I have already forgotten, and there is no one to protect, your people are sold out who — where.
- We didn’t do it voluntarily, for you remember. Time was such that it was necessary to go.
Both silently looked into each other’s eyes, remembering the affairs of bygone days. The first silence again cut the voice of the giant:
- What is happening in their native land? You can walk everywhere, although I still cannot see why the earth holds you?
- Not the earth keeps me, but the will and desire to help them.
- Are you talking about people?
- And about animals, and about birds and about the rest. All things in all worlds. The balance should not shift much.
- It is also true, there is no need to divide that which is one. How long have you met someone from your people?
- I do not even remember when. We learned not to stand out and help quietly. Even flying is already unsafe. People do not remember miracles, they have a fear. And when you fear, you do stupid things.
- And you learned to complain about life. It can be seen for a long time walking among people.
- It is what it is.
- The horse, standing up to this point away, began to beat the hoof.
- So, it seems that the guests are not far, let me cover us with a canopy, so as not to interfere and continue.
- You could not ask, pilgrim. I remember you and trust you.
The wanderer turned into a woolen cloak that lay all this time at a distance and at the same time, the giant and his horses became a match for the size of ordinary people, although it blew from them with great power as before.
- I haven’t felt such lightness for a long time, now you can take it with dimensions and weight?
- Not the weight you thought of, my old comrade. You felt a lot of heavy thoughts, they bend your shoulders, and the defender of the right cause needs free movements. So, I shared with you this burden.
- Thank you for not taking. Yet everyone has their own tasks, and your burden is even harder.
- Each has its own burden and it is heavy or not — this is an individual matter. My, though not easy, and not me. What you want, great defender.
- Long time no one reminded me about it …
Both fell silent again and looked at the flames. The traveler took out a carrot from a bag and stretched out a horse in the palm of his hand. The great knight horse gently took the treat with his teeth and, trying not to disturb the silence of the situation, stepped aside.
The stranger took out the second bag, which lay all this time a little distance. He untied the straps from the harp and pulled them out to the giant.
- Do you remember how to use it?
- Sometimes only songs are saving me, I remember.
The giant took the instrument from the traveler’s hands and began to play a quiet melody …
If a group passing by could see this strange trio, then perhaps they would also notice that the flames no longer crackled, the night sounds subsided, and the moon and stars seemed to freeze in order to listen to the story that the long-forgotten instrument played.
Music permeated space with its simplicity and harmony, complementing each picture of the universe.
The traveler walked towards the valley, the picture of the meeting was still before his eyes. Nobody from this couple may have called each other a friend, but both were brothers-in-arms and experienced a lot together, and often stood side by side in defense of common goals.
- Short meetings… aren’t you tired of them yet? — asked the raven, who was sitting on a tree at the entrance to the forest, to which the pilgrim had already reached.
- What do you think, how many of them did you have, wise guide?
- Countless. Although rarity is now to meet you or others like you. You go deeper into the shadows.
- Not in the shade but hiding our light. People have learned to live without us, so now we are just watching.
- You still say that you do not interfere — the laughter of an old raven spread over the forest, although for some it was more like a mixture of cawing and earrings.
- We interfere, not only be on this planet are engaged in miracles. Where do without it.
- Well, then do them more often, but it becomes boring, people have too short a century, they are always in a hurry, not managing to go anywhere.
- This is their choice. Everything can change again. Who knows what’s next?!
- And that is true. Good road, wanderer!
- And to you good and long life, wise guide. Hope to see you soon.
The traveler continued his way, immersed in thoughts, and the bird continued to accompany him with a glance until he disappeared into the depths of the forest.
- So, we live, from meeting to meeting, — summed up the crow, sitting next to the owl.
- He does not live by encounters, but by sensations from them — therefore, he still retains himself. — for him, there is no repetition, only now.
- And that is true.
The birds looked at each other and scattered in different directions. Each had its own path, so it has become a tradition since ancient times — meetings can be long and even stop time or be fleeting like the waters of a thundering mountain river.
Gorodischev Alexey, aka Tigris (Wargmir)
Original story here: https://medium.com/@agorodischev/fleeting-meetings-49de639c70dd