Hers was a life of seclusion. A life of mysterious solitude. Exiled from others, she chose a lone existence, a life of obscurity. Deeply withdrawn from the evil world, she sought a land where no one existed. Diligently, continuously seeking, she found the place she sought: Solitary Valley. There, was located everything she wished for...comfort, wealth, ease, happiness. Those things she had failed to find in the other world, she now possessed.

In the quiet of the rhythmic pines, Telatha dwelt in happy contentment. The trees, the birds, the flowers were her companions. With them, she had no need for others. The trees, in their supreme majesty, ruled over the valley. They seldom gave a command, but when they did, Telatha was quick to obey. She knew their judgment was by far better than hers. They were a product of God's natural creation, a glorious sample of His ever-increasing blessings.

The birds often flew away for long intervals. Where to, she did not know. Her thoughts became low-spirited if they stayed away too long. Then the birds suddenly reappeared, sang their songs with melodic perfection, and once again her happiness was complete.

The flowers never withered away, but thrived marvelously, content to live a solitary life in the silent valley.

A laughing stream flowed through the valley. Sometimes, with quivering voice echoing through the darkly-surrounded territory, the water crept mystically in the quiet of the prolonged night. Occasionally it laughed a laugh that stilled its very flow. Then it danced the unknown dance of unique happiness.

Upon this certain night, the stream seemed weary, as if from some ceaseless trouble. It hanged its feverish head and cried a bitter, exhausted cry. Its voice was bleak and treacherous. The rhythmic pines labored in vain, trying to comfort the saddened stream. Alas, it wept the more at every attempt at consolation.

The young maiden solitaire, hearing the cry of the water, knelt on the sanctified ground. In silence she remained there, eyes tightly closed, for what seemed an endless period. Then came she, her long garments sweeping the earth with power and dominion, softly stealing her entrance into the part of the valley where dwelt the saddened stream. Kneeling, she caressed its surface and smiled.

"Do not be weary, my stream!" she cried. "What is your trouble? Do not be sad. All is going rightly, is it not so? Look, see the magnificent trees! The blooming flowers! Hear the happy birds' song! Oh, look at me, my stream! See my smile? No, I am not weary...once I was, eternities ago, but now my days and my nights are filled with laughter."

Telatha arose and departed Solitary Valley, for the stream had begun its natural flow, serenely and quietly.

Copyright 1950 Ruth Gillis

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