When I was a little girl, the other villagers told me never to go into the cave. They always said that the tunnel ends at the very center of the mountain, the heart.
They said that a goddess lives in there, and that her blessings keep us safe.
I always asked my mother to tell me about the goddess before I went to sleep. She’d just chuckle and say
“She has dark hair that is black enough to blind even the bats
Yet her skin is pale and fair. She is the most beautiful creature.
I laid eyes on her once. I was about your age, and a curious little scamp I was.
I went into the cave by myself, and I saw her.”
But everytime I asked her what happened, she’d just smile and say
“It’s time for bed. If you stay up to long, you’ll get wrinkles below your eyes, and your just to pretty for that.”
After my mother died many years later, I decided to go to the cave. Even as an adult, I wanted to hear the end of mothers story.
I arrived at the heart of the mountain, and there she was.
Now I tell my daughter about the time I saw the goddess in the heart of the old mountain. But I’d never finish the story.
I’d read to her from a book with blank pages. My daughter would ask me
“Mommy, how about you just read me the last page. I want to know how it ends!”
I’d turn to the back of the book to amuse her, but then I’d just smile and close the book.
When she wants to hear the end of the story, she can travel to the heart of the old mountain herself and finish the story.