Chronicles of Juha-ri, Chapter 1

ASSURANCE IS MADE TO CHILDREN OF THE BEYOND, whom the Riddle’thar knew to be coiled in flesh, that in the presence of the holy and triumphant soul will the path to dreaming be known.

A young one came to us and, with due reverence, asked Juha-ri of White Sand if he could learn the Dance of Shadows, for he had heard as many had before of the great dance of Anequina Sharp-Tongue, boon companion to Khunzar-ri. With a tongue full of platitude and supplication, he begged Juha-ri to share his knowledge, for the young one believed a dance capable of moving the Moons must be beautiful to behold.

And Juha-ri gave the youth the smile he always gave to the young, one of sadness and pity. He asked the youth, how does one instruct a serpent to walk? How does one tell an owl to make fire, or an ape to pray? The youth took Juha-ri’s meaning. He thanked the great Sage of White Sand for his words and began his long walk home.

Juha-ri called to the young one, and though the Sage of White Sand spoke only the barest whisper the wind carried the voice as though it had descended from Jone and Jode themselves. Juha-ri offered to share with the youth his knowledge of the Dance. The young one was confused. No serpent could be instructed to walk. No owl can make fire. Were these not likened to teaching the Dance of Shadows?

The Sage of White Sand nodded. A serpent will always be a serpent, an owl always an owl. But the soul may become many things, though it may take lifetimes to become them. Many consider such a price too dear to pay, and they will never come to know the Dance of Shadows.

The youth nodded and stood in contemplation. And when Juha-ri returned to the Dancing Shadow temple, the youth followed.

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