A faint silhouette appeared in the tower window. I could not but chuckle at the sight of the old man, Enoch, my soothsayer and friend, searching the countryside for my return like a mother duck which has one too few ducklings in her fold. He beamed with joy as his eyes met mine.

“Young Tobin, is it?” he called.

“And how did you know–,” I stopped suddenly realizing that secrets were not to be had with a man who sees all.

“‘Tis. And in joy for I have been blessed!”

In earnest succor, he recited his trivial poem, as he always does to fit the occasion, to set my contentment in stone.

“Did not my hand bequeath her will
On paper black with feathered quill?
And when I told you stories old
Of greater men; their fate: cuckold.”

I then replied in joy and true conviction:
“Who can ever know if Love will ever be
Or if it ever should?
But friendship is more precious,
Always dear and eternally good.”

Enoch stared down at me for a moment in silence. In one instant, I could see his confusion turn to pride as the teacher succumbed to the pupil. His endless hours of implanting wisdom had finally taken root.

“Si jeunesse savait, si veillesse pouvait . . .
If youth only knew, if age only could . . .”

He then bid me entrance into the courtyard to join in the merriment he had prepared for me in my honor. And I did fulfilled.


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