I understood little but
I was so enchanted with that place that no questions arose in my mind. It looked so peaceful here! I wished I could live here
forever. But soon it was time to leave. We slipped out through the door again. Overcoming the spell, I asked, “Who owns
Without a word, my guide
led me outside and away from the castle. Far from the castle, there was a small hut. Its roof and walls were crumbling. Inside
sat a man who personified misery. Hunger and thirst dominated his face. He wore dirty rags. He sat at the window looking mournfully
toward the castle.
“The castle belongs
to this man,” my guide said.
I could not believe what
I heard and repeated, “The castle belongs to this man?"
He explained, “His
is a rather sad story. He lived in the castle a long time ago. He led a gay and a wasteful life. He would never come home
for days and even when he did, he would stay only for a short while before going out again.” My guide continued, “The
dark creatures you saw were his servants. He trusted them completely and thought they were his friends. In fact, he trusted
them so much that he gave them complete power in managing his castle. Slowly, the guards became the masters of the castle
and he the servant. Then a day came when they banded together and banished him from the castle.”
My guide must have known
that I was thinking about the city behind the hidden door because he said, “He could have escaped to the Realm of Truth,
but the poor man was so engrossed with life outside the castle that he never even discovered the hidden door.”