Now when The Old Fox again awoke, the cave was empty. He crept outside, but the bandits were long gone. Standing by the mouth of the cave he peeled some of his Tabr and ate it.
2 As he stood there, he watched the night stars. Suddenly, one seemed to grow! It sped across the sky like an arrow in flight, and landed a short distance from The Old Fox. Only when it was on the ground did The Old Fox realize it was his brother.
3 He fell to the ground, worshipping. "Oh, my blessed brother, it is true! The lights in the night sky ARE the souls of Our Departed Loved Ones! Truly The Darkness you have shown me must be the land beyond the sky!"
4 "My blessed brother," the other answered, "you are in error again! The lights in the night sky are that stars like the one lights our world during the day. But they are very, very far away. About some of them there are worlds like our own, and men, also."
5 The Old Fox rose to his feet and looked at the stars. "I understand," he said, "how you can know things about The Spirit World, but how can you know about the stars?"
6 "In two ways," his brother announced, "but come, we will talk as we journey. By morning you will have a comfortable bed, and be on your way home."
7 As they journeyed, Little Fox told his brother of how life had come to their world. "Now, this Ancient One," he said, "left a memory that no single person can remember. But when a large group of us gather in Spirit, and combine our minds, we begin to remember some of the things he knew. The Elders call it a 'Racial Memory.' From this we first learned of other worlds. Then, The Watchers came, and we talked to their Spirits; and they confirmed the memories The Ancient One had left."
8 "The Watchers?" asked The Old Fox. "Who are they?"
9 "Visitors," his brother told him, "that travel through the stars in ships made of metal. Some are very good, some are evil. But the good ones protect us and keep the bad ones away."
10 "And they are like us?" asked The Old Fox.
11 "I have only seen one of them," his brother told him, "and he was nothing like us. He was like a brightly polished stone with lights inside. He said that his people could not live on our world because it was too cold, so they visited one that was closer to our sun."
12 I have heard of others, though, one that was like a giant cat. It is said they landed on our world one time and took some of our people away to serve them, but when the stone people found out, they would not let them come back."
13 "It is all so strange," The Old Fox said, "but tell me, my brother, for many hours it has bothered me. Why has not Spirit spoken to our people before? Why have they not told us of these things?"
14 "We have," his brother answered as they trudged on, "but each time we tried, man did not understand our message! They confused us with the gods. Long have the Elders sought one person who could be given The Truth and would understand."
15 "And I am that person?" asked The Old Fox.
16 "You are The One," his brother told him. "We are almost at the end of our journey," his brother continued.
17 The Old Fox stopped. "Before we go on," he demanded, "there is one question I must have answered. It is obvious that you Spirits have much power. Why do you allow your people to suffer?"
18 His brother looked at him. "For everything," he said, "there is a price. We cannot change that. That is natural law. We do our best to keep our people from evil, to show them The Right Path. But we cannot do the impossible. The gods claim they can, but the gods lie. And men pay a bitter price because of that lie."
19 "Surely not everything has a price," The Old Fox asked.
20 His brother thought for a moment. "Did you not love our father?"
21 "Of course I did!" The Old Fox agreed.
22 "How did you feel when he died?"
23 "Terrible," The Old Fox said.
24 "Then you paid a price for that love. Did you love our mother?"
25 "Of course!" The Old Fox told him.
26 "And again you wept when she died. You paid a price for her love. There is nothing we do that does not extract a payment, or give a reward.
27 The price of love is feeling pain at its loss, but knowing that, would we cease to love? Never. We would continue to love and accept the pain of its loss.
28 So it is with all things. We must learn sometimes the lessons are bitter and harsh, but if we did not allow the lessons, this world would be like The Spirit World. And nothing would be gained at all. But the glory of man, their strength, is their ability to live through adversity and come out of it stronger."
29 "The more I learn," The Old Fox said, "the more confused I become."
30 "Think not of it for awhile," his brother told him. "Come. Your passage home is prepared. Just over this hill is a caravan going north. Go to them. They will welcome you and see you safely home. There is some work we must yet do.
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