There once lived a girl who wanted the world. A questling she was – with hair of gold, nine years old, eyes of blue, a ‘one’ of two.

This child rose each morn alongside the sun, to race through her chores. She showered, dressed, ate, then paced within the kitchen like a stallion trapped within its stall. “Set me free! Let me be! The world is awake, it’s waiting for me!

Idle time sucked at the questling like a pesky mosquito, sapping her very life-blood. She made lists of the life she longed to live, one day, some day – trips to take, treasures to explore, tasks to devour – if only it would happen now, today!

The questling’s soul ached to be outside the walls of her home, walls which closed around her like prison bars. Inside she paced, breathing fire. Her spirit needed ‘purpose’ like flames need oxygen. Without it, she was mere smoldering, whimpering, ineffectual embers, dying into nothingness.

Yet with purpose she could rule the world. Like maidens of yore, she’d navigate uncharted lands in a velvet-robed gown. She’d slay devious villains; lure innocent young loves, uncover jewels never-before found.

Yet the questling has yet to roam distant shores. She’s still a child, watched over within a city, within a house, amidst siblings who demand that she share, acquiesce. So seldom may she lead, actually lead – that the mere notion is like forbidden fruit – to capture that singular state of mind, that freedom of choice, that power! Her dream of setting forth alone is just that – a dream – since she has, from the moment of birth, been tied to another, constantly bound.

Her blazing spirit seems trodden to pieces, tamped down time and time again into manageable submission. Her soul is enraged. Molten anger spews forth, sparks of fury swirl alive into the wind. She appears wild, scorching, out of control.

The father douses the flames with angry words. He wrings his hands, looks to the sky. “But she was so cautious as a baby,” he remembers. “So content, carefree….”

“If only we’d known!” the mother cries. “Even then her heart beat too wildly within her chest…Perhaps that made her more careful, more conscientious for a time. She knew her very blood flowed untamed within her.”

Now, within the woods, the questling runs full speed ahead, her feet free and bare against the earth. Here, at last, she is alive and in charge, leading the way. The trees are wise to let her pass. They do not slow her forward progress. “The world is hers!” The leaves rustle and whisper as the mother and father lag behind, desperate to keep up. “Push her on into the wind, set her free!”

“But she must be broken, learn to comply,” the mother laments. “Wild horses must be broken. Wild fires must be contained.”

The trees still their shaking in the dappled sunlight. The wind ceases. The world waits.

The mother and father continue on, their eyes fastened on the beauty of the fire, the brilliance of energy they call ‘Juliet’ – moving forward across the earth with her face to the wind, untouchable, unstoppable, scorching a path entirely her own.

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