The Great Forest VIII - (The stone of the paper pigeons)

"There's the clearing! I told you I knew the way! But no one ever trusts me. No one ever listens to what I say. Why? Like this wooden-head! How many times do you think I told her that that egg can't be hers? Yet, stubbornly, she doesn't want to listen to me”.
The seven companions had reached a point in the forest where a clearing opened. There grew tall golden grass. In the center stood a rock and next to it stood a lantern of wood and glass with red contours, covered by a dark circular roof. The glass door was open, but there was no candle inside, as one might have expected. A ream of small sheets of paper.
The seven approached the rock.
Rose rested on the rock and something happened. The glass door closed and a voice spread through the air.
"For all the bleeding stones! Who gets to the rock of paper pigeons? Of course, of course! The queen sends you in search of answers. And you will have them, I assure you.
"But first of all you have to decide if you really want them. Sometimes we ask for something and only after we have the answer do we realize that ignorance was preferable”.
Méra came forward.
"I have traveled a whole month to know, I will not return to my pond without an answer!"
"Very well", he resumed, "Look intensely at the rock thinking of all the questions you would like an answer to. Each sheet will carry one. The one you will grasp, will have the answer that presses you most”.
Méra did as she was told. A few minutes after from the lantern came out numerous paper birds that began to fly around. She grabbed a bird as the others rose into the sky and became gray pigeons.
The one she had captured was spread out in her hands and she could read a few words written in blue ink:
When the water is still and the wind does not blow, on the day when the winter in the south begins. There, the pond ripples and what you await will happen.
Comforted by her success, the others also came forward.
Rose rested on the rock for a few seconds, then no less than twenty-five paper birds came out of the lantern. The fairy flew over one of them, which glided gently over the grass.
One day you will be. On the stone throne you will sit and your petal hair will colour pink the branches of the old plane tree. Not everything is what it seems. Do not fear that bridge, or its depths.
Even Lènor, the skeptical and petulant cat, approached the rock. Only one pigeon came out of the lantern.
Respect yourself. Respect. Love yourself. So you'll have what you crave. Don't always complain and don't always say "no". Friends, you'll have unexpected ones.
Kahla slowly approached the rock. She feared that confrontation. She had many questions, but only one had prompted her to travel.
Don't let others tell you who you are. If everyone does it one way, it doesn't mean it's right. Love the child you're going to give birth to and care for his or her happiness. Love him or her though different.
Karad did not approach. Karad, dweller of the home trees. He took care of them and knew what he needed.
Finally it was the turn of Taros. He also had many questions. And when the door of the lantern opened, one hundred and thirty-seven paper birds came out. Most took off immediately, the paper turned into feathers, bones, and flesh; and cooing excitedly. Some were circling over his head.
One of them came down and rested on his shoulder while the last ones also became pigeons. Taros took the sheet.
Your family is waiting for you. Your task is over. You can go home.
The companions looked at each other in silence. It was time to say goodbye.
"An interesting adventure in many ways. It was a pleasure to meet you all. I wish you every success in your future endeavors”.
Mèra had spoken for everyone. Melancholic smiles formed on their faces.
Ares had approached the rock, stared at it with one of his eyes. His head turned. And the door opened again.
No one had thought that even the chicken might have questions.
Only one paper pigeon came out and opened in front of his legs and everyone read the words: