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<span>  Kelton, listen. </span> <span>Furello roused the elk who, overcome with tiredness, had dozed off to sleep. </span> <span>Out of the silence a lovely voice rhymed,  In winter, if I were the wind, where would I go? </span> <span>Over the rooftops, through the snow... </span> <span>I d fly around trees rattling their branches, pitching icicles to and fro. </span> <span>And in the spring... </span> <span>When life is new, I d rustle the leaves in the quiet morning dew and watch the sky turn to flame in the clouds... </span> <span>She stopped abruptly. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Who? </span> <span>What? </span> <span>Kelton blinked as the astonished poetess jumped to a stop in front of them. </span></p> <p> <center> <img id="image_21" src="image_s_21.jpg" onfocus="this.src='image_f_21.jpg';" onblur="this.src='image_s_21.jpg';" alt="Furello and Kelton meet the poetess." tabIndex = 0> </center> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Gracious! </span> <span>Is this my imagination I see sitting there under the tree? </span> <span>I have traveled this path all night to morn until my feet are worn. </span> <span>I was sure I had seen everything born, but never a blue striped elk and a changing color unicorn! </span> <span> The day is young and there is a world to see. </span> <span> How can you idle your time beneath this tree? she asked breathlessly. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  We just stopped for a moment to rest, Furello explained. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  That s true, Kelton joined in.  We ve had a most difficult climb, and we are very tired... </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Before he could continue, the poetess intervened,  Difficult climb, you said. </span> <span> That cannot be so bad as to be so close to life s great harvest and miss it all for a simple rest. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  I don t understand, said Furello, confounded by the poetess. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The lady tilted her head back, and threw her hands upward, and gazed at the distant sea. </span> <span> Then she stared intently at them. </span> <span>  As the violinist searches and hunts to find his favorite fiddle, I have sought and found an answer to life s greatest riddle. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  What answer? Furello asked excitedly, wondering it the poetess knew what was the most important thing in the world. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Kelton broke in, asking,  Do you know what the most important thing in the world is? </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The poetess smiled and answered loftily,  I ve asked myself that very thing, searched high and low, far and wide, beneath the sea and in the sky, on sun-washed fields and countrysides. </span> <span>But the answer is not a peaceful dream; it is not what it may seem. </span> <span> No, it is not what it is not; it is more within than it is without. </span> <span>With that, the poetess ran down the trail. </span> <span> They watched her disappear into the forest and neither spoke for a long time. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  What mumble-jumble, the sea captain muttered. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Well, anyway, she wasn t looking through any tube, said Furello, turning toward the mountain peak. </span> <span>  Let s go. </span> <span> We have a steep climb ahead of us. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> They sprang from the shade of the tree and darted up the trail. </span> <span> As the path wound up the mountain side, they slowed their pace to avoid the small rocks that cluttered the path. </span> <span> Wearily they climbed upward until Kelton cried out,  Stop! </span> <span>We must stop. </span> <span> If I go a step farther, my legs will collapse. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Here is a ledge where we can rest, Furello said, as he sank unto the rocky ground beside the exhausted Kelton. </span> <span> With the warm sun on their backs, they drifted into a peaceful slumber. </span></p> <br> <br> <br> <a href="chapter_16.html">Click here to go to Chapter 16.</a> <br><br><br> <!-- #EndEditable --></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" bgcolor="#000000"> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.host-central.net"><img src="../images/template_design_r6_c1.jpg" width="773" height="22" border="0"></a></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </body> <!-- InstanceEnd --></html>