Trees silhouetted black against a white sky;
Her tower was sometimes light, sometimes dark,
always either, never both.
For 700 years, she found no difference in the day,
apart from the trees noir, the grass blanc--swaying--
and black badgers sniffing along the ground.
On a golden afternoon that she did not see but did feel--
on her skin, the warmth of spring, the sweet breath
of the blank west wind, swishing her black locks--
she lay on the pinnacle of her tower, thinking of
truth: "Like the sky, bright and without blemish;"
evil: "The trees, the badger... my hair,"
she caught a wisp in her hands.
"Black, and very fearful."
At that moment, an itinerant fiddle player stumbled into her woods. He fell flat on his knees on the harsh whiteness of the ground. "What terrible magic is this, that steals all color from the world?" he gasped. For in his last step, the hundred greens of the fields had vanished. The greys, blues, and yellows of the sky were wiped clean. Next to him, his friendly violin lay like a scorch mark on snow.
Bewildered, the young man rose and bravely tiptoed forth. Shortly he came upon the lady's tower. Looking up, he saw the her hair flying, looking much like a black flag in the wind. He longed to know some sorcery, some incantation that would rip the contrast from the world, bringing texture and depth to this surely beautiful, strange place.
A sad, angry song welled up in the fiddler's eyes, and his fingers, out of habit, began to pluck the worn violin. Suddenly, the ebony of the tower walls faded into a rough grey. He lifted the bow and let forth a few solemn notes; the grass around his feet whispered itself greenish. The man continued his song, and slowly around him the forest grew into life. Gracefully, he lilted color over his path, passing out and over the boundary of the forest.
The sky parted into white and blue
before the maiden's lifted eyes.
She gasped, and her hair swept yellow over her pale face.
She leapt to her feet.
A black and white badger sniffed among the green grass far below.
She stared and a sunset drained her soul of words.