When we reach the shore we debate whether it is a lake or a pond or an ocean or a sea or a large puddle and we decided to call it the briny deep even though we can’t tell how deep it is because it sounds appropriately mysterious and a teensy bit dangerous.
We can see the path curling up the hill past the opposite shore and the briny deep is in our way so it is a challenge and together we shall overcome it.
We do not have a boat so we build one from wood and wax and wishes and we fashion sails for it from scraps of silk though they are mostly for show as there is not much wind and we paint little wings on our oars.
(We make wheels for the boat so we can continue to sail-row-roll along the path and we will not have to leave our boat behind.)
We stomp and splash at the edge of the briny deep where it is not so deep before we set sail.
(Things that can be stomped upon and splashed do not seem so scary after they have been stomped and splashed.)
We row onto the briny deep and we sing songs and then the clouds begin to roll in until they are one big cloud covering the entire sky and the wind comes and tugs too hard at our silk sails and waves splash over the boat and then the boat is upside down.
When the sun comes out the boat is on the opposite shore in broken bits and the sails are tangled shreds of ribbon and there is sand in my pockets and I am soggy and alone.
I yell and cry and no one answers except the birds who cry back and tell me not to fuss so much and help me gather up the useful pieces of the boat and braid the ribbons of silk into my hair.
I keep going, following the curly path up the hill, because we always promised we would keep going no matter what sort of challenges the wide world sent to us and I want to keep our word.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.