I wanted to know what the future held in store for me but my mother advised against it.
She was a skilled clairvoyant herself, so her refusal to read my fortune only made me more suspicious of the darkness I was sure lurked around the corner, preparing to engulf my path ahead.
I made discreet inquiries in town and learnt of the old sibyl who lives by herself in a red-brick cottage with red doors in a forgotten neck of the woods.
It took me six days and seven nights on foot to arrive at her door but when I did, the bust above the red doors said the old dame had given up the ghost last autumn.
Dejected, I plonked myself on the doorstep and mumbled a bitter sorry, feeling more sorry for myself than for anybody else. But he told me not to be, for the wicked crone, may her soul rest in peace!, had never been any good at telling fortunes, he revealed.
I asked him if he could tell me my future instead but he scoffed at the suggestion and said he did not hold with divination and fortune telling. Some things are simply not to be trifled with and destiny is one of them, he reasoned.
He offered to tell me a story instead, as a little reward for my journey, and, weary as I was, I took him up on his offer.
As I listened to his tale, for a brief while, I forgot to worry about my future.