After one and a half hour, walking like seeking a fugitive killer, we were exhausted and decided to contradict the thirst that we were feeling, with fresh and clear water of a fountain... that we had never seen before. So far we were from our home! Just then we become conscious of the situation. But… and how could we return?! At the labyrinth of the forest the anxiety, didn't permitted us to prepare ourselves. In the meanwhile, our insatiable juvenile curiosity, of children, was drinking at the fountain of beauty of that place. It was hypnotic: made of granite tinged brown by time, the heat of the Summer and the ice of the Winter. The narrow foundation, when compared with the height, about two metres, and that natural terrace, covered with dry leaves, were saying, using their language: "That was an enchanted place, from many years ago… since the limits of memory." That water running there impressed me, because it was full of willingness that time did not subjugate. That fountain of life with its soft pace, made us recover the courage to proceed. João had fear, he wanted to return, but not alone… because of that he remained with us. Half an hour climbing the mountain, using the most interesting path that we could have chosen… in stairs of stone that sometimes appeared along the way surrounded by some lime-trees, among them some with an intense smell of honey, made us very tired. We had to return. Next to the harsh hours of sun, there was the beginning of the afternoon. We lied down, on the bed made of earth and looked to the sky, together with the top of the trees, that were moving together with the warm breeze, like a blessing, and involved by the climbing plant that also was involving the slopes that were surrounding us.
I got up and seated not far away, playing with a stick, making drawings on the earth dust and noticing some of my confidants, that were also there. And I prayed… with all my strength… I closed my eyes and embraced my two knees, with my left arm, on my legs. I put together my feet, burning with blisters and some wounds made during the long walk, already covered with white dust. With the right hand I was still drawing, using the stick, figures without face. It was in this position that I prayed… in silence, on the balance of the wind. Until he, with an abrupt sign, observed all around me, as if it were already enough and I could already open my eyes.
Pedro couldn't continue looking the sky and was delirious... or better saying, his head was spinning: — Water… Water… — he whispered. He seated and was attentive to me, when I got benumbed and immobilized, in amazement after discovering an ant coming in a small path, right in front of me and when she was next to me stopped, stared at me during a short period of time and continued her journey. She was carrying a piece of tissue of Maria's dress. I was overwhelmed and got up, looked to the forest, in the direction of the worker of God and with part of my body numbed, I saw who my eyes were seeking without stopping, even with no hope, but just with conviction.
— Maria! Maria! — Pedro and João rose up and came to me.
— How can we take her from there? — Asked Pedro and immediately after João said: — She's dead! Ho my God…
Then I confessed: — I love her. God would not permit such a thing! — She was laying down as a star on the firmament, that seemed to me to be like a natural mattress of blackberry bushes… but, she had some colour on her face… it looked like sleeping. Without fear, as someone who recovers life, we jumped to hug her and we transported her, still unconscious, to the village. A two hours walk, through the forest and previous enchantment but now we sensed time differently, shorter than that of the clock pointers, that we didn't have, but also shorter than the clock sun, marked with trunks of the forest, with shadows on the floor and little after at the corn fields, that happy, due to the novelty, waved at us as a welcoming sign. Pedro even tied his special thread to a three centimetres beetle that started to fly, although caught by a yarn. She was a common inhabitant of the oaks. There we were, laughing about everything!
When the end of the day arrived, happiness was everywhere. Maria recovered… and the party of that night brought there people of the nearest places and even from others more distant. No one reprehended us. Like children we were able to read the map of Maria's innocence and we found her… On that night, when boys of a neighbour village, as a revenge because a girl didn't wanted to dance with them, broke with stoning all lights, the darkness and only she, saw my first kiss with Maria: sweeter than any sweet. We were not together because we had fear to loose ourselves and today, I feel that, because of that day, we live together: the two of us… with our children.
I also told them this story.