An Ordinary Terror and the Cost of Curiosity

Superstition becomes, of its own source,
a conviction of the greatest import,
impelling us to forbearance and caution
but, with little reason to restrain the extent of its effects,
it fully prohibits those inclinations so necessary
for the fulfillment of a happy life.
The world and its many tragedies,
portrayed with even greater intensity by the all-pervading media,
justified my seclusion, and was only further reinforced
by my lack of means,
by which entertainment is so commonly sought.
As dearly as I have desired to remove myself
to the world without these walls,
to enjoy its pleasures and see its wonders,
anxiety disinclined me from idly neglecting my fears.
They held onto me as surely as gravity maintains the planets
in their orbit
but they, like these fears, are not eternal
and only seem, by those unseen forces kept,
preserved in their usual course for all futurity.

Alas, for all the world is in decay
and the sun burns more brightly every day.

Time leaves its inevitable mark upon the languorous mind,
extending and contracting itself to the inconvenience of the
suffering kind,
and compels to frenzied activity the spirit of foolish spontaneity,
such that one gladly undertakes ventures one would have once

Into the world I ventured fast, never fretting
what course I was setting,
and found myself, without wit
to guide me safely through it.
Not before long, as the sun’s dissipating light
dispelled and obscured my sight,
I came to a wood surrounded clearing
well without any person’s hearing
and stood awhile in silence, gazing ’round with awe
at everything I saw.

Then, as I looked at the scenery around
I heard a most disquieting sound,
like the rapturous gnawing of some beast
upon its victim feast.
From where I stood
among the many trees of the wood
I could not determine with certainty
the location of this entity
and remained for a while petrified;
yet, just as the sound feverishly intensified,
it then came to an ominous, abrupt end,
and I then saw that which such sounds portend—
bearing its teeth, colored with crimson,
the wolf revealed its maw most fearsome!

Quickly, I ran off into the wood, hoping to lose the wolf
amongst the labyrinth of trees,
but alas!, as I soon realized, it followed without faltering,
guided perhaps by those acute senses,
well-attuned by their nature,
to hunt their prey unto their victim’s unfortunate fate.
In a mere moment’s time I saw a crevice dug into the ground,
and hid myself below the rim, hoping that I had done so in time
to secure myself from its detection.

Dreading that the wolf might venture nearer to my hiding place,
I pushed my body more tightly into the crevice
and away from the outer rim.
It drew nearer yet did not seem to suspect my presence there,
for it neither growled menacingly nor discovered me,
and eventually, though not swiftly, departed from that spot
to the surrounding woods.
When all was quiet and I recovered my senses,
I warily raised my head just slightly above the rim
to determine its whereabouts
but whatever way I looked there appeared no frightful beast
to excite my fears,
so I left that place, fleeing back in the direction of my home,
and never again dared to venture out
on the whim of some desperate curiosity.


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