Two Viking warriors, both seriously injured from a battle occupied the same tent.
One man, wounded by a spear to his chest, was allowed to sit up in his bedding for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bedding was next to the tent’s only opening.
The other wounded man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their farms, their battles, where they had been on viking adventures..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the tent’s opening could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his tent-mate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The tent’s opening overlooked a meadow with a lovely lake
Ducks and swans swam on the water while children played in the fields. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of a beautiful skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the tent opening described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the tent would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the tent opening described a celebration outside.
Although the other man could not hear the music – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the fallen warrior by the tent opening portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, a woman arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the tent opening, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called some men to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the tent opening. The woman was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the tent opening beside the bedding.
It faced a bush, totally blocking any view..
The man asked the woman what could have compelled his deceased tent-mate who had described such wonderful things outside this tent opening.
The woman responded that the man was blinded by a sword slash and could not even see the bushes.
She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’
Uplifting words and a little encouragement is all those around you may need.
Njord Kane © 2016 Spangenhelm Publishing
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