Once upon a time. Does anyone ever really put some serious thought into that phrase? It's so ubiquitous, used at the beginning of so many fairy tales. But what does it really mean? I know it's not a complete sentence. But as beginnings go, I guess it's not all that bad. If you look at it, it's basically saying "What comes after this phrase happened at a time." And I guess that's good, but shouldn't you know that anything that happens happens at a time? Sorry, I got distracted and started ranting. Anyway.
Once upon a time,
there was a boy. And the boy found himself without companions. For you see, this was before anyone else existed, but after Time had already begun, for as we have already said, it was upon a time.
So once upon a time, there was the Boy. And the Boy looked for his mother, the Moon. He cried skyward for many nights. And though he could see the Moon, she would not answer his calls. She could not come down and comfort him. And this made the Boy sad, and his lonliness grew.
So once upon a time, the Boy couldn't find his mother. So the Boy looked for his father, the Sun. And once again, the Boy found his parent easily. And once again, he cried out to the heavens. And, to his dismay, he was once more left without answer. Once more denied the comforting embrace, this time of this father. And the Boy experienced a saddness that cannot be described, only felt. And the Boy thought that perhaps the Sun and the Moon did not love him any longer.
But that is not the truth of the story.
Once upon a time,
the Moon and the Sun were one. And from that, the Boy was born. And for a time, the Boy and the Moon and the Sun were together, and they were happy. But, inevitably, it came time for the Sun and the Moon to take their places in the sky. And they bid the Boy farewell, telling him they would watch him, and that they would always love him. And so the Boy was sent to the Earth, so that the Moon and the Sun could watch over him. And for a time, things were good. Not as good as they had been when the family had been together, but tolerable. The Boy would see his father during the day, and his mother at night. But soon the lonliness began to swell within the Boy. And the Moon and the Sun looked down and heard him crying out for them and they were saddened.
So once upon a time, while the Boy was moping with head downcast, the Moon began to appear in the day sky, to conferr with her husband. And they found that they had missed each other dearly, so their visits did not cease after the trouble had passed. But that is another story. They spoke and wondered and felt keenly their son's pain, for they missed him as much as he missed them. And so the Moon and the Sun spoke to Time and to Dream.
Once upon a time,
there was a girl. And the girl was lonely and without companions. This too happened after Time had begun, for it was upon a time. But only barely.
Time and Dream met and found each other pleasing. And from their union was born the Girl, who was prophecy and mystery. And with the arrival of their progeny, Time began and Dream created.
So once upon a time, the Girl knew she could never feel again the embrace of her parents. But she dreamed each night, falling into her mother's arms. And she moved at all times through the substance of her father. And she was happy enough. But dreams and grains of sand can only be companions for so long.
So once upon a time, the Sun and the Moon were worried for their Boy, who was born of the two great lights in the sky. He was knowledge and curiousity. Just as the Girl, born of invisible forces, was all things concealed, so too was the Boy, born of forces illuminating, all things revealed. And the Sun and the Moon spoke to Time and to Dream.
So once upon a time, the four of them decided that perhaps their children should meet, so as not to be lonely any more.
So once upon a Time, buoyed up and carried by a Dream, the Girl found herself on Earth, opposite a crying Boy.
Once upon a time, the Girl asked "Why are you crying?" And the Boy stopped crying. "I was crying because I was afraid that my mother and father do not love me any more. They watch over me, but they cannot speak to me, nor comfort me in their arms when I am frightened or lonely."
Once upon a time, the Girl comforted him, saying: "Do not be sad, Boy. I too have been left by my parents. Like yours, they still love me, but they cannot touch me. But I know that our parents love us, still." And the Boy, once upon a time, asked how the Girl could know this.
"Because your mother and father saw that you were lonely and my mother and father saw that I was lonely. So the four of them sent me to you, that we might both find an end to our loneliness," she said, once upon a time.
And so it was.