Nothing personal, Cyberspace, but here is a wild shot in the dark …
Many people have past experiences which haunt them, hazy memories that hover just out of sight like a dream you can’t quite remember. If only you could draw them out into the light of day and give them a good hard look, find out what they really mean to you …
When I was a young child I read a story – whether short story, novella or novel I can’t recall – which affected me deeply. I would dearly love to find it again. Trouble is, I can’t remember much about it, other than the way it seemed to stir something deep inside me.
Anyway, here’s what I remember, in case it rings a bell with someone.
The main characters were two very contrasting creatures who go on a voyage across water – sea or river or perhaps both. At one point they sail up an inlet or estuary. They set out with a purpose or quest of some kind and have experiences from which they learn important, perhaps gently philosophical lessons. The creatures – two, I’m sure, though there may have been others – were an unlikely pairing. I’ve always thought crab and bear, for some reason, but this may be a later memory overlay. The difference between the creatures was as striking and peculiar as that, though.
Other than that, well, this image fragment – an illustration, perhaps, or more likely an inner visualisation – the boat arriving at a wooden quay or pier, lights twinkling in a village … and that’s it. Not much to go on, is it? It sounds like a children’s story but there was probably a more grown-up dimension, too, some quasi-religious or ethical message within a kind of myth or fable. I remember thinking how beautiful the story was and being moved by the creatures’ thoughts and feelings, perhaps by their unlikely friendship.
So can anybody help me find it? I’ve tried libraries, bookshops, the internet … all to no avail. Please feel free to pass this on, reblog, whatever. Being reunited with my uber-story would mean a lot to me.
And your reward?
Well, as the bishop says to the actress, what could be better than the satisfaction of knowing you have made an old man very happy?
I’d also love to know if you have something like this in the dusty attic of your mind – if you’ll forgive the metaphor! Who knows … perhaps I, or one of my readers, may be able to help you find it?