The black changed slowly to blue as the sleeping fox woke from a night of deep rest. Jason moved his hind legs under himself and rolled onto his belly. He knew it was time to begin again his long walk through the foothills. Still feeling a little full from the three birds his good fortune led him to last night, Jason yawned sluggishly and found the rising sun. He would follow the sun for four or five more days, he thought, before finding the river that grew narrower and more violent closer to the peak. The peak – how he longed to find his destiny there; how he longed to be home.

As the colors of the new day faded, as the light grew, the path became easier to follow. Others had walked the path before him. Many had turned back; some had continued. Jason was determined to continue to walk this day. The fears that plagued him yesterday were still fresh in his mind. He reminded himself that none of them had come to pass; the fears were merely flawed perceptions in his untrained mind. He willed the thought to float away on the passing breeze. He asked the breeze to help him to find stillness in his thoughts. He walked on.

Approaching an especially darkened and close area of the wood, he recalled his unmet thoughts of yesterday. It surprised him how raw and clear the memories of his dark fantasies still were. The red of the blood that flowed from his mouth tasted salty and very much alive. Yet the aftertaste of misery and death was sure to follow. The foreboding, it seemed, was worse than any actual reality might be. Fretting over a past that would never come to pass, willing his thoughts to change, yet, he was unable to do so.