A Bridge to Forever

Long ago when the world was still young, there lived a ferret whose curiosity far surpassed that of his friends.

'Little Keet,' his friends oft told him, 'it is natural for ferrets to be curious, but not so curious as yourself. For to be too curious invites danger, and you may end up as a star in the skies before your time.'

But he paid them no heed, so irresistible was the urge to discover new sights. In the young world there was still much to see, and little Keet desired to see it all before he too became a star in the sky.

One day as he slept a strange voice came into his dream. 'Keet, you are the young ferret who wishes to seek, are you not?'

'Yes I most assuredly am,' he replied eagerly. 'For ferrets are driven to seek. And what higher purpose can there be to ferrets than to discover?'

'It is most pleasing to hear your reply,' the soft voice said, warm and potent. 'For truly there can be no higher purpose than to discover. But there can be no better purpose than to discover something completely new.'

'That is what I wish to do! That is all I wish to do. To probe the unknown regions of the world, to smell new scents and witness new beginnings.'

'And why? So that you may win an everlasting name for yourself? So your friends who laugh may look up in awe?'

'So I and others can be happy!'

'That is the correct answer. Now you must make a long journey across the world to find a marvellous bridge. This bridge will aid all ferret-kind and all later peoples. But it lies deeply hidden.'

'Then I shall accept the road that lies before me and I shall find the new bridge!' And then he awoke from his dreams.

'Friends,' he said. 'A dream has told me to search out a special bridge for all ferrets. Have you seen a bridge nearby?'

But his friends laughed in response. 'Keet, your dreams have deceived you as surely as your curiosity is boundless. To search for this special bridge is a fool's errand. You had best return to simpler things.'

But Keet was not to be persuaded. He set out, leaving all his friends behind, and he wandered the world.

After many risings of the sun he first came to the land of Mafouras, where the boundless forest grows.

'Have you seen a special bridge nearby?' he asked the ferrets of that land, but like the friends of home they merely laughed.

'There is no special bridge hereabouts, young ferret,' they said. 'You search for something that does not exist.'

'But do not things only exist once found?' he asked, and to his wisdom they found no reply. And he no bridge. That night he looked to the heavens and noticed one or two stars that were not there before.

After many moons he came to the land of Alzandia, where the endless green fields roll far beyond the horizon.

'Do you happen to have seen a special bridge?' he asked the ferrets who dwelt in those green plains.

'No,' they replied. 'Why do you ask such an odd question?'

'Because it is what I seek. A dream told me I must do so.'

Some laughed while others showed polite curiosity. 'Surely you do not expect to follow a dream to a bridge?'

'Yes, for it is the highest purpose of a ferret to discover. There is nothing more befitting to us.' Then finding nothing but disbelief, he left. That night he noticed several new stars in the sky.

After many seasons he came to the rugged land of Ariga, where a young forest rolled from the hills and the sunshine-dappled land was pleasant all year round.

'Is there a special bridge hereabouts?' he asked the ferrets who lived in that place of pleasant sunshine.

'No, but won't you come and play for a while?'

'No, for I must continue to find the bridge that the dream told me of.'

'Why is that?' they asked, their curiosity piqued.

'For there is no better purpose for a ferret than to discover something new, especially something that may benefit all ferrets and all peoples henceforth.'

'But is there no more fun purpose than to play?'

And Keet found that he had to agree with them. And there he discovered they joy of relaxation. But discovering no bridge, he moved on. That night he saw many stars that had not been there before.

After many more seasons he came to Acharn, where the fertile land runs flat and plants grow freely with little need for tenders.

'Perchance, is there a special bridge in these parts?' he asked those who lived in the verdant wilds.

'A bridge? What is a bridge?' the asked in their ignorance.

'I do not know. But a dream told me to find it.'

'Then if you do not know what it looks like, how can you know where it is?'

'I cannot. But at least I know what it does not look like,' he replied.

'But what if it is just a dream like the one that told you?'

'Then I run a fools errand for something that is not real,' he said and his heart grew heavy. And in that bountiful land the seeds of doubt were sown.

With the joy of discovery waning like the many, many moons he had seen on his journey, he left. That night he looked to the sky, and he found it to be twinkling with many colourful stars.

After many wearying years he came to the land of Minhera, an island girt all around by the deep green sea.

'There must be a special bridge here,' he said to the ferrets who dwelt amongst the salty air, 'for I have looked in all other places and found naught. Where might it be in these lands?'

But the island ferrets shook their heads and told the old ferret that no such thing existed in their midst. 'If you have looked in all other places, then perhaps that which you seek is not real,' they said truthfully. And nourished by the salty air, the seeds of doubt in his once-strong heart blossomed into dark-petaled despair.

'You must be right, and I a fool for searching all over for a dream of a dream. For I have found nothing but many ferrets and different ways of thinking. I have seen places no other ferret has ever laid eyes on. But I am yet to discover the reason for my journey.'

'Then perhaps it is best to return home, for there you may find something overlooked.'

And he left the island of Minhera. That night he looked to the sky, and his eyes drowned in the sea of stars.

After many trials Keet at last came home. There in that peaceful land he found that of all his friends had become stars, and not one of the ferrets he recognised.

'You are old Keet who set out to discover a special bridge, aren't you?' the young kits of his home asked.


'And where is this bridge?' they asked through their cruel, mocking laughter.

'It was nowhere to be found. Now my journey is over, and my life as well.'

Then he lay down in the land where he had once lived so carefree, but now his heart and soul were burdened by the dark-barked tree which the flower had become, sending its icy roots through his being.

That night he looked into the sky to see his own star shining dimly amongst all the others.

'You have searched many long years, and yet you still have not found the bridge?' the dream said to him.

'I have failed. For I have looked everywhere and discovered much. But I have not discovered the bridge of which you spoke when my fur was not greying with age and my limbs bereft of strength.'

'There is one place you have yet to look, dear Keet,' the dream said.

And so Keet looked, and it was there in his heart, beneath the shade of the tree that he saw it. It shimmered with the blueness of the Mafouran sky, the red of Alzandia's sunsets, the yellow of Ariga's beautiful sunshine, the rich loamy oranges of Acharn, and the deep greens of Minhera's waters. And the many colours were bound by the shades of Feregana's ferrets; from night-black to snow-white and every silver and sable in between.

'Because you have discovered what no one else has before seen, those of the world do not have to become cold stars any longer. Now they may journey across the Rainbow Bridge together to eternal happiness.'

Then Keet journeyed across the special bridge to where no one else had yet laid eyes or curious nose. And he realised that the bridge had been with him all along.

On that last night he looked up into the starry heavens, and he saw a bright, twinkling future.