Monsieur Cotillier had not always been
the remarkable person of fable.
He was once just a child
By the name of Armand
who slept on the hay in a stable.
And little Armand woke up every morning
to care for the cows and the hens.
He’d work through the day,
then lay down and pray,
and sleep to start over again.
A less magical life can scarce be imagined.
Armand knew that this was his lot.
Until one day there came
a traveling market
and everything changed on the spot.
For after the milking and feeding was done,
Young Armand snuck off to the fair.
He saw trinkets and baubles
straight out of his dreams,
enchantment hung thick in the air.
A two headed-lizard spoke sonnets of love,
Cards built themselves up into towers.
And out of a wagon,
a wizened old woman
sold beautiful crystallized flowers.
Such blossoms have never been seen on this earth
They delighted and dazzled the boy.
Each perfect cut bloom
so vivid and sharp
filled Armand with ineffable joy.
The woman looked up and noticed the child
admiring all of her wares.
“Long have I waited
for you, my dear boy.”
Armand could do nothing but stare.
She reached into her shawl and pulled out a chain.
A pocketwatch hung from one end.
“This is for you, child.
Now open it up,
It’s time for your tale to begin.
Time and Fate are two faces of the very same coin
Together they bend and are bent.
So why should a watch
tell only the Time,
but not Fate, to a certain extent?”
Wide-eyed, Armand took and opened the watch,
and stared into a face without hands,
but he heard a small voice
that spoke right in his ear
and revealed a bit of Future’s plans.
“You will travel, Armand, you will see wondrous things.
You’ll face danger, betrayal, and fear.
You’ll know love ever-true
but it is not for you
to spend life with the one you hold dear.
And much like this bazaar, from your travels afar,
you’ll collect many wonders exquisite.
People will come to you
for a glimpse of true magic.
Only once in their lives can they visit.
So go, dear sweet boy, and don’t lose the joy
you hold in your heart like a flame.
You are destined for greatness,
But never forget
the humble start from whence you came.”
When Armand looked up from the watch’s blank face
A shiver ran all down his spine,
for the market was gone
and no sound could be heard
but the whistle of wind in the pines.