“How did you see me?” Lynn asked. “No one has noticed me all day.”
“Well, I’m used to looking for little things – mostly shiny things like shillings that drop from heavy pockets. Besides, no one really sees anyone in those busy market streets. Out here, away from the bustle, it’s much easier to breathe and think and move… and gaze upon the Great Castle, which I’d venture to guess is what you were doing.” He glanced down at her and flashed a lop-sided smile. Rusty-colored ringlets bounced around his freckled face, and his endearing grin caused the corners of his eyes to crinkle and two dimples to crease his cheeks. All the abundance of life overflowed from his countenance and the fairy was irresistibly drawn to him, longing to know the mystery of his joy. Yet for all his boyish charm and his spirit of uninhibited child-like purity, there was a certain ancient wisdom, a deeper understanding of Truth, behind his eyes that sparkled silvery grey.
“Yes, looking and wondering about the man inside…”
“Aye, the Great King. Do you intend to see him?”
“Of course, that is why I am here! I have come very far in order to speak with him. I must: he is the only one who can help me… if he will.”
“I’ve met the King,” the lad replied wistfully. “He healed me and he gave me the gift of music and inspiration, and now I travel around the kingdom and play music for his pleasure and for the hope of those I meet. Yes, he can help anyone, and he will - this I know most assuredly… And if you want to get to him sooner, I would be glad to take you to him myself.”
“Oh, would you? That would be wonderful! Thank you!” Lynn felt such relief that she nearly wept with joy.
“You’re welcome. My name’s Trust, but most people around here call me Rusty. Now then, I’ll give you my scarf as a blanket for tonight. It’s not much, but it will be sufficient for this evening, and at the first light-”
“You mean we must wait until morning!” Lynn cried.
“I’m afraid so, but the night won’t last forever, and I shall play you a lullaby to help you sleep soundly. Rest easy and listen to my song…”
As Rusty spoke in gentle and soothing tones, he leaned back against the wall of the shop, and drew a small silver instrument from his pocket and put it to his lips. A soft, humming tune warmed the evening air around them and stirred indescribable hope in the fairy’s heart.
“What is that?” she asked, snuggling into the folds of the worn blue scarf given to her. “It’s splendid, but is like nothing I’ve ever seen or heard before.”
“That’s because it is a special gift from the Great King, perfectly designed by him for my use in expressing the things he has put in my heart. Sometimes I don’t even know what it all means, but that’s when I know beyond all doubt that it comes from him…” Rusty did not look at the fairy anymore, but up to the castle on the hill, then closed his own eyes and played a melody that seemed to flow from his heart as he simply breathed into the instrument. The fairy also closed her eyes and allowed the beauty of it to melt her fears and anxious thoughts, and she was soon fast asleep with a smile on her lips.