Young Boy Good lived on top of a mountain surrounded by sea. He looked to the dark valley below but was afraid to go down there. The rocks were craggy and slippery, the ravines deep dangerous hiding places for thieves, and poisonous snakes lurked in the grass ready to strike.
There was a track by Boy's home. It went steeply up hill then disappeared around the mountain summit. Every day he looked out and wondered where the track led and what was on the other side of the mountain. 'That's the only place I want to be' he decided. 'I hate it here! One day when I'm older I will follow the track over the mountain, down to the sea and sail away to a beautiful land'. For years he stayed on the mountain dreaming of the future and the good times that lay ahead.
Then one spring day, he ventured outside his door and saw a beautiful litle girl herding sheep. She smiled and called him to join her. Not only did she have a pretty smile, but she was also very clever. She began to show him rare and colourful flowers nestling between the grasses; tiny purple iris, orchids, anemones and golden daisies. She explained that some plants had special powers that could be used to heal human aflictions. The boy was entranced, forgot about the snakes, and wanted to learn more and more.
After that day, they met together often. She held his hand and together they clambered down the treacherous mountain to the valley below. When he was there it didn't seem so dark and the children of the thieves welcomed them into their games and didn't seem so bad afterall.
Did our boy ever sail away to his beautiful dream land, you may be wondering? Well, yes he did. Eventually he and his shepherdess went over the sea to study in another country. He became a doctor, and she a teacher. They married and happily returned to the mountain surrounded by sea where they heal and teach the valley folk to this day.
Dr Good often ponders what a young FOOL he was to waste so much of his childhood. Mrs Good continues to teach her pupils well; 'instead of just waiting for Good times, it's always best to begin practicing for them today'.
This painting is also featured in the Artist Challenge Gallery.