When morning came, the man tended again to the creature’s wounds, and brought sweet fruit to eat.
“Thank you, sir,” said the creature. “You’re a skilled healer.” The man smiled. “These are your instructions?”
“Yes,” said the man. “May I ask what are yours?”
“Forgotten?” asked the man. Truly, he has never met a creature such as this. “No wonder you are so downcast! You’ve forgotten your gift. How can a creature do what it was meant to if you’ve forgotten what that thing is?”
The creature could not answer. This was his plight.
The man helped the creature to its feet. Already, he was getting stronger. “Perhaps I can help you remember.”
When the creature stood, the man was in awe. “Even with your wounds, how majestically made you are!”
The creature watched the man circle him round and round, back and forth. “What do you see?” he asked.
“How unique,” said the man, deep in thought.
“Unique?” said the creature.
“Yes! I’ve seen many, many creatures, but none like you.”
“Oh,” said the creature. The man noticed how sad the creature had become, so he did the only thing he’d been doing since he arrived on this Earth. He continued with his work.
The man touched the creature’s sides. “You have the strength and majesty of a pegasus, but not its wings.” He ran to the creature’s face. “And you have the face and the eyes of a wild horse, but,” the man looked between the creature’s ears.
“You bear the horn of the narwhal!” The man remembered the light he saw the night before. “A horn that brings light, like a sword reflecting the light of the moon.”
“Indeed,” said the creature, his voice full of melancholy. “I am strange, aren’t I.”
“Strange? Oh, I’m not sure about that,” said the man, marvelling at this new discovery. “I wouldn’t call you strange.”
The creature lifted his eyes until they met the man’s. It was the first time he had seen eyes grow wide, filled with compassion.
“My, what a piercing gaze you have, friend,” said the man. Overwhelmed, he took a few steps back to get a better look at the creature. “Surely a creature such as yourself has a great power, if only we could remember it. But first…” the man tilted his head to one side slightly.
“What should I call you?”
“I don’t have a name,” said the creature.
“No, of course not, I haven’t given you one yet, silly,” said the man.
“Am I silly?” asked the creature?
The man thought about it. “I suppose you could be, but that’s not all you are. No, no. Silly won’t do. We’ll need to find a name much better suited for you than that.”
“Those who know me gave me a name about my appearance,” said the creature.
“I see,” said the man. “Goodness, if I did that, an elephant may well be called a long-nose!” he laughed.
“How would you like to be called? I’ll consider it.”
The creature thought a while. “I’m not sure,” he said finally. “A name suited for my purpose.”
The man smiled. “Well said, friend,” he said. “Say, would you like to walk with me?”
“Where are you going?”
“Wherever the path leads,” said the man. “I am to care for those who are sent to me.”
“I’ll follow,” said the creature, a little brighter than before. It warmed the man’s heart. They began on the path, walking slowly.
The sun warmed their skin and a breeze swept the creature’s silky mane behind him. The creature did not speak. Never before had he been able to share such a blissful silence with someone.