“I’ve been thinking,” a blond youth commented.
“You know that’s a dangerous past time,” his teacher replied with a smile, “What’s on your mind, Jaris?”
“What makes something what it is?”
The older man’s brow crinkled and his wooly bear caterpillar eyebrows drew down to shade his dark eyes.
“I mean, sir, the old saying about a bell being just a cup until it is struck. But, that’s not entirely true. One could strike a cup in the same manner as one struck a bell but it’s still a cup. What makes the bell different, Marken?”
Marken stopped walking, his brow smoothed, and his eyes lost focus. Jaris waited while his teacher pondered his question. After several minutes of still silence, Marken began to move down the trail, only at a slower pace this time.
“Purpose,” he finally spoke to his pupil, “A thing’s purpose is what defines it. Take the statues around us.”
“What statues?” Jaris scanned the boulders they’d been passing.
“Look closer,” Marken paused in their journey.
Jaris circled several boulders before coming to one near Marken. Rounding the backside, Jaris made out the weather worn features of a face. Part of the cheek and nose were missing.
“I didn’t know these rocks used to be statues.”
“Exactly. They lost their purpose. Without that, they ceased to be statues and became rocks.”
Marken leaned against the rock head while Jaris pondered this. He knew his apprentice needed some time to think before he let the next question fly. Marken even had an idea as to what it would be. Too bad he didn’t have an answer.
“I know I’m the chosen of the gods. But what does that mean, Marken? What is my purpose?”