The Love of Basil
Once upon a time there was a king who lived in the middle of an enormous forest populated with a lot of wild animals and other dangerous creatures. He had to defend his kingdom and engaged a great army. His soldiers were very proud to serve the king, and the king took his pride of them. The soldiers all had to be tall, athletic and light haired. The positions as soldiers were considered very attractive, and a lot of young men from all around the world sought to join the king’s army. To reach the kingdom the candidates had to cross the surrounding forest. This was a journey of three days and three nights by horse – if you made no breaks. Everybody was told in no way to make any stops, a lot of young men had disappeared during this dangerous crossing. One day a young man called Kalya decided to join the proud army, and started the crossing of the dark forest. He had his beloved horse with him, and told his frightened mother to relax. ” I will not have problems, you know me. I am strong and courageous.” His mother followed him to the border of the forest and saw him, with tears in her eyes, disappear between the tall and dark trees. He had ridden two days and two nights when suddenly a delicious smell caught his nose. Surprised he stopped his horse and sat as mesmerized in his saddle. “I have never smelled anything like this”, he whispered to his horse, “what a wonderful smell, and what a song.” He heard soft sounds that slowly grew louder and louder, and he sensed the heavenly tones were asking him to come closer. He couldn’t resist and all the warnings he had received about not stopping disappeared as the delicious smell and the beautiful song grew stronger and stronger. He rode for a long time, drove his horse harder and harder till suddenly it threw him out of the saddle. The horse stopped for a short second and with frightening eyes turned around and disappeared. Kalya didn’t care – now he saw her. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. “Come, my strange friend, I will help you”, she said. She took his hand and led him to a sunny opening with a small cottage. “This is my home.” She smiled and stroke the leaves of one of the many basil plants that grew everywhere around her humble cottage. ” You must be hungry. Come let me feed you.” Inside the cottage was a large pot filled with soup. Kalya was intoxicated with the smell and of the woman. They ate and made love, ate and made love – this went on for days and nights until the pot was completely empty. ” I now feed you the last spoonful”, she said. He opened his mouth and gazed deeply into the woman’s green eyes and saw her transform into a great green plant. The smell overwhelmed him and he let it happen. She twined herself around him and placed them both in the empty pot. The sky grew dark, the rain fell heavy and filled the pot, which began its new cooking, and from the mist of the brew a beautiful green lady materialized and started chanting. Basil. Basil. Basil.