Once there was a small valley, nestled deep within the craggy mountains, and within it was a small village of farmers. For years they and their fields had received water bountifully from a large spring that gushed from beneath a granite outcrop. For three years now, however, the flow lessened and lessened until there was barely enough to sustain their lives.
The village elders and its holy man spent long hours pondering the cause of their dessication and speculated on cures for the situation.
One morning, at nearly midsummer, the holy man called the elders together. “The gods have sent me a dream,” he announced. “I have seen a cave deep under the mountains, and in that cave a lake; the lake from which our spring flows.” He continued: “A mighty dragon has taken up residence in the cave, and drinks deeply of the water to cool the heat of his breath. He is drying up the lake.”
“So that is why our valley is sere,” said an elder, “What is to be done?”
“A sacrifice may sate the dragon,” said the holy man, “but I do not know what the sacrifice should be.”
“Something valuable, something we desire more than anything,” said the eldest of the elders, “Only such a sacrifice could help.”
And the elders sat quietly for the greater part of the day, searching their minds for what it was they most desired, most valued.
As the sun passed its zenith, blazing down on the valley, one elder spoke up: “A woman! That is what I most desire!”
Another said “Yes, of course, and a young woman, to be sure!”
“And beautiful!” added yet another.
“And a virgin as well!” offered the last elder, and they all agreed what they most desired was a beautiful, young, virgin woman.
“A fitting sacrifice,” said the holy man. “Let us search the village for such an offering.”
They searched their village, visiting every house, until they found what they sought. At the home of a poor couple, eking their existence from a few dry hectares of rocky land, they found her. At barely eighteen years of age, she was, indeed, as young as a female could be and yet be a woman. The holy man faced her and opened his cloak. She looked in puzzlement at that which hung limply between his thighs: she was, indeed, a virgin. Her face was fair and radiant, her skin pure white, her hair flowed in jet black tresses down to her waist, and her lips were as red and soft as a newly-bloomed rose: she was, indeed, beautiful.
And so she was selected to serve as sacrifice, to be offered to the dragon to slake his thirst and thus save her village. And as for the maiden, no one asked her, but she accepted her fate, sadly yet willingly, for the sake of the others.
As the sun began to set, the holy man and the elders led her to the limits of the forest, to where it met the rocky feet of the mountains, and stripped off her garments, tying her naked to a tree, exposing her to the rocks and caves so the dragon could not fail to see her. They said not a word as they abandoned her there, nor did she speak as she awaited her fate.
As darkness fell, she struggled to remain awake, but failed. Her eyes opened to the bright warmth of the morning sun, and she wondered why the dragon had not come for her. She waited, all through the day and yet another night, and still no dragon. She cried out for him to come: she was hungry and pained, and sought her sacrifice as a release from her bonds. And still no dragon. Yet another day passed with only her increasing hunger and pain, and now her thirst was driving her to the edge of consciousness.
As the next morning dawned she could barely open her eyes and could barely think coherently, but she sensed something approaching. “The dragon,” she cried out in the depths of her mind, “at last I will be free of my suffering.” But it was no dragon.
A scholar lived in these woods and mountains. He was neither young nor old, but in the middle of his maturity, and he had taken to the wilds of the earth some five years earlier. Dissatisfied with the scholastic answers found in the universities, he sought knowledge and understanding through experience, and so spent his days wandering the forest and crags, observing the world and testing his speculations about the nature of things. This morning his wanderings through the night brought him to the forest’s edge and to this bound young woman.
“Girl!” he said sharply, “What are you here for?”
The sound of his voice, of his calling her, aroused her to greater consciousness, and, thinking him the dragon, she attempted to say: “To be yours, for whatever you wish of me.” Her parched throat, however, could only shape the words; no sound came from her mouth.
The scholar saw that dryness kept her from speech and that it also brought her close to death. He brought his goatskin to her lips, and poured a few drops into her mouth. She struggled to swallow, and then he poured a few drops more. And so it went, a few drops of water at a time, until she regained her full consciousness and her power of speech was restored.
He seems no dragon, she thought, but a man. She said naught, however, fearing that if he were a dragon, he might take offense at her not seeing him as such. But she did see him looking on her.
She was still naked, her body stretched by her arms tied high above to the tree and soiled from her bondage. But still he saw her beauty, her fine and fair face with its red lips, her full breasts, her nipples and areolae rosy-pink, her young hips, not much wider yet than her waist, and beneath them her pubis, with but a handful of silky pale hairs laying on its mons. He caught himself up; he was a scholar and should look that way on no woman.
He saw her reluctance, explained who he was, and asked how she came to this predicament.
Knowing now that he considered himself a man and not a dragon, she spoke to him, explaining the sacrifice that she was to be.
The scholar grumbled in consternation at such cruel superstition. “There is no dragon!” he exclaimed to her. “I have studied the mountains, and it is the snow that melts in its season and soaks into the ground that then emerges at the spring. The snow has been scant these past three years, and that is why your valley is dry.”
He drew out his knife and cut her bonds. She fell free from the tree and he helped her to her feet, covering her nakedness with his cloak. “Girl!” he said again, “You are free. Go where you will.” And he left her with his cloak as he proceeded on towards his simple abode.
He observed as he walked through the forest, either watching, listening, touching, smelling, or tasting all that was novel to him and interpreting his sensual reactions to gain a greater understanding of the things of the woods. As he was nearly half the way home he heard a twig snap behind him. He spun quickly to find what approached, and was surprised to see the young woman trailing him by about fifty paces, obviously and quietly following him.
“Girl!” he shouted angrily, and his ire blinded him to the sparkle in her eyes and shudder of her body at his cry. She demurely lowered her gaze as he continued: “I told you to go where you will! Now go!”
He resumed his path, turning now and again to see where she was. She remained where he had seen her, and, when he was out of sight of the place, he stopped looking for her.
His home was a few steps away now. He had made himself a rude lean-to, a shelter of boughs and saplings under the protective branches of a hazel tree. A small pool was nearby, fed by artesian water, and deep enough to reach his waist. The spring, with its pool and stream, provided him water enough for drinking and bathing, and harbored a variety of fish that often added to his nourishment. As he laid his goatskin and rucksack beside his bed of logs and spruce boughs he heard a soft rustling.
There she was again! Right behind him! She had followed him after all! Angrily he broke a wand, long and green, from the hazel, and seized her by the wrists, grasping her two thin limbs with one hand. He threw her, face first, against the hazel, stretching her arms up the trunk as she had been bound earlier. His cloak fell from her shoulders, leaving her naked again as he held her there and sharply applied the switch to her bare buttocks. The green stick bent and recoiled with his strikes, stinging her and bringing tears to her eyes. Her sobs assuaged his anger, and he found himself gazing on her again, transfixed by the myriad welts of his lashing swelling blood red on the whiteness of her skin as his loins tensed as they never had before.
He caught himself again, and averted his gaze as he harshly shouted at her: “Girl! I said go where you will. If you don’t , I’ll return you to the tree and the bonds where I found you!”
Her body shuddered again, with the strange sort of pleasure and peace she had felt when he first called out to her, but again he did not see as he threw his cloak over her and turned away in an effort to avoid her beauty.
He turned back after a few moments, expecting to see her well on her way. Instead he found her lying curled on her side at the foot of his sylvan cot. He realized now that she had obeyed him: he had told her to go where she will, and with him was clearly where she willed to go. He left her there, ignoring her while he pondered what he should do.
She slept as he prepared his evening meal, but awoke to the aromas of a trout freshly cooked in wild herbs. The smell was familiar; her parents’ farm was poor, and they made many a meal from the bounty of nature. He knew she had not eaten for days and could see her hunger, and, though she asked not for food, he passed her half his fish, but neither spoke to her nor looked upon her. As the sun set behind the mountains, they were still silent, and as he retired to his cot for sleep she quietly curled up again on the mossy rocks at the foot of his bed.
He woke at sunrise, and found she had already started a fire and was infusing a tea from herbs she had gathered near his shelter in the early morning light. They both drank, wordlessly, and he produced a piece of rustic acorn bread for them to share. He observed her as they ate, and realized how soiled she had become from her trials. He motioned for her to follow as he went to the artesian pool for his morning ablutions.
He dropped his clothes by the side of the pool and walked slowly into the cold water. She followed, folding the cloak that he had given her and placing it neatly on the ground, and sat on a rock behind him, at the pool’s edge, her feet trailing in the water. As he stood there, about to bathe, she cupped her hands to scoop up the cool, fresh liquid and let it fall over his head. She tentatively repeated her actions, watching for his reaction, and, when she found he did not anger, she continued, tousling and rinsing his hair, and proceeding on down to his neck and shoulders, massaging and rinsing until his back had been completely cleansed. She then sat while he finished bathing himself, and, only after he left the pool, slipped into the water to cleanse herself of the earth and forest litter, and of her own wastes, that had soiled her during her trials.
Clean and refreshed, absolved of her sacrificial role, she returned the short distance to his home where she found him preparing to leave. “Girl;” he said, more softly than before but still demanding, “I am off to study the forest. You may go where you will, but do not follow me.” She nodded slightly with her eyes cast to the ground, and listened to his footsteps as he strode away. She knew he would return, and she knew also where she wished to be. While he wandered the forest that day, she turned her familiarity with the forest to service for him, gathering herbs and mushrooms, and freshening his bed with new, scented boughs.
And as for the scholar, he spent the day in his usual wanderings and observations, but now found his thoughts occasionally and unexpectedly disrupted by images of her. It disturbed him, but he put the thoughts and images of the young woman away from himself whenever they arose and felt the day still a successful study of nature. He did not take umbrage, either, when he arrived back at his shelter and found her still there and her handiwork in evidence.
They continued like this for some weeks, falling into a bit of a routine, but he found himself thinking of her more and more often as he roamed and studied. He extended his trips from daily excursions of travels of three or four days and even more in an effort to loosen her image from his mind. As Autumn began he left for a fortnight of mountain study.
Her image stayed with him, and the longer he stayed the sharper it became. Finally it overwhelmed him, and in his reverie of her he lost sight of his goal, and then suddenly realized he had lost an opportunity to observe one of the great cats that inhabited these mountains. He was instantly infuriated and started for home. The long hike back did not lessen his ire; instead, it increased in intensity with each day’s travel, and, as he arrived at the encampment, he was in a fury.
“Girl!” he shouted harshly, “Here! Now!” as he tore a switch from the hazel tree. She came, and he ripped off her cloak and caught her roughly by her hair. “How dare you!” he cried as he yanked her hair and threw her this way and that. “How dare you!” he shouted again as he caught sight of her buttocks and laid the switch across them. She flinched, and cried out “Sir” to him in quiet supplication, but still he brought it down again and again, harder and sharper. And again and again she implored “Sir” to no avail. The springing of the stick with his blows tore at her soft flesh, and the welts from the thrashing burst open and bled. The sight of the thin lines of blood and the sound of her cries and sobs aroused him. His member swelled with excitement, and he cursed her again, renewing his efforts with the switch.
Exhausted, his energy spent, he ceased, and his anger abated. But not his organ’s arousal. And as she lay sobbing, the young woman caught a glimpse of it and understood its relation to the yearning she felt deep in her loins. And her tears eased as she smiled to herself, pleased with his arousal for her and pleased also that his thoughts of her had been so strong, so persistent, as to raise his fury to such a level.
Her little joy was soon dashed, however, as he built a separate shelter for her, to lessen her effect on his mind. But still she served him, taking pleasure in what brief contacts she had with him, and the yearning between her thighs only grew stronger as she shuddered in excitement each time his voice called out to her. And so it went now, through Winter into Spring and on through the seasons and the year.
The first winter was still scant of snow, but the villagers no longer spoke of sacrifice: their first, so great, had yielded nothing. The elders abandoned the valley, and with them some of the younger families. When the second Winter saw mountains burdened by deep drifts, those who remained found their valley moist and fertile once again in Spring.
And so the scholar and the young woman continued through their second year, still almost the same. She served, hopeful and yearning, and added tasks, such as clothes-making and fishing, to her duties. He accepted her service, but now began to order her as well, to demand new tasks from her. “Girl!” he said to introduce each new task, and her belly trembled at the word. She now found herself observing the minutiae of the wilds and testing their qualities, and reporting all to him.
As Spring came in the third year, the scholar took himself again to the mountains. For many days he studied the melting snow, the plants whose growth it fostered, and the animals who depended upon it for their lives, recording all the details in his leather-bound notebook. On the last morning of this sojourn he awoke to a sight he had but almost seen: a great mountain cat. He watched, completely still, as it silently clambered amid the granite crags, and suddenly there were two cats! Another had joined the first, surprising it by springing out from behind a rock the first had already passed. The scholar watched transfixed as the two cats began a dance around each other. It dawned on him that this was their mating ritual, that the two were about to join. And he watched even more attentively.
The cats continued their tentative circlings for some time when the male suddenly took the female’s neck in his teeth and sprung upon her back, his forelegs grasping her sides. The scholar stared intently as the male positioned himself to penetrate, and then, with no warning, the girl’s image appeared before him. It startled him, this image so long absent from his meanderings, and he jumped. The cats, now startled themselves, dashed from his view, and again she had stolen from him an opportunity to observe that which few before him had. And as with the first time, he became enraged and sped off towards his abode.
The young woman was fully mature now. Her hips had widened, leaving her waist narrow above it. Her buttocks had rounded, her cheeks full with soft and smooth flesh. Her breasts had swelled, full and round, riding high and firm on her chest. She was even more beautiful than in her youth. And still she yearned for the scholar, for him to satisfy the desire between her thighs that had grown over the past years as surely as had her body.
She was sitting in a nearby clearing, a small opening in the forest canopy where the recent falling of a tree allowed the light of the sun to reach the forest floor, arranging her ebony tresses when he emerged from the woods in a fury.
“Girl!” he screamed at her, “How dare you do it yet again?” She was pleased to know that she had again filled his thoughts, but she was frightened as well, never having seen him this angered.
He grabbed her hair and dragged her to her feet as he shouted at her again, and then threw her to the ground.
“Girl! On your feet!” he commanded, but gave her no time to obey. Grasping a full hand of her hair he roughly drew her to her feet again and held her there as he tore the clothing from her. He dragged her naked body towards the fallen tree and threw her, face down, over the trunk.
As she lay there, her belly on the trunk and her feet barely grazing the ground, he took hold of a thick wand of hickory from the fallen tree. He paused a moment as he approached her, staring intently at her white buttocks, raised towards him and unprotected. Her vulnerability inflamed his passion as much as the disruption her image brought raised his anger. He felt the blood pulse to his organ as he lifted the hickory switch and brought it down hard on her white cheek. She flinched at the whistle of the wand as he whipped it through the air, but it did not prepare her for the sting. She cried out in pain, and tears came to her eyes with this first blow.
He struck again and again in his wild anger, and again he grew stiff with arousal as he struck, as he heard her cries and sobs, and as he watched the rising of the welts and the trickling of the deep red blood on her pale flesh. Soon his arousal overwhelmed his anger, and he ceased striking her, his eyes riveted to her vulva, glistening with moisture from her own excitement and arousal. Dropping his clothes as well as his hickory stick, he approached her as she lay helpless over the log, her sobs still resounding through the forest, and took hold of her by the hips.
His organ stood straight out from his body, stretched to its limit and moistened by his desire, and he brought it to the folds of her labia, pausing as his fluids joined hers. He held her firm as he pressed on her, forcing his erect penis between her labia, But no further. Her maidenhead was thick and resilient, and would not easily yield her pleasures. Provoked by desire, he pressed harder against her guardian; she winced at the pain but prayed that he would break through and sate her longing. Harder now, and her legs and belly were pressed tight against the rough bark of the fallen tree as his organ tested her hymen, and harder again until the maidenhead gave way, torn asunder by his lust, and his swollen member thrust suddenly and deeply into her vagina. He moaned with the pleasure of his entry, enveloped tightly by her virginal sheath, and she moaned as well, biting her lip against the pain of the tear while moaning in ecstasy at its mixture with the pleasure of this long-awaited entry. With heightened senses, she traced in her mind the scarlet course of her virginity as it flowed from her torn hymen and down her leg.
They moaned and sighed in unison as he drove himself back and forth inside her, As his tempo increased, they began to gasp in rapid, shallow breaths, beads of sweat forming on their backs, until he abruptly stopped and thrust himself as deeply into her as he could. He felt her sheath contract in waves rising up him from root to glans as his penis pulsed and erupted in jets of semen. And she felt the pulsing flow of the semen through his organ and felt his eruptions crash against the back of her vagina like storm waves against the rocks. He erupted again and again as her vagina spasmed and both their bodies shuddered and trembled until their orgasms ebbed and abated.
He slid his hands up her side, now, to her shoulders and lifted her up from the trunk to stand on her feet. With trembling steps and arm protectively and affectionately around her, he brought them to the pool to refresh and cleanse themselves in its cool waters. That night she slept in his shelter, on the moss beside his bed, and, during the night, his hand fell from the bed and brushed her cheek.
He spent the night in troubled sleep and arose in the morn knowing he must retreat to the woods and mountains to meditate. His mind was befuddled at his rage, his desires, his satisfactions, and he meant to clarify his understanding. He told her of his leaving, and she saw the confusion of remorse and pleasure in his eyes, and she understood his departure. And she stayed, awaiting his return and keeping their sylvan abode in repair.
After a fortnight he had still not resolved his confusion, still not reconciled his behaviour with his beliefs, and turned back towards his home. She had worried about him, gone for longer than ever before, and had resolved to begin to search for him at break of morn. As she prepared a light supper that night, he returned, silently taking a seat at the edge of the fire. He sat for a moment as she saw the perplexity in his eyes, and then attempted to speak.
She rose and placed her finger on his lips to silence him. She laid a fresh hazel wand in his hand, thin and supple, and then turned to kneel beside the fire. She leaned forward, her face to the ground, lifting her skirt to her waist, and he gazed at the softness of her flesh. He felt aroused, but not enraged, and he rose as he drew the smooth wood across his hand. And he understood that which she had always known.