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Stranger In The Forest

Dorothea was a lovely young lady who lived with her mother and father near a forest in the South of Louisiana. She lived in 1947 where there were no televisions and all they had was a well for their drinking water. Their cabin was surrounded by an Enchanted Forest. She was so lonely and would go to the woods to enjoy the beauty of nature that God had provided for her serenity. There she would read romance poems by Elizabeth Browning. She would pray there for Wisdom and for her Prince to come along. She was only 18 . It was a winter afternoon. As she was reading, she had a strange sense that someone was watching her. The forest began to darken for the sun was going down at dusk. As she was walking through the moss-covered tress she began to become frightened. She heard footsteps upon the dry branches. Someone was following her. She stopped, and then the strange noise would stop also. There was a louder crackling noise hidden by the trees. She began to imagine a bear or a wolf, or an animal that might harm her. A cold chill ran up and down her spine as the cold began to nip her nose. But, her curiosity began to arouse her. So she decided to walk closer to the noise and just peek around the trees to see what it was. Maybe it was just a harmless deer eating from a tree. She became closer to the noise. She saw a campfire crackling and burning and smelled the aroma of sweet meat cooking. There was a tent there too, but no-one was by the fire. "Maybe someone is in the tent", she thought. So she just stood behind a tree and gazed on. Then a very handsome man wearing a large hat approached the fire from behind some trees, and sat down on a log near the campfire and lit up a pipe. He had a black beard, blue sparkling eyes, and black wavy hair to his shoulders. As she began to run away, her dress caught upon a tree branch and cut her arm. It began to bleed just a little. She yelled out "Ouch!" as the cut struck her arm. The man said loudly "Who is there"? He peeked around the tree and his eyes lit up as he saw her beauty. Their eyes met spontaneously, and neither of them knew what to say or do next. He spoke first. He said "Hello there, are you hurt"? She said "Yes, but it's only a small wound. Never you mind, I am going home now." He quickly said, "What is your name"? She said "My name is Dorothea". He said, "My name is Pierre, and it's a pleasure to meet you. Please come and sit by the fire and let me take a look at the wound. I am a Southern Gentleman, Mam, and I am at your service." as he tipped his hat to her. She slowly approached. He patched up the wound for her as they sat and became acquainted. Soon she met him often in the woods. He said he was a seaman who was waiting for his ship to leave on a adventure in a few months. He said he had a mission to do in the meantime, but he did not specify the mission. He would come to the woods for the same reasons as she did, to relax and meditate. He was not a bum, but a hard-working man, she decided. Soon they were in love and met often. When their lips met for the first time, she thought she was in Paradise. At last she met her Prince. This love affair went on for several months, but they were so happy in the woods that neither one of them ever went outside their Enchanted Forest.

Dorothea had to go to the library one afternoon to compose an essay about the Battle of New Orleans and write about the pirates and the battle. As she looked up the information she saw him, her lover, her prince, the Pirate of Pierre Lafitte, her own Southern Gentleman. She thought that it must be her lover's grandfather. She decided to take the book to him and ask him if this was his grandfather as the resemblence was so amazingly similar. She ran to her enchanted forest where he always had a romantic fire burning. She ran to their special spot to meet him. He was sitting there by the fire. She approached him with the library book and the picture of the dead Pierre Lafitte. He had tears in his eyes as she appoached. She opened the book to the picture of the Pirate. He just gently took her into his arms and kissed her sweetly as he slowly melted from her arms into thin air. It seemed he was vanishing into the wood of the trees and into the colorful rays of the fallen sun, as he whispered into the wind, "I love you Dorothea. I will never forget you. Live on without me, my dear, for you will meet someone else in later years and have many children, but as for us, you and I will meet again someday in a Paradise beyond the Sun. My love will be there waiting for you. Goodbye, my eternal love," he said, as his tears began to fall into a midsummer's night's rain. The rainy drizzle wet her hair and her dress as she stood there pondering what had just happened. As she gazed at the lonely trees, her teardrops fell amongst the raindrops upon the fallen leaves that lay upon the dirt on the ground. As she turned her eyes upon the ground where the fire used to burn she saw it now, the headstone that was there instead of a tent. The name on the gravestone beneath her feet said, "Pierre Lafitte", on her beloved Pierre's grave.

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