Once upon a time there were two children: a brother and a sister. The children’s parents were professors, very eccentric professors, and so they had given their children unusual names. The little boy was called Yasse and the little girl was called Yrots. Yasse was their golden boy.
“You’re very clever, Yasse,” his mother said.
“I love the way that you have so much knowledge,” his father said.
“Don’t you just adore the way he makes references to what clever people said in the past?” Yasse’s mother smiled at her son and stroked his golden hair. “How can he know so much at such a young age?”
“I like to find facts and be rational,” Yasse said with a grin. “I am in pursuit of the truth.”
“That is a just and noble cause,” his father said.
Yrots brushed away a tear that had escaped from her eye and was trickling down her face. “I’m going for a walk in the woods,” she said, as she slipped away. Her parents barely noticed that she had gone.
After walking for about twenty minutes, Yrots came to her favourite glen in the woods. It was an open space set within a circle of trees. The sunlight slanted down through the branches; shadows played on the ground as the gentle breeze ruffled the leaves. Yrots sat down on the ground, closed her eyes and waited. When Yrots opened her eyes again a few minutes later she found herself surrounded by woodland creatures. There were squirrels and birds and beavers. There were foxes and rabbits and voles. Although some of these creatures might normally hurt each other, when Yrots came to visit them, they would gather together in peace. Because whatever worries or fears or troubles each creature brought to the clearing, their time spent with Yrots was sacred to them.
“Tell us a story, Yrots,” the creatures cried. “Tell us a story!”
And so Yrots did. For although her brother Yasse was very clever and knowledgeable, it was Yrots who had magic powers. Although her brother was in noble pursuit of the truth, it was Yrots who the others really wanted to hear. It was Yrots who could spin a yarn, tell a tale and weave a web with her words. And in so doing, transport her woodland friends to another place and time, where all their troubles fell away and everything finally seemed to make sense.
“Once upon a time …” she began.