Text and graphic design by Werner Schmidt | Photo by AndriyKo Podilnyk on Unsplash | The Story of the Half-Girl originally told by Michael Meade from Mosaic Voices (The Half-Boy Story)
In this blog article, join the Half-Girl for her hero’s journey, providing food for thought & feeling in the episodes to follow:
To enhance your leadership: Activate your wholeness | Accept constructive tension | Embrace the unknown, and more …
Once upon a time, in a village at the edge, a half-girl was born. At first, villagers lovingly passed her from hip to hip, cherished her, loved her. Said ‘oochy goochy goo’.
However, as she grew, she started screaming more and more. Perhaps she felt incomplete, perhaps nobody noticed her anymore. After more years of screaming and growing isolation, she decided to leave the village, never to return.
The Half-Girl waited, one night, for the smoke of dying late-night fires to fill the village streets. As the dogs and villagers slept soundly, Half-Girl hopped out of the village, crossed the village border for the first time, into the wide world. Full Moon ushered her into the forest, outside the village.
Hopping without stopping
she cut a brand new path through the forest, Full Moon guided her, shining intermittently through its leafy roof. Sweat broke from her brow, as she hopped non-stop. Owl hooted, Faraway Fox barked.
Just before day-break Half-Girl heard a majestic rumbling, which shook the earth as she bounded to her destiny. Birds announced daybreak as the sun flooded the eastern horizon like egg yolk, she reached a river bank, the water deep, coffee-coloured – she had found the source of the rumbling.
What was she to do? She had never seen such mighty water, couldn’t swim. Misty morning birds increased the drama. She pivoted around, looking for an answer, a sign, something. Then, along the river bank, she saw someone approaching from afar.
Naturally, she hopped closer to this person
They came within ‘eye-shot’ of each other, she saw that it was another half-girl. They hopped until they faced each other at arm’s length.
The half-girls started fighting! Screaming, hissing, biting, scratching. They fell into the dark river, still fighting, their intensity created a heated vortex, steam rose from the water. Deeper they went, then they disappeared beneath the surface, the river returned to its rumbling, coffee-coloured majesty. Birdsong and the breeze through trees became the only musicians in the forest’s soundtrack.
The birds, river and breeze seemed to increase in volume as the eerie absence of the half-girls lingered.
Just before the volume reached some peak,
from the depths of the dark, coffee-coloured river, came bursting forth a dripping, wet, confused …
whole girl. She stood on the riverbank, on two feet, for the first time. Half-remembered a moonlit forest path, and put one foot in front of the other – another first for her – followed by her first jog and then she broke into her first run!
She ran throughout the day, sweat streamed, wind rushed through her hair. Moments before sunset, she reached an old, bearded man, sitting on the stump of a cut-down tree.
“Please help me?” the girl said as she stopped.
“What do you need?” the old man replied.
“I want to know where I am.”
“You’re right back where you started. Ever since you left, everybody stopped dancing, stopped singing, stopped feasting …”
The whole girl frowned, tears cut lines down her cheeks.
“Let us take hands and walk to the village square,” said the old man. “About time I put both feet inside the village borders – it’s been a while.”
She took his hand, he stood up, they started walking.
By the time they reached the village square, the entire village, young and old, including dogs, cats, goats and chickens, stood behind them – rubbernecking. Fires, drums, musicians started. They danced, feasted, sang deep into the night. A few minutes before the feast’s end, a few villagers were dancing around the Whole Girl.
From behind the tall trees, a half-boy watched, planning his escape,
never to return to that wretched village …