Three Loathsome Gifts: An INFJ Fairy Tale
This fairy tale is inspired by the rare and wonderful INFJ.
The INFJ is often called The Counselor. They are deep, complex individuals and spend their lives searching for meaning and personal growth. Extremely intuitive, they are able to see through people and understand secrets and motivations.
INFJs hold back part of themselves and can be difficult to understand. However, they do care deeply for other people. Even though they are warm and gentle, they have very high expectations both of themselves and others. They do not suffer fools, gladly.
To learn more about INFJ: http://www.truity.com/personality-type/infj
In a far away kingdom, a long time ago, thick forests covered most of the land. Lonely paths led through the trees and linked the towns and villages. Most of the people lived clustered together and never ventured into the dark forest. Occasionally, a child was born with a rare and wandering soul. These children seemed touched with madness or magic. When they grew old enough, they left their homes and set off through the trees to find answers to questions that they could not name.
One such woman, with fervid eyes and twig-tangled hair, wandered from place to place. She climbed hills and listened to the lonely wind. She delved into deep caves and tasted water that had never been lit by the sun. She peered into the eyes of infants and crones. Everything she learned led to new questions so she traveled on, with only her yearning self for company.
When the yearning turned to loneliness, the wandering woman stopped in a village to befriend the people. The villagers who opened their homes and their lives found a loyal and loving friend. But others questioned her with malice, laughed at her oddities, and even mocked her quest. Did she know that birds had nested in her hair? Had she found the mysterious something? What name did she call the nameless? They traded glances as they elbowed each other and grinned.
She stared past the smiles. She pierced their hearts with her fierce eyes and the laughter turned to longing or dread. The words she spoke brought healing or pain. People wondered at the magic that allowed her to see into their minds. One man, particularly fascinated, followed her through the streets. He hid and watched as the villagers revealed their deepest secrets and asked the wise woman for counsel. His heart swelled with envy. He wanted her power over the minds of the people. He wanted her magic for himself.
The man, a wealthy merchant, hurried to his shop and gathered up money and jewels. The woman soon left the village and set off alone, through the trees. The rich man followed her and called out for her to stop. She glanced over her shoulder at the man who dogged her footsteps,
“What do you want?” she asked. Her steady gaze unnerved the man but he caught up and plunged his hand into a moneybag.
“I offer you silver and gold,” he answered, clutching a handful of coins. “A gift.”
The woman raised her eyebrows and stared even more intensely. “And what is it that you would buy?”
“I want the secret of your power. How is it that you know what people are thinking?” He tried to push the coins into her hands. She smiled, and turned away. The man gasped. The silver and gold had disappeared and he clutched only earth and fat white worms. He threw them down in disgust and hurried after the woman, once again.
“Lady, you are powerful, indeed. Let me help you use your magic to rule over the whole kingdom.” He clutched at her robe and presented a beautiful gold and diamond ring. “I could make you a queen.”
“And with you by my side, as king, I suppose.” The wandering woman smiled and the diamond lost its sparkle and became a tiny lump of coal. The shiny gold turned brassy and dull.
The man’s eyes widened. He shook his head, tossed away the ring, then rushed to throw himself at the feet of the woman. He knelt down, tore open his shirt with a flourish and forced a tear from his eye.
“Alas, it is no good. You have guessed my secret. It is you that I love and I offer you my hand and my heart,” he cried, thumping his fist against his hairy chest.
The wise and wandering woman laughed. “You have offered three gifts. You tried to buy my hard-won wisdom with your gold made of dirt and corruption. You offered worthless coal and fool’s gold in trade for my power.” She paused and gazed at the man who plastered a lovelorn expression upon his face.
“But my heart is overflowing with desire. Consider my poor heart!” He wiped away a tear.
“Your heart is riddled with holes. It has been consumed by greed for power and gold. Your heart is the most loathsome gift of all.”
The wretched man jumped up, snatched up his sack full of dregs and scraps, and stomped back to the village.
Birds sang in the trees and sunshine swept away the foul aura of the foolish man. The wandering woman sighed then smiled. She lifted her face to the dove grey sky and set foot upon the moss and wildflowers beneath the overhanging trees. The path dwindled and grew faint but the wandering woman never faltered as she followed her quest among the tangled branches of the lonely forest.