The Púca

There once was a man.
He sat alone in the dark.
Terribly lonely.

Out of the darkness
There appeared emerald eyes,
Eyes that watched the man.

The man gave a sigh,
Wishing for good company.
The eyes moved forward.

Suddenly gasping,
The man turned toward the eyes,
But there was nothing.

Overcoming fear,
The man called into darkness,
But he was alone.

“Where is my true love?”
The thought always on his mind.
“Why am I alone?”

The eyes reappeared
And watched the man cautiously.
A body took form.

The shape of a horse,
With glowing, mystical eyes.
It was a púca.

Revealing itself,
And standing before the man,
The púca waited.

The man turned and looked.
His eyes widened, and he gasped.
What a sight this was!

Its body glistened,
Moonlight upon black horse-hair.
Its muscles rippled.

Then the púca spoke.
“Why do you sigh, lonely man?”
The púca asked him.

“Because I’m lonely,
I have so much love to give,
But there’s no-one here.”

“Then give it to me,
And I will be your true love.
We’ll love each other.”

“But you’re a púca.
How could we love each other?
You’ll just betray me.”

The púca looked sad.
“You must learn to trust others.
Take a risk, or else!”

“Or what?” asked the man.
“You will never find your love,”
The púca warned him.

“But I am afraid.
What if you take advantage?
What if we break up?”

“What will be the point
If I go and break your heart?
Too much misery!”

“But if you don’t try,
You will never find your love.
You will lose your chance.”

“Is it better, then,
To play it safe, missing out,
Or to take a chance?”

The lonely man sighed.
“I do hate being lonely,”
He had to admit.

“What’s the worst outcome,”
The púca challenged the man,
“You’re likely to see?”

“Wasted time,” he said,
“And manipulative words
That rob and degrade.”

“Such a pessimist!
What his’try makes you think this?”
The púca queried.

“I have known many,
Some with their heads in the clouds,
Lacking common sense.”

“There’s a guy I knew:
We fought every time we talked
And broke up five times.”

“There’s the crazy ex:
She stalked me from place to place…
Still does to this day.”

“There’s my last boyfriend:
Narcissistic to the core,
And arrogant, too.”

“You see?” said the man,
“It’s not for lack of trying;
I’ve run the gamut.”

“How long has it been?”
The púca’s equine lips asked,
“Since your last boyfriend?”

“Over seven years,”
The man had to think a bit,
It had been so long.

“And since that time,
There have been people I liked:
All of them taken.”

“Tell me, oh púca,
You benevolent spirit:
Have I missed my chance?”

The púca’s lips pursed.
He hated to give bad news.
“Yes,” he said at last.

“I am your last chance.
Please, lonely man, don’t miss out!
Take my hand; let’s go.”

“You don’t understand;
I have watched you for so long,
You’re the one I choose.”

“I might not be it,
But I love you with my life.
You’ve nothing to lose.”

The man turned away.
“Leave me, you trickster spirit!
Come, be practical!”

“Púca and a man?
You can’t live here in my house;
I can’t live with you.”

“I have will and way,”
Said Púca to spurning man,
“Ye of little faith.”

Then the púca left.
The man wonders to this day:
What could there have been?

So, boys and girls,
Commit this moral to heart
And into your mind:

When it comes to love,
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
True love’s worth the pain.

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