A week in the woods trekked the Bear and the Cub,
The Bear’s rigid face, disguising his love.
As the seventh day set, said the Bear to his son,
“My journey ends here; yours has only begun.”
“For after tonight, I continue no more;
Your life's voyage awaits, but alone you must go.
Now listen my son, you mustn’t despair,
It’s a part of your growth from a cub to a bear.”
The Cub listened close,
collecting his fears,
Understanding the words
but holding back tears.
His father then turned
and looked to the stars,
And let out a roar
heard heavens afar.
A moment henceforth, a shape in the sky
Came fluttering forth, emitting a cry.
“Wh-wh-whoo!” was the call, a whispering howl,
And upon a tree branch, softly landed an owl.
Motioned to the bird, did the Bear to his son,
“One lesson remains and its teacher has come.
In shadows he moves, in riddles he speaks,
But his wisdom to you the Owl can bequeath.”
“Three questions you’ll have, consider them well,
For whatever you ask, the answer he’ll tell;
His words may seem strange, his dialect odd,
But truth often lurks behind drivel’s façade."
Approaching the Owl, embracing his task,
The Cub softly spoke, “I’d first like to ask,
Which one of my loves will make the best mate:
Matilda or Eve, or Jasmine or Grace?”
The Cub then stepped back, in anxious repose,
Waiting to hear what the Owl alone knows.
“Ou-fte-ten-ore!” came the Owl's reply,
Then a shade to the left, darted his eyes.
the Cub’s furrowed face,
“He said not Matilda,
Eve, Jasmine nor Grace!”
Said the Bear to his son,
“on his words you must dwell,
For you've seen them elsewhere,
and ‘Jasmine’ they spell.”
“Ou-fte-ten-ore?” repeated the Cub,
“But that’s not the name of Jasmine, my love!
The Owl’s cryptic words, please father explain?”
The Bear’s stern response: “two questions remain.”
The Cub took a breath, gazed back up the tree,
“Wise Owl,” he began, “I next ask of thee,
As I travel on, to best avert doom,
Should I move by the light of the sun or the moon?”
The Owl stared ahead, eyes wide as the sky,
“Fro-wo-who-peri!” the intriguing reply.
His words echoed forth, traversing the night,
Then his eyes moved once more, but this time to the right.
The Cub helplessly looked for his father’s assist,
As the meaning again in the answer was missed.
With the Bear’s chiseled growl came the needed respite,
“Follow his glance and move only at night.”
“A single last question
and answer remain,
But there’s also a twist,”
the Bear went on to explain.
“This last one I’ll give you
a hint what to ask,
But decoding the answer
this time is your task.”
The Bear then began with a shrouded goodbye,
“Tonight as we sleep, I’ll be by your side.
But brave you must be, come light of the dawn,
When you rise with the sun, to find that I’m gone.”
And from the Cub’s eyes, tears started to flow,
While continued the Bear, “Now son you must know,
Upon waves of chance, fate’s vessel is tossed,
But a course can be found where our paths again cross.”
And suddenly there, the Cub understood,
And gathered his poise, as much as he could.
He turned to the Owl, and spoke once again,
“I’d like to proceed with my final question.”
“Tomorrow at dusk, as I start on my quest,
Which way should I head: north, south, east, or west?
Please tell me which path, Wise Owl I implore,
Will unite me one day with my father once more?”
The Owl seemed to sigh, and with calm nonchalance,
“Depa-alne-jorn-afer!” came his cryptic response.
He then neither looked, to the left nor the right,
But instead crossed his eyes, and disappeared into the night.
Turned the Bear to the Cub, perhaps for the last time,
“Tonight as you sleep, I pray truth you’ll divine;
But remember my son, should tonight be our last,
That distance and time for my love is no match.”
Then father and son, lay their heads down to sleep,
And with all of his heart, the Cub tried not to weep.
Yet one last tear fell, from eyes of despair,
Only this time those eyes belonged to the Bear.
Hint #1 (10:44am):
Like parts of a song, the words from his tongue,
A familiar refrain, previously sung;
The shifts in his eyes, a conductor’s baton,
That point to the notes you seek in the song.
Hint #2 (12:00pm):
The most important clues are given by the Bear each time he interprets the Owl's replies to his son.
Hint #3 (12:58pm):
There is no need to go hunting through old posts. This puzzle is entirely self-contained.
Solution: click here---------------------------------------------------------------
Puzzle Rules: Which way must the Cub go to ensure he one day sees his father again (no pressure)? Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:
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