Mimir and the Farmer's Son
There was once a farmer (or so Mimir tells it) who was a good man, who worked hard, who had a wise and kindly wife and a fine young son. For many long years the farmer tended the land; his crops grew tall and strong, and his wife, a healer, tended to the community, and it too flourished.
As the farmer’s son came of age, he tended the fields with his father, and learned the healing arts of his mother; he was dutiful, and soft-spoken, and all who met him agreed that he was a becoming a fine man also.
But the farmer’s son was restless, and one summer grew troubled, his countenance taking on that faraway look of the young who see only duty in their future, not peace. And so the farmer and his wife took their son to the hill overlooking the farm and sat under a great walnut tree, and ate bread and honey and walnuts,the way the would often do when the son was still just a boy.
The farmer bade his son speak of his troubles. “You have made for me a good life here,” said the farmer’s son, “and you have taught me well. But I need to understand the world, and my place in it.”
“Your place is here, my son,” said the farmer, “What more than this do you need?”
“I need to know Truth,” said the farmer’s son.
“Then you must go and seek Her out,” said his mother.
And so the farmer’s son packed up his belongings, and kissed his mother and father, and went off on the road a beggar of Truth. He searched in villages and towns. He searched high in the hills and down in the valleys. He sought Truth in the greatest city in the world, El Astrum, and heard the arguments of the scholars at the Public Library, but found no Truth. He searched the forests, and the mountains, and the deserts. He journeyed the whole breadth of Telisar from the mighty Western expanse to the endless Wodenshore of the east, from the Thorimfel Plateau in the north to the shimmering Six Isles of the south. For days and spans and seasons he searched, and still he found no Truth.
And then, one day, he found Her, in a small cave hidden high above a rocky shore, waves dancing and crashing and wailing below. She was a wizened old woman with but a single tooth left in her head. Her hair was a greasy green where it was any color at all, and hung long and tangled and limp. Her skin was the tan of old parchment, stretched and cracked across lanky bones. She watched the farmer’s son scale the slippery rocks with milky eyes, and waved to him with one gnarled, bent hand. But when he reached Her and She greeted him, Her voice was low and sweet and warm, like honey on fresh bread, and the farmer’s son knew he had found Mimir, Goddess of Truth.
He lived with Her for a year and a day, there in the leaky cave, and learned from Her all that he could. And when the year and a day was up, He stood at the mouth of the cave, watched the ocean heaving at the cliffs, and made ready to return home.
“My Lady Truth,” he said, “You have taught me so much and I fear I can never repay to you the debt I owe, but I would do something for you before I leave. Is there anything you wish?”
Mimir cocked her head to one side and thought a moment. Then she said, “When you speak of me, tell them I am young and beautiful!”