9. The poet and…


The poet and the mathematician walked and walked and walked and walked.

They passed the city of shining bridges, where once a young prince had dropped rubies at the poet's feet and proclaimed his love. The mathematician turned and asked her, "Do you ever visit the prince on your walks? The one who dropped rubies at your feet?"

The poet said, "Not recently. I haven't had much time for princes lately."

The mathematician smiled. "Maybe later, after the child comes."

"Maybe," the poet replied.

The mathematician paused, and then said, "I hear the prince has hands as slim as birds, that flutter when he talks."

"Hush," the poet said, smiling. "You just keep walking."

The mathematician nodded, smiling too. They kept walking, down the long road, leaving the shining cities behind, until the road finally ended at the foot of the mountains. The dark, smelly mouth of the cave stood open before them. They took one last big breath of the fresh mountain air, and then stepped into the darkness.

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