The One

Oh God Pan, God of the flocks and bestower of fear upon man!
The battle raged for what seemed to be two life times. I lay broken upon the earth, bones as well as spirit.  My great stallion lay only paces away from me; the life had leaked from him ages ago.  I called upon You.
“Oh Great God Pan!  It is I, your faithful follower. I pay homage to you, and sing songs of you, oh Pan.  I ask, oh Pan, for you to send me a great stallion to mount and ride into battle.”
The words had no more left my lips when I heard the neighing of a horse coming down the hill.  Ah, it was no great stallion as I had asked, but a simple white mare with eyes glazed white.
“What!  Oh Pan, you send me a blind mare?!  I am surely damned!”
I mounted the white mare since it was more dignified to die in battle amount than to die on the ground like a pig.  To my surprise, she ran with the grace of the wind.  She ran into battle full force, led only by instinct.  We were victorious!
Afterwards, I realized that instinct is what had helped me win.  Pan did not give me what I asked for but what I needed.  He showed me that without instinct, we are all but lost sheep who accept the wolf as a friend.  I then  honored Pan for his gift to me.
“Pan, I come before you, with your blind white mare you sent to me.  We were victorious with your help, and I am a better man for the lesson learned.  It is instinct that we all have, and we must not second guess it.  I shall return to you your white mare so you may send it to another when the time arrives.”
I pulled my blade and ran it across the mare’s throat.  With a light neigh, her life spilled upon the ground.  She blinked her eyes with the last of her life and the white glaze was no more.  I heard the sound of pipes playing above on the rocky cliff and the oh so familiar sound of the goat hooved god walking upon the stones.  Then I heard the sound of a different kind of hoof, in unison, with Pan’s.  It was the sound of hooves in trot.  I knew the mare was back with Pan, that he had accepted my sacrifice.
Oh Hail the God Pan!
~Drew Mellon