Mark Baisley

Once upon a time there was a quiet village deep in a forest.  A natural spring stood as a grand fountain in the center, keeping the village lush all year-round. Water from the faithful spring was used for drinking, bathing and growing crops.  It was even used to power several water wheels.  With few exceptions, the friendly villagers worked hard in their chosen crafts, supplying each other with the items they needed and the treasures that they valued.

But one day, the harmony of the village was disturbed by an ogre who lurked nearby. Ogres are known for having both an eager appetite and a cunning patience.  While the ogre was very large, he was skilled at blending in with the thick timberland.  And in the cool of the day, the villagers could smell his hot breath and hear his slow panting.

So the villagers gathered in the town center to decide just how to deal with the menacing danger.  A smart response plan was agreed to and was practiced every day.  Watch posts were built atop of each high hill.  And whenever the ogre appeared, the determined villagers would hurry to the town center, surround the spring with their children in the middle and aim all of their pitchforks outward.

While this practice seemed to work, the villagers grew weary of devoting so much attention to the looming threat.  But one day, one of the watch posts announced that a woodsman was approaching the village on a majestic horse.

The woodsman was a handsome and powerful figure who spoke with confidence and doffed his hat in respect. The villagers immediately cried out their fears to the woodsman, describing the terrible ogre that threatened their lives and their precious spring.  Almost rudely, the villagers begged the new arrival to step up as their champion.

So with a smile and a nod, the woodsman galloped through the forest in the direction where the ogre had last been seen.  Soon there came a great commotion, with treetops shaking and plenty of growling and roaring and one final and very loud howl.  After long moments of silence, the woodsman emerged from the forest, disheveled and bruised, but triumphant.  The ogre was seen no more.

The joyous villagers heralded their champion with an enormous celebration that very night.  They rewarded the woodsman with their finest foods, their best drink, and their favorite songs of heroes.  With a little hesitation for asking too much, the villagers invited the woodsman to remain with them as their guardian.

Mark Baisley

Mark Baisley is a security and intelligence professional