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by Carole McCord
"It was a long time ago," the bard began, "when
mortals and fabulous beasts shared the world.
Warlords ruled, and plundered, and destroyed whole villages.
Only the Warrior Princess, Xena, stood against them,
and she defended the weak and weary."
"But wasn't Xena wicked wicked too?" the girl asked.
"Oh yes, she had been ," said the bard. "She had a past full of
death and destruction, until an act of compassion changed her.
Then she fought for good, and-and I fought with her."
"You!" the girl's eyes widened even more. "You're Gabrielle!"
The bard brushed back her hair again, and remembered when
it was burnished gold in the sun, not white and brittle,
And Xena would sometimes brush it back for her,
"Gabrielle!" the girl's voice pierced the bard's memories.
"Oh yes," Gabrielle said, "I remember. We traveled all over,
fought many battles, saved each other's lives
more than once."
The bard fell silent, thinking.
"Then what happened?" whispered the girl.
"I thought I could tell any tale, any story,"
Gabrielle said, "but I can't."
She looked at the girl sitting beside her.
"What happened was that I knew the greatest friend,
the bravest warrior and the best--
and I remember--that's all."
The young girl nodded and took Gabrielle's hand,
and tried not to notice the tears.
"I'll remember, too," she told the bard,
and she did.
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