This article is the third part of Dr. Ferraro’s series, The Tennis Guru.
Yin and the turtle had walked along silently for more than two hours when Yin finally thought to ask, “So, by the way, what’s your name my little friend?”
“My name is Virgil the Turtle, and I am at your service.”
“Okay, Virgil, hurry up and just follow me. I see a straight and easy path right to the top of the mountain. I think we may get to meet the Tennis Guru today some time.”
At this, Yin ran on ahead but as he approached the pathway up he was suddenly stopped in his tracks. Right before him were two hungry-looking wolves which started to snarl and snap at him as he approached.
Yin halted in his tracks and waited for Virgil the Turtle to catch up. When he did, he exclaimed “Virgil, we’re sunk. We can’t get past these beasts. There’s no way!”
“You are quite right, Yin. These are the twin wolves, Plutus and Plutar. They are here to safeguard the way up to the Tennis Guru. They are hungry beasts and will devour us if we attempt to pass.”
“Well that’s just great Virgil. What are we to do now?”
“There is only one way to get up the mountain. We must first go to my friend Charon who will ferry us along the River Styx until we find the hidden path up the mountain. Just follow me, I promise I will offer you safe passage along the way.”
They found Charon and boarded his boat. They rode along down the river and Yin asked Virgil:
“Why must we go this roundabout way to get to the Tennis Guru?”
Virgil smiled at Yin and counseled, “Yin, this is the way of all things. In order to get to the top you must pay a price. There will be much to learn and much suffering to endure before we get to the top. The only way to heaven is to first go through hell. Fame and fortune only go to the strong and the brave. I will not abandon you as we make our way up but you must listen carefully to my counsel. I am here to help and to guide you.”
Yin didn’t know what all this meant but he was too far into this journey to stop now. He had no choice but to trust his new found friend and secretly prayed to himself that all would be well.
He thought wistfully for a moment of the life he had left behind with his comfortable home, his parents and his brother. He smiled to himself, closed his eyes and went to sleep as the boat slowly drifted down river to a place he knew nothing about.
To be continued...