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Man in a Deep Valley (a Fable)

Updated on October 7, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He is a former journalist who has worked on various community and college publications.

Originally from
Originally from

For Every Deep Valley, There's Hope

So it came to pass: A distraught man found himself in a deep valley. He searched his environment and found to his dismay that the mountain walls were vast and steep.

At first he wailed: “I’m trapped! And I have nowhere to go.”

The valley held nothing, in terms of nourishment – physically, mentally, and emotionally. The river and creeks had dried up a long time ago. The animals vacated the premise, and the plants had all but withered away. Worse yet, the sky were filled with a dark gray cloud that coldly hovered above the valley.

The distraught man began to lose hope, for his only escape from this place was to traverse those massive mountain walls. Thus, he stayed many days in that forsaken valley, not sure if he wanted to continue living.

“What’s it worth?” he mumbled many times.

Then one day he saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. It broke through the thick clouds that covered the deep valley just above the mountains. There, he saw the piercing blue sky, clear and vibrant. Somewhere, beyond the mountain walls was a world, alive and full of wonders to be had.

He was bloody and bruised, but his spirit rose with every inch he climbed and moved away from the deep, dark valley.

Deep Valley Metaphor

The story's inspiration comes from a metaphor used by many people to describe their hard scrabble path to success. It was also famously (or infamously) used by then President Nixon who described his experiences during the Watergate Scandal.

To me, it is something that reminds us all that we don't have to stay in a bad situation. Also, in order to get out of those deep valleys, one must climb to the highest peaks and traverse rugged passages in order to reach a better place in your life.

Hopelessness was replaced by determination. For the first time in a long time, the man wanted to find a way out of the valley. This new energy forced him to do something he hadn’t done for a long time. He began to reexamine the craggy peaks to find a possible passage.

He took off on foot and climbed to possible passages. Some went nowhere and forced him to go back to where he started. These failures could’ve ended his attempt. But, the desire to escape and find a better life outside the valley fueled him to keep trying.

Despite a long process, however, in which failure was becoming a norm, the man persevered and found a way to climb the sleek walls and traverse the craggy peaks. He was bloody and bruised, but his spirit rose with every inch he climbed and moved away from the deep, dark valley.

Finally, he reached the top. And, there, on the other side of the mountain was the Promised Land. Elation took over. Dread, fear, anger, and depression left him and stayed in the place he had just come from.

And as he stared at his new destination – as the blood from his battered and cut hands flowed – he came to a relation that all his struggle and patience had finally paid off.

“Now, this was worth it,” he mumbled.

With that, he started his trek to the new land that lay before him.

The Promised Land
The Promised Land | Source

© 2013 Dean Traylor


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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great short story wonderful pictures. Enjoyed.

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Beautiful imagery, Dean. Thank you for sharing such a profound story.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Beautiful! Outstanding short story! Voted up.