The Devil's Bridge
In the depths of a German national park, stands a structure so beautiful, it never fails to stun a viewer into silence. Your first glimpse of the Devils Bridge, and its mirror reflection, is something that will stay in your memory forever.
One fine day, a group of backpackers were staring, awestruck, at the impressive sight, while an elderly grounds man pruned some nearby bushes. The grounds man had seen the bridge a thousand times but never tired of its beauty, nor the affect it had on people.
“It’s wonderful,” said one girl, turning her head, this way and that, to take in the view from all angles.
“Amazing,” said another of the college kids.
“I love the way the reflection completes the structure,” said a small spotty faced guy, in a way that left the statement hanging, begging someone to question it. Foolishly, someone did.
“How do you mean, completes the structure?” asked one of the other boys. He was tall and handsome, but his eyes lacked the sharpness of wit.
“It’s obvious, the entire meaning of the structure, is the reflection,” said Mr Spotty with derision. “Just look at it, the combination of rock and water, combined with the perfect circle, half in reality, half in reflection, is a comment on the yin and yang of life. It’s a classically Japanese interpretation of being, capturing the ever changing pull of the universe.”
The tall youth pointed to a sign nearby, and said, “It says there, that the bridge was built as a bet with the Devil, which he lost, sending him back to hell.”
“Complete codswallop,” said Mr Small and Spotty.
“You can’t just discount religion in this, Barry, after all, religion is the foundation of many fantastic construction projects,” added another student, clearly warming to the growing debate.
“Yes,” said another, “and, I disagree with your reasoning behind the intent of the structure. Surely he built it to display the possibility of multiple universes, existing side by side, with the one we inhabit.”
“I just think he wanted to get to the other side,” said a girl with a giggle.
“I still think it’s representing Heaven,” said the tall man. “Perhaps he intended it to be like the gateway into Heaven?”
“A gate, that’s it. It has to be a portal, built by aliens, to transport people across space,” said a guy wearing a Starwar’s tee-shirt.
“Cop on Gavin,” said Mr Spotty. “This is real life, not a movie.”
“It’s just as probable as what you said,” whinged Gavin, his feelings clearly hurt.
“What I said is a proven facet of world art history, not some pesents fairy-tale, not a depiction of a greater power, and most certainly not a magical portal built by little green men,” said Mr Spotty, resting his hands on his hips, dominating the rest of the group.
As the grounds man listened to the unfolding discussion, he decided that the small guy was nothing short of a bully, and needed putting in his place. He slowly got to his feet arching his aching back. Up to that point, the group seemed to be oblivious to his existence. “I can tell you the real reason the bridge was built, if you like,” said the old man.
“Please, do,” said Mr Small, with a wave of his hand, fully expecting to be proven right.
“As it happens, it was my great grandfather that designed and built that bridge. He brought me here to see it, when I was little more than a child. I remember asking him why he had built it,” the old man said, before bending to gather his pruning tools.
“And? What did he say?” asked Mr Spotty, impatiently.
The old grounds man turned him and smiled, “He said, he built it, because he could.”
At the back of the group, a small impish girl, who had not spoken once during the heated argument, smiled a dazzling smile. The grounds man smiled back at her before walking away. He was happy that at least one of them could see that sometimes, the simplest explanation, is the hardest to understand.