Once, long ago, explorers found the fabled fountain of youth. They mistook it for a simple spring or a wishing well. It was, after all, located off a side street near the edge of town. Occasionally, people passed through the plaza on their way home from shopping. Sometimes they paused and rested and waited and met – there on the benches well worn.
Few noticed the random splatter. The clear evidence that someone had returned to the fountain’s life giving water was left to evaporate in the dim afternoon. No one realized that the flagstones never cracked. Nor did they recognize the pigeons that nested there had been doing so for several centuries.
A boy once asked his mother if the fountain would be there forever. She had thought much the same when she was a child, when youth had poured forth like a geyser and the rejuvenating mist saturated the air. No, she said sadly, perhaps our wishes would make it otherwise. But even those will one day run dry.