Deep in the forest inside a cave live a creature scary to look at; but kind of heart.  A pleasant voice in the distant hypnotize the passerby and attract them close to the melody.  All living things waited every night for the captivating sound to take them on a delightful journey thru the woods looking for the source of such a grateful voice.  Nobody has found the owner of those lovely songs.  Every time someone come close, the singing stop; aware of his look he hides inside his cave.  He has a heart as kind and beautiful as his voice, but the physical aspect scares people and animals alike or at least that’s what he thought.

One night while he sings his heart away unaware of someone wandering close by, he continues.  The girl hiding in the bush watch him without fear.  In silent, the observer stays in the dark listening to him sing.  She who has heard the stories about the sound in the forest remain quiet in the dark because didn’t want to scare him away.  The maiden was a lovely lady who lives nearby.  Every night before dusk she goes to her hiding place and waits for the singer to show up for his nightly concert of subliminal melody.

In a short time, Marlow, that’s his God giving name, became aware that someone hiding in the woods watches him every night since he didn’t want her to run away, he still calm and continue singing like if he was alone.  In time, he got used to her present and didn’t bother him.  One night she came out of her concealment, and the evasive singer went inside.  He thought that she would find him repulsive because of his physical aspect.  So she calls “hello, come outside don’t be scared” nothing happen.   She was hard-headed and kept calling ” please come out I want to see you.”  He looks thru a little hole undecided to go outside or not, but, curiosity got the best of him and stepped outside slowly covering his face.  She came close to him and pulled his hand away from his face.  She asks ” what’s your name,” he said, “I am Marlow. Aren’t  you scare?” He asked. She said, ” why should I ?”  ” because of the way I look” he replied.  “No, what you have inside is more important,” she said.  ” I thought that you will find me scary and ugly.” He said.  ” The only ugliness I know is the one people has in their heart.”  She replies. “By the way my name is Rhonda, and I live nearby.” “Ok. Will I see you tomorrow?” He asks.   ” Sure, same time”  She replied and left.


The next day she cleans the house, did the ditches, and all her chores in the house.  Then walk into the forest looking for Marlow.  She found him sitting on a rock near his hiding place. ” Hello, how are you this evening?” she asks.  ” Here thinking about why life punished me with this horrendous face and body.” He replied.   “Life give you the most delightful gift of all, a good heart, and an angelic voice for the world to enjoy.”  She said.  ” The whole world!” He replied afraid.  “Yes, everybody should listen to your lovely voice”   He immediately responded. ” No, that will be impossible, It won’t happen.”  Then, disappear inside the cave.  She stood outside thinking how to convince him and knew it would take a lot of effort on her part.  An idea pops up; she would make him sing in front of the creatures of the forest. That way he will see that all the animals love his singing and don’t care about his physic.  She went home to think how to implement her plan.

Early in the evening before Marlow daily concert start, She gathered all animals in the forest and explained what they have to do.  The rabbit who is a fast runner but slow to understand kept asking when he has to come out of hiding. A fox nearby told him that she would give them a signal and continue listening what Rhonda has to said.  She explained the whole plan.  A great turmoil happens between the animals because at last, they will know at last where the delightful evening melody came.  So, they will hide near the cave until he has sung a couple of songs.  She will give a signal for them to come out.  So, everyone was in place waiting for the musical.

The sun dimmed in the distant and Marlow came out of his home; he opens his mouth, the most seductive sound filled the surrounding; it was like being in heaven.   Rhonda sat on a tree trunk mesmerize watching him sing that song.   They look each other in the eyes and smiles tenderly like they knew one another for a long time.   She couldn’t hold her emotion and start crying not of sadness but of happiness because the beautiful sound filled her heart.   While they were engaged in a rapture; the animals hiding in the bushes were desperate to come out.  So, without any gesture from her, all of them came out at once.  This time he didn’t hide but kept singing his song.  All the animals started to dance around him; it was a real animal party in the woods.  Marlow felt so good for the reaction of the creatures that he sang all night long.  Rhonda was happy for him, but still, she wants the people to hear him sing.  Rhonda wants Marlow to get used to the outside world before trying to convince him to do a musical in the town theater.

First, she convinced the theater owner, to let an incredible singer who doesn’t like to be seen, to sing behind the curtain.  The strategy to bring him to the light was taking shape.  Now, she needs a public willing to go to hear an anonymous artist sing.  She made bulletin to paste on the walls all over the town inviting the city people to a free musical in the theater.  The residents were anxious to know who this unknown performer was, so all of them got a free ticket for the recital.  Rhonda felt enthusiastic about how the scheme to take him out of his cave;  was taking shape.  Now, came the hardest part get him to accept singing in a place full of human being.  They met in a clearing near his home.  “How are you this morning,” she asks. ” I am fine.” he said.” What about you, where have you been?” he asks.  ” Well, I was busy working on a project” She answer. ” What kind of project? something that I should know.” He asked. “In a way yes! But we can talk about that later,” she told him.  ” Now, tell me how you would feel singing in front of a crowd of people,” she said disguising the emotion she felt.  ” Are you crazy?  What’s wrong with you.  You Know the only person I can go near is you.” He replied.  She tries to calm him down, but, he refused to calm himself and went inside the cave.  Rhonda walks away thinking how she will convince him.


She went to a friend house and ask him if he could lip sync while a friend of her sing.  He said. “Yes, of course, I would love too.”  She replied, “Ok. He is a friend who doesn’t like to be seen.”  ” Why?” Her friend ask.  ” It’s complicated, you will understand one day.” She told him.  The next day she talked to Marlow and explained her strategic for him to perform hiding behind a curtain.  He thought about it carefully.  Then he said. “Are you sure nobody will see me?”  “I am certain.” She replied.  ” Yes, I will do it.”   He told her.  So, It was done.  Now she has to write the lyric so her friend can lip-sync without error and look natural doing it.  Rhonda sat a long time with Marlow deciding what he will sing and write the songs on a piece of paper for his friend.  She feels happy because the whole thing was going according to plan.


The owner of the theater and her pick a day for the presentation.  Now, She will let the audience know the day of the function thru the local radio station.   It was a windy summer night. The people came out dress with their best clothes.  You hear them chatting about who was the mysterious singer. They were intrigued and that make the night out more exciting.   Everyone went inside the auditorium sit down to wait for the show to begin.  Marlow felt butterflies in his stomach, something he hasn’t felt before; his palm was sweating.  He was a wreck.  Marlow was thinking about running away.  Rhonda arrived on time and begin to calm him down.  Make him relax before he sings.  The show was about to start everybody was in place.  Rhonda’s friend came out to stage and lip-sync what Marlow sing hiding behind the curtain.  The whole night continues as plan but all of a sudden something happens.  Someone pulled the wrong rope on the stage and exposed the Beast to the audience.


The appearance of the singer caught them by surprise, but instead of rejecting him the audience gave him a standing ovation recognizing his talent.  He didn’t hide but gave reverence to the public.  Then he understood that beauty is something that you carried inside yourself. The kindness of your heart, your humbleness, and the way you treat your fellow human being.  That’s the real beauty the one deep in his heart.  He came out of the forest to live with the rest of the population of the city.  He gained the love and respect of them for his inside beauty; his physic didn’t matter.  Rhonda and Marlow still best friend and every evening they walk thru the park where he likes to sing.



                                                                  Author; Melito Santos








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