When did I begin to ferry the dead over the wide river? I cannot remember. It was such a long time ago.
Back and forth, back and forth…. It is all I know, except for a growing longing to be free, which is making my job a hellish suffering.
Today, I ferried a young man over the river who was not like the others. He was alive.
I asked him about his trade, and he said, “I know everything.”
“Everything? Then tell me, why must I keep rowing back and forth across this river?” I asked. “How may I be set free?”
“You will know that soon enough. Wait until I come back.”
Come back? Is it possible that this living man will go all the way to hell and back?
The Hopeful Ferryman in The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs, Grimms. Charon Illustration by Gustave Dore.