Recently discovered, these words from the Bard of Poteidaia tell of what she got from Xena and what Xena gave her—lessons about life that will ease the path for those of us battling on through the modern world.
In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a Land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was XENA, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle.
Xena: Warrior Princess. Gabrielle: Bard of Poteidaia. Theirs was a life of adventure. A life of romance. A life of great deeds and great battles against the forces of evil. A life of good and bad gods, of deep and lasting friendships.
In their travels, Gabrielle, Xena’s bosom companion, learned much from the princess. When to keep your sword sharp and your wit sharper. When the size of your staff does make a difference. In return, Gabrielle taught Xena the secrets of warmth, kindness, and joy.
Now, these words of wisdom, recently discovered and translated, can be yours.
Another of the questions I'm always being asked is "What was it like, setting out on the road for the first time?"
The answer, in a word, is -- terrifying! Here I was, turning my back on everything I'd known from childhood, everything safe and secure, and setting out into the utter unknown. Of course I was scared!
Why did I do it? I wish I could say something noble and properly bardic, but the true answer is that I'm not really sure. I was bored, yes, restless, certainly, knowing everybody in Poteidaia far, far too well. And Perdicas...if I had known then...
But neither of us were yet whom we would become, if that makes any sense. And back then, I knew only that I couldn't marry and settle down and be a nice, docile village wife, but was pretty much giving up on figuring out what to do about that.
And then Xena swept into the village like a fresh, clean wind, and the world suddenly opened up for me. I knew only that I couldn't let her get away, because once she was gone, I'd never have the nerve to leave.
So I followed her.
And followed her.
And followed her.
It says a great deal for Xena's patience, and for her determination to stay on the side of Good, that she didn't just kill me. I must have been a thoroughly irritating kid back then. Gabby Gabby, I admit it. But I was talking so much to hide the fact that I was scared silly!
Nothing was easy. I had never slept on the ground before or had to forage for something to eat. I had never gone without a roof over my head, either, or realized just how dangerous it was outside the walls of my village.
But I had also never realized just how beautiful it was out there, either, or how exciting it is never to know what wonders might lie ahead.
Most of all, I had never realized just how close I'd grow to Xena. For she has become my sister not of the body, but of the heart.
Josepha Sherman was an American author, folklorist, and anthologist. In 1990 she won the Compton Crook Award for the novel The Shining Falcon. She died in 2012, and is remembered for her large and diverse output of both high-quality fiction and nonfiction.