Your heart races as you make your way through Snake Canyon, looking for the entrance to the Cave of Time. About midafternoon you reach the familiar grove of pine trees near the cave’s entrance, only to find that landslides covered it over.
You are not one to give up easily. You search the floor of the canyon, looking for another way in. It’s not until the sun is about to go down that you find one, a hole barely big enough to squeeze through, hidden by clumps of sage. You crawl in on your hands and knees, and then along a tunnel that you hope leads to the main chamber of the cave.
The tunnel seems endless and keeps curving to one side, as if it might be going around in a circle. After a half hour of crawling, your hands and knees are sore. You feel a tightening of muscles in your throat—the beginning of panic. There’s not enough room to turn around, and you’re not sure you can back out!
The only thing to do is to keep going, so that’s what you do, painfully crawling around a bend to the right, then one to the left, in total darkness. Stopping to rest, you hear a voice singing ahead of you, an eerie tune with only three or four notes. You crawl on, and a minute later reach a dimly lit chamber. A thin, ghostlike figure with a long white beard is singing. Seeing you, he sings a few more notes, then holds up a hand.