(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)

The philosopher who is to be a guardian must, according to Plato return into 
the cave, and live among those who have never seen the sun of truth. (...) 
The philosopher finds the cave in existence and is actuated by benevolence in 
returning to it; but the Creator, if He created everything, might, one would think,
 have avoided the cave altogether.
BERTRAND RUSSELL,
The History of Western Philosophy, 130


A few days before our field trip, I learned from the school nurse that Marek had a mild heat stroke. It was one of that spring’s hottest days. He played soccer with his friends, during the break between the classes, and he fainted. But I was assured by Marek’s mother that he was fine to attend weekend excursion. Our class was traveling to Ojców, to visit the legendary cavern of the King Władysław  Łokietek, otherwise known as Elbow-high. We were traveling on an old bus and the gasoline fumes made some of the students sick. Some vomited. Marek did not vomit, but with sun hitting his face, he did not feel well at his window seat. I suggested that he switch places with his friend Staś, and the boy was more than glad to accommodate my suggestion and please Marek. The boys were close; they both had top marks in my art class. Staś had an advantage, however: his father was one of the best artists in Olkusz, our town. I heard that Staś, just thirteen, had an art studio rented by his father for the boy’s exclusive use. It was somewhere in town and away from the apartment where Staś lived with his parents. But let me introduce myself. My name is Miss Kaminska and I taught art in the elementary school #2, where both Marek and Staś were my students.
It was a nice sunny morning in May when we arrived in Ojców. The bus ride was only about thirty minutes long and the two most famous attractions of the region welcomed us in the distance. The red-tile roofed Sandy Rock castle dominated the area from the hill on which it was built sometime during the 14th century. The second attraction stood a stone’s throw away from the castle and was a 25 meters tall rock formation called Hercules Club. The Club’s narrow part was rooted in the ground, and its wide, round tip pointed high into the sky. The class was well-behaved that day — after all, it was a weekend and the boys and girls were excited to be away from their parents, house chores, and school homework.
As soon as we arrived, the kids spilled out of the bus and started pointing at the castle above them and at the Hercules Club not far away behind us. I gathered everyone together and pointed in the direction of the castle. I told all of them that we were here just for a short time to look at the castle and take a break from the bus ride. Then, I said: “We must continue our trip, for a few more kilometers, until we reach the cavern of the King Elbow-high.” I was not that surprised to see that Marek and Staś did not leave the bus. I assumed that either Marek still didn’t feel well from the bus ride or that the boys were too excited and ready to get going to see the cavern. I suggested to Marek that a breath of fresh air might do him well. “It would be good,” I said, “for the bus interior to be aired as well.” But the two boys did not listen, and, in less than fifteen minutes, the rest of the students were back in the bus. Soon, we were sneaking along the winding, narrow, and shady forest roads of Ojców’s National Park. We arrived at the cavern’s parking lot in no time.
....
(This is only an excerpt from the story — for full version, please visit my Patreon site here)
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