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Desert Tale

By: Sarah W.
Illinois, Age 14

The world was a hot place.
All the animals, humans, and plants suffered, as the sun beat mercilessly down upon them, drying the water and searing the air, so it was hard to breathe.
Now, in this time there were three goddesses, and they were all very powerful.
The oldest and wisest was Seona, goddess to all things of the water. The fish were her friends, and even the sharks would not harm her. She lived in the Sacred Sea, and it was said that she shone with the beauty of the waves. This sea, which was said to be cool and light, and filled with colors and beautiful sparkling gems, was unable to be found by any who was evil, and the water had healing powers.
The middle goddess was Lina, friend to the animals on the earth. She had no extraordinary talent, but was calm and level-headed, sturdy as the earth itself. She lived in a magic tree, largest and tallest of all. It was said, though she was quite plain by way of looks, that her eyes had a power to soothe and the leaves of her tree would bring courage and strength to one who posessed them.
Third and youngest was Vilya, most beautiful and powerful of all. Queen of the air and sky, she soared above the land and sea. Though she looked fragile, she had a temper and was often harsh and unforgiving. When she was in a good mood, however, she was kind and loving, granting favors to any who asked. But since this mood was rare, the animals and people of the world regarded her in fear, never asking of her anything, that she might spare them her wrath.
The humans and animals knew that the harsh conditions of the planet could not continue. Life itself was dying, as the young could not survive.
And so they prayed to Seona, that she may bless them with a cool river in which to bring water from.
Seona obliged, and for a while there was water a plenty. But the plants still whithered dispite the water, and food became scarce. They prayed to Lina, that she may gift them with a good crop and many successful hunts.
Lina gifted these things to them, and for a while all was good and in harmony. The air was bearable to their throats with water to drink, and the sun no longer an enemy when there was a tree to shade the passerby.
Everything was good--and in honor of the two goddesses they forgot Vilya and declared a great feast in the honor of Seona and Lina.
But Vilya had not forgotten them. In swift judgement, she swept up the river into a turrent of spinning water. With this, she hurtled down the rows of crops, destroying the trees and homes, picking up livestock and depositing it in the forests.
As the world spun around the people, they cried out in terror. Although Seona and Lina were content to watch the people be punished for their lack of judgment in leaving out Vilya, they could not allow the suffering to endure.
They accosted their sister goddess and cooled her temper. Vilya allowed them to replace the river with pools surrounded by trees, but would allow them to do naught else. As the two stood back, the now placated wind goddess raised mountains around the area, and blew all the dirt away... so there was nothing but sand.
And this is how the deserts were formed.