n the island of Olowaii, a small island of the Callisto archipelago, there lived a young girl named Rewin. She always was of a solitary nature; while other children would run and tussle and play catch, she preferred to walk along the beach, collected shells and watched the waves.
She would sit in the sand and dream about the fish, wondering how it would be to dive into the water. She would look at the birds overhead and imagine to soar between the clouds.
In the evening, she would tell her parents about the travels she had made, to the bottom of the sea or up into the sky, until the sun was far beneath her. Her parents would smile and nod, but Rewin soon realized they did not believe her.
One day, while walking along the beach, Rewin heard a pitiful wail. She followed it and soon found its source. In the shallow water a creature was lying, the red of blood around it. It was thrashing its snake-like body and webbed forefeet, the crest on its head lying low. Rewin had heard legends of these creatures, the mighty leviathan, but by the looks of it this one was young, almost a baby. Cautiously she walked forward and could see a large gash in the side of the creature; as if it had been thrown on the reefs by a wave. Again the leviathan wailed and Rewin felt pity for it.
"I will help you!" she cried and ran back to the village. Knowing her mother would not consent to her helping a creature she would deem dangerous, she stole into the hut and took clean clothes and a jar of the salve her mother would spread on wounds. Hurrying back to the beach, she cautously neared the leviathan, talking to him to calm him. When she came nearer, she realized that although it was very young, the creature was larger than she was and she almost lost courage. But then she advanced again, looking out for its jaws that already contained large teeth.
Still talking to the leviathan, she took some of the salve and put it on the wound. The leviathan tensed and snapped at her, but she had expected that and sprang back fast enough. She continued, and soon the leviathan felt the soothing effect of the salve and stopped to snap at her. Rewin wrapped the cloth around the wound and fastened it. "Are you hungry?" She caught a crab from the beach and threw it to the leviathan, laughing in delight when it snatched it up and gulped it down. She fed it a few more crabs, and when the sun lowered in the west she told it: "I have to go home! I will be back tomorrow!"
At home, Rewin did not tell her parents what had happened. But she giggled to herself when her mother wondered at the missing cloth and jar of salve.
The next days, Rewin went to visit the leviathan whenever she could. The wound was healing well, and soon it was splashing in the waters, playing with the girl. "I will name you Walabo!" she told it one day, and the leviathan nudged her, as if it had understood.
Soon Walabo grew stronger, and it began to swim out into the ocean, but when Rewin called him, he would come to her and play. One day, when she lay on its back exhausted, she mused. "I wish I could go where you go, Walabo! Swim out into the ocean as far as I want and dive down into it." Suddenly Walabo moved, swimming out into the sea with powerful strokes of his tail and fins. At first she was afraid, hugging him tightly, but soon she screamed and laughed in delight, urging him to even greater speed.
When they returned, she hugged him again and told him "I love you! You are my best friend!"
It was late when she returned that day, and her mother and father scolded her and asked where she had been. When she did not tell, she was sent to bed and her parents discussed. They decided they would have to find out what their daughter was doing the whole day, and why she was not playing with the other children.
When Rewin went to the beach the next day, her father followed her. Walabo was waiting for her in the shallow waters. She started to move toward him, but then her father came upon the beach. "Rewin, stay back from that creature!" he cried out and ran toward her. "No father! He is my friend!" she tried to tell him, but her father grabbed her and dragged her away. She tried to explain to her parents that Walabo was her friend, that he would never hurt her, but they did not listen. Her mother locked her into her room, where she threw herself on her bed, crying. Her father talked to the warriors of the village and it was decided to drive off the dangerous beast before it could hurt anyone. Armed with spears, they went to the beach. Walabo did not fear the men at first, playfully snapping at the spears, but when one of them drove a weapon in his side, he quickly retreated into the deeper water. Some of the men threw their spears after him, grazing his scales and he swam out into the ocean.
For days, two men were put on watch to drive Walabo back whenever he returned; and Rewin was not allowed to leave the hut during that time. After a week, when Walabo hadn't shown up for days, her mother at last let her out again. She ran to the beach, but her friend was not there. She cried for him, begging him to return, but Walabo did not appear. Finally, she lay down in the sand, sobbing, and soon slipped into a slumber.
Suddenly the water in front of the beach began to swirl, and a large snake formed from it. Rewin looked up through tear-streaked eyes. "I am Uluwuante!" the water-snake boomed. "The god of the sea! You have shown great compassion on one of my creatures, and now you suffer great sadness! I wish to relieve you of your sorrow!"
"Oh great god of the sea!" she cried. "I wish no more but to be with my friend Walabo!" – "He is a creature of the sea; you live on the land. You cannot be together as you wish." – "And still I do not want to live without him!" she answered. "There is a way, little human. But you will never be able to return to your old live!" – "I care not for my old live! I will sacrifice it gladly!" – "Then step into my body!" boomed Uluwuante, and moved nearer to the beach. Rewin stepped forward into the towering column of water. And there, in the water, she saw Walabo swimming toward her. Laughing and crying at once, she ran toward him and the two hugged. The water around the two began to broil and the two became less and less visible in the whirlpool caused by Uluwuante's body.
When the water calmed down, both the girl and the leviathan had vanished. A scaly body lay on the beach, colored in the brown of the girl's skin and the blue of the leviathan's scales. Large wings unfolded from its back.
"Now you two are one!" Uluwuante said. "And you will be free to explore wherever you want; be it land, sea or sky! This is my gift to you!" The small dragon spread its wings and sprang into the air, soaring across the sky and out over the ocean, dipping into the water now and then. Soon it left the island of Olowaii far behind.