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Balance of the Ancient Sea (Callisto Islands)

Legends of the lands
By: MegaRose (2009 Legend Contest Winner)

Ten thousand generations ago, before the births of our revered grandmothers and venerated grandfathers, before the mighty kings reached out across the lifegiving sea, the night sky reached down to the churning waters to touch at a point indeterminate, and it seemed that the dark dome of the heavens and the dark bowl of the ocean were one. In some places, in the faraway lands where the firm earth stretches beyond the horizon, deep water is viewed with scorn, an obstacle to overcome. But here, in the places where the land springs lively from the eternal sea, we know that the water brings us life.
      Look at all the beasts upon the land and tell me this, are they the largest beasts in our world? Are they the most numerous, or perhaps the most varied? Are they the strongest, or the wisest? No, those who believe that are like children, who have yet to see beneath the sea. Come and look, beneath the waves of our mother sea. Here live the greatest beasts of creation.
      Here live the whales, who grow to lengths unmeasurable.
      Here live the dolphins, nimble as birds and wise as man.
      Here live the sharks, strong and fierce like warrior gods.
      Here live the fishes and the crabs, the squids and the snails, the corals and the sponges, the true and uncountable extent of creation.
      Look beneath the sea, teeming with life, life that both feeds man and feeds upon man. Look beneath the sea, and you will see why we know that man emerged from the ocean's bosom.
      Ten thousand generations ago, when the world was nothing but the darkness and the sea, the fearsome ancient Kraken pulled the land up from beneath the sea. The Kraken is a powerful beast who can with ease reach down, down, into the darkest and most sacred reaches of the sea. His arms are strong and dextrous, and with them he seized the land from the bottom of the sea. From this land he forged the islands which are our home.
      The valiant Narwhal, the celebrated sea warrior who never drops his blade, came up to the shores of this new dry land and created the people, our people, who live in harmony with the sea. The Narwhal's tooth is a strong blade, but he broke this blade from his face and cast it upon the earth. The tooth is a strong bone, a powerful center of life's energy, and from this weapon tooth came the sturdy backbone of the first man. But now this Narwhal had no tooth, no warrior's weapon, and became then on known instead as a giver of life. The valiant Narwhal became the first woman.
      The mysterious Leviathan, the long-armed guardian of the sea, took the clouds of the heavens in his great broad fins and brought to the island its rivers. The Leviathan perched upon its serpentine tail and reached up to the heavens and weaved a sparkling strand of river from the ethereal wisps of cloud. The water of the river is fresh and good for man to drink. The mysterious Leviathan, wise and worldly, weaved a river for man.
      The small and humble Koi looked upon the mighty warriors of the sea. The Koi is bright but feeble, a creature of beauty and not of strength. The Koi looked upon the fearsom Kraken and the mysterious Leviathan and within him felt the fear of the sea's mighty power. The Koi looked upon the new island man and the new island woman and within him felt the joy of the sea's great kindness. Bright but feeble, the Koi had no gift to give to man but his own heart. The small and humble Koi swam up the fresh and sparkling river, up to the villages of man. When you look upon the Koi, sweet and delicate like a newborn babe, you shall feel his love and respect of man, sea, and the heavens. That is the gift that Koi gives to man.
      Ten thousand generations ago the beasts of the sea, both great and small, gave to man his life and his home. In those days all creatures knew of the balance between the sea and the heavens, between man and his honored fathers. From father to son this tale has been told to instill within you young souls a proper respect for that balance. In the language of the islands, the word 'future' also means, 'that to which you must turn your back.' We cannot see the future. But the word 'past' also means, 'that to which you are facing.' We can see the past, and when we know and respect the stories of our creation, we know where to steer our future. Now you too know where to steer your future. Respect the lifebearing sea, the strong Kraken, the wise Leviathan. Respect the self-sacrifice of the Narwhal and the love of the Koi. Keep the balance between nature and man, respect your ancestors and provide for your descendants. That is how we live, for ten thousand generations.
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