Little ones ask for the Story
Gokhan must wipe tears from his eyes before beginning
He sits on the banks of Nagaco
“We once lived in a fat land
We ate fruit from trees, and the big Waachi that swam in the ocean
There was always enough—hunger was a stranger at our doors.
“Skara was a kinder place back then
Mist and cool sheltered us from Celem’s brilliance
Na-Shizu could live on the land then and children could wander alone.
“There was joy in everything then—in the training for war even.
It was merely the form, the pathway of happiness.
Blood rested not on our hands.
Even Durno children came to learn with ours the Arts of War and Self Control
The sayings of Lu Mīn, and the other Gokhanse.
“Then came the long darkness and the shaking
Terrible winds and falling earth.
Fire came down from on High
And all changed, like waking from a dream.
“The Waachi swam away from their homes to find new cool places.
The mist evaporated in the heat.
The fruits began to shrivel and the skin to burn.
Life became full of sorrow and misery.
But it was only the beginning.
“With the changes came a new Threat.
A people from the South,
Like reptiles they drew power from Celem
Like the heat they were merciless
Devouring all in their path.
Their menfolk developed a taste for our Na-Shizu
And carried them off to accomplish their will
They fought in groups, not like warriors with honou
“With long weapons they attacked
In heavy coverings they protected themselves,
A numerous army came to our towns
To Kunazem and the Coast
“In terror we turned to our friends, the Durno
We entreated them for help
To obey the terms of our Ancient Contract
“But they met us with coldness
“--Our blood was not their blood
Our lands not their concern
Where were we when the Joria fled? –they asked
Did we track them down and bring them back?
“Then they spoke of a land beyond the High Places
A land harsh and cruel, but empty and new.
We could go there—they would not lift against us their hand.
They even offered meal and leather coverings for the journey.
“Now we must decide—there would not be time later.
“So the elders spoke together—of all the signs:
Of Celem’s fury and his new fiery sons,
Of the shriveled fruit and the Waachi
“We took their bargain, we received their gifts.
By cover of night, when the Sons of Fire danced their fierce dance and made merry
We gathered who was left and we fled.
We did not look back.
“We came here to the Lake and to the Plain
And we made oaths to be a new people
To learn the lore of the open spaces
The language of the Lake Waachi and the prickly trees
To protect ourselves from Celem with new woven skin
“When the sons of the Snake came down from the High Places
With a hunger we had not seen, even in the Sons of Fire
We built Nagaco – City on the Lake
There we are safe—as long as we kept watch.
“We learned the lore of fighting in groups
Of traps and bait
How to walk great distances with neither food nor drink
How to fight in the cold and the dark.
“Though we grew and changed to be like the prickly trees of the plains
In our hearts we kept the secrets of our Birthplace
The softness of the fruit, the mist, and the taste of the fat Waachi
“That is why in your dreams you must remember that land
Feed it to your heart
And no matter what misfortune befalls you—you will then be forever Shinse---