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“The legend tells of a blue serpent that lived high in the mountains to the north of the village of Eldad.  She grew up alongside a very dear friend called Woman; the two were inseparable.  They played together, ate together, slept together, shared each other’s deepest secrets.  Woman and Blue Snake were constant companions.  Their love and friendship were known by everyone in the land.

“Then one day, when they had both come of age, Woman fell in love with a fisherman and ran away to the sea to be with him.  Blue Snake was heartbroken.  How would she live without her beloved bosom friend?  Her grief and love for Woman was so great that she grew legs and started the long journey from the mountains to the sea.

“After several days of travelling, when Blue Snake was about half way, the sky became angry with her for leaving the mountains.  A dark and terrible storm was created.  The thunder roared and the sky hurled large hailstones at Blue Snake.  She could find no place to take shelter from the raging sky.  An enormous spear of fire was hurled down upon the earth and struck Blue Serpent to her death.

“Immediately the storm stopped and the earth lay totally silent for several hours.  After the sun hid its face and the full moon started its journey across the night sky, something very beautiful happened.  Blue Snake’s dead serpentine body, still full of love, began to grow at both ends.  It kept growing through the whole night and by morning it reached all the way from the mountains to the sea.  As the dawning sun lay its first gentle rays of light on Blue Serpent’s dead body, she was transformed into life-giving water and became the river.”

An excerpt from One Tree in the Garden by L.T. Beattie, available on Amazon.

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