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Story Through Stone Reflection Card Stories


Amma and the Sacred Pool

By Cyndera Quackenbush


Long ago, a woman named Amma looked into a secret pool of water way out in the middle of the desert. She saw within the pool the image of a woman surrounded by light.


Now, Amma wished for the secret she held, and so a ball of light rose from the pool and became a part of her, making her belly full and round.


She gave birth to a son, she named Westerley, who was a powerful magician. He could summon ancient bones and stones and allow them to speak.


Now the village at the time was experiencing a drought, and the people believed the Gods were punishing them for something they did or that some curse by evil spirits had befallen them.


So Westerley asked the bones of old ancestors what they had witnessed.

“There were once two brother spirits that inhabited this land,” they said.

“They lived in a forest and especially loved one particular tree. One brother loved the tree for itself, how its branches grew, its leaves danced and how its roots sought the deepest waters.


“The other brother laughed at how this brother loved the tree. He loved it by eating it. He loved its piny taste and he would suck the water out through its roots.


“Eventually the second brother had eaten up all the trees in the forest and sucked out every last drop from the deep aquifers.


“The first brother had nothing left to love the land and was eventually evaporated away by the Rain Gods who took their clouds with them.”


The magician Westerley took this story back to this mother.


“This story is true but they are wrong about one thing. One tree is left and it exists near the secret pool where you were conceived.”


Amma knew what she needed to do.  She gathered up her weapons – a Quiver of Truth and a blade of justice. She visited the Last ancient tree that was inhabited by the evil spirit brother.


“Be gone from here, “ she called out to him with her strongest voice, resounding from the depth of her being.

“No longer may you eat our trees and drink our water.”

“No!” said the spirit, “I’m not leaving.” And Amma aimed and hit him with an arrow of truth.


“But I am so hungry and thirsty all the time, “ said the spirit, “I cannot stop!”


Amma dipped her knife of Justice into the pool. It was filled with light and briefly she saw a reflection of the Desert Mermaid.

“This knife is now filled with a light that will both cut you away from the tree and satiate your bottomless desire. You will join with the sun and your long lost brother will rain back down as protector of this land.”


As she spoke she raised her knife to the sky, rainclouds gathered , Thunder sounded, and lightning struck the tree tearing it in half and taking the spirit brother up to the sun.


Rain poured and the people rejoiced. However, Amma mourned the loss of the last tree. But as the rain cleared, at the base of the split tree, there were several pinecones.


Amma knew where her next task lay. She planted one by the pool and, placing the rest in her Quiver and began to plant and disperse across the land.


The people, who needed the rain to live, now knew it had been the trees they were also missing. The forest that began to grow in the nourishing rains became sacred and was protected by the people themselves for a long, long time.




This story was adapted for children and performed at the Hamlin School. Alternate endings can be read on the Children's Story Page



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