The Protectors

“Dad, tell me a story,” David said as he climbed into his race car bed.

“What kind of story do you want?” His dad asked.

David pondered for a moment. His eyes suddenly lit up. “A legend!”

“Okay. Have I told you the one about the turtle?”

“A thousand times. Don’t you know any other ones?”

“Ah! Have I told you the one about The Protectors?”

“No. Tell me it, pleeeease.”

David’s father laughed and began the tale.

“Years and years ago, before there was an ocean, before there were even any lakes, it was very hot. In fact that’s why there weren’t any lakes. The sun would evaporate any water shortly after it rained. People were dying from dehydration and heat exhaustion, the population was dwindling. The people didn’t know what to do. Their attempts at storing water just weren’t working.

“The council was at their wits end. If they couldn’t figure anything out, all of their people would die. Each night they got together and thought up ways to store water. Then one night one of the council members had a plan; what if there was something that could absorb some of the sun’s rays? The other members thought that was a great idea, but how would they do that? This is where they were stumped.

“The council was getting more and more worried. Each day somebody died and one day two of the council members died. This left thirteen members left. However, they grew more worried, what would the people do without them?

“Unfortunately, the council members continued to die off, one at a time, until only the chief remained. He knew his time would come soon, so he appointed new members onto the council, it was small, but it was something. The next day he was going to come up with a plan for if and when he died, he was too slow, though, as he did not wake up the next day.

“The people were all restless and worried, they didn’t have a chief and they didn’t know who should be the next one. The old chief watched his people from afar. He watched them from the ground, this confused him. He knew he was a spirit, but why didn’t he float up into the sky? Surely, there must be something wrong. Then he noticed the other council members’ spirits a distance away. He walked over to them and asked them why they didn’t go up into the sky. None of them knew either.

“The council members waited to leave the earth, but it didn’t happen, then one of them had an idea; maybe they still had a purpose on the earth. The chief agreed, it must be up to them to figure out how to save their people. There were discussing this when a child came walking up to them, looking for any signs of water. She couldn’t see them, but the council members still kept quiet. Suddenly the girl stopped and yelled to her mother that it was cool where she was, which was right in front of the chief.

“The chief then had an idea; their spirit forms must be soaking up the sun’s rays. He told the other members and they decided that they needed to get into the sky and stay there to soak up the rays of the sun and save their people. They all held hands and jumped up into the air, they floated up, up, up and stopped. There were very high up in the sky.

“They waited to see if their plan worked. Soon the people stopped what they were doing and looked up into the sky. They realized that the air suddenly felt cooler. They were all so happy that they began to dance. Shorty rain clouds appeared and it began to rain. They all danced in the rain and then they began to collect rain water. The next day the people woke up to see that there were still puddles of water on the ground and there was plant life beginning to grow. Everybody was ecstatic; there was hope for them.”

“Wait, are the spirits the ozone layer?” David asked.

“Yep. You sure picked that up quickly.” David’s dad rustled his son’s hair.

“My teacher said there’s a hole in the ozone layer.”

“That’s why we have to start taking care of our environment. We’re a part of the earth and the earth is a part of us. That’s why we recycle and try to save energy and water as much as we can.”

“Good. I don’t want to hurt the spirits.” David yawned and closed his eyes. “Good night, dad.”

David’s dad leaned down and kissed his son’s forehead, “Good night, son.”

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