Why Water and Fire No Longer Hold Hands.
Once upon a time, there lived two friends; Water and Fire. Water was wonderful, Water would spend his days skipping through the grass, hugging the trees and the flowers, Water would look after all the animals, especially Fish. Water was kind, caring and loved by all.
Water’s best friend, Fire, was always by his side, together they would dance atop the hills, climb deep into the dark caves and hold hands while exploring The Great Forest. Fire spent all her time with Water, she shared all her secrets with Water, after all, they shared everything. Fire didn’t have many friends, besides Water, so she treasured every moment they spent together, as if it was their last. The animals and the trees never embraced Fire like they did with Water but that didn’t matter to her, as long as she had her friendship with him, she was happy.
One day Water was skipping through The Great Forest and heard his name being called.
“Water!” A great thundering voice echoed “Water, over here!” the voice was slow but deep and strong. Water stopped skipping and began to follow the voice. “Over here!” The voice bellowed. Water pushed his way through the green bushes, climbed over the silver greying rocks and soon found who was calling his name.
Baum was the largest and oldest tree in The Great Forest, he had been living in The Great Forest before it had even been called The Great Forest. Baum’s trunk was mud brown and his leaves were dark green. On his branches lived Bird and all her eggs.
“Hello, Water,” Baum said, his voice was even more booming now Water was up close.
“How are you doing on this wonderful day?” Water asked.
“Much better now that I have seen you, Water. My trunk aches, my leaves fall when it is not time and my roots are so dry.”
Water looked all around, it was true. There were leaves everywhere.
“I’m sorry to hear that, is there anything I can do?” Water asked, hoping he could help in some way.
Before Baum could answer, Bird flew from the very top of Baum’s branches and landed right next to Water.
“Hello, Water” Bird said, delightfully.
“How are you doing on this wonderful day?” asked Water.
Bird’s feathers were a decorative shade of blue and red that reminded Water of all the different colours of the sky. Bird was famous throughout The Great Forest for her mesmerising singing voice. The other animals would come in large numbers just to listen to her sing, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
“Wonderful,” Bird said. “I am doing wonderful on this wonderful day. Would you like to hear me sing?”
“I would love to hear you sing, Bird.” Water replied in exhilarating joy.
Bird’s voice was soft yet exuberant. It was angelic, yet magical. It was sweet, yet soulful. The voice was truly unique. Her voice was filled with emotion, she could make you cry if she wanted to. Or she could make you dance. Water listened in astonishment until Bird had finished her song.
“Show off” Baum whispered, loud enough so Water and Bird could hear him. Water could not hide his amusement.
“Grow up” Bird said to Baum, sticking her beak to the side.
“How much growing is there left for me to do?” Baum replied. “I’m the largest and oldest tree in The Great Forest. Did you know that I was born before ‘The Great Forest’ got its name?”
“Yes!” Water and Bird said simultaneously. Baum liked to tell that story as often as he could.
“But I fear I am not what I once was.” Baum said, his booming voice filled with sadness. “Can you help me, Water?”
“Of course.” Water replied, but he did not know how.
“Water, throughout The Great Forest you bring joy to so many. You bring laughter and most importantly, you bring hope. Hope is the most important thing in the world. Did you know that, Water?” Baum didn’t expect a reply from Water.
Water did not reply.
“Hope is what makes Bat fly during the darkest of nights. Hope is what helps Monkey swing from the highest of heights. Hope will help Bird raise her eggs when it is time. Hope. Can I have some hope, Water?
Without thinking, Water walked closer towards Baum, stepping delicately over the dark green leaves that had fallen from Baum’s great branches, Water walked until he was right next to his giant mud brown trunk. He paused and gave Baum a hug. Water stretched around Baum’s trunk as wide as he could, Water squeezed tight for as long as he could until he eventually knew it was the right moment to let go. Water stepped back, standing next to Bird.
“Thank you,” Baum said, his voice no longer filled with sadness. “My trunk no longer hurts; my roots are no longer dry…”
“and your leaves?” Bird asked.
“Strong and steady.” Baum replied.
Out of nowhere, through the huge bushes behind Bird and Water came Tiger, Elephant, Mouse, Zebra, Giraffe and many more inhabitants of The Great Forest.
“What are you all doing here?” Water asked.
“We have come to see you, Water. And Listen to Bird sing,” Mouse said, giving Water a big hug. “We heard Bird singing from far away and knew that you would be here.”
“Keep going!” The crowd cried. Bird did not need a second invitation, Bird flapped her wings and flew into the sky, she flew all around the large crowd that had all come from miles to listen to her sing. She flew under Giraffe’s tall legs, around Elephant’s huge trunk, in between Monkey and Koala. She flew. While she flew, she sang. Even Baum had found a new love for Bird’s singing. The day could not get any livelier.
Then suddenly, Bird stopped singing, she flew up and up and up into Baum’s tallest branch, until she could be seen no more. It wasn’t long before everyone else found out why. Out of nowhere, emerging through the bushes, just like the others had done previously, came Fire. Elephant quickly turned around, hurrying through the bushes – Mouse, Cat and Dog had jumped on Elephant’s back. Tiger did a great leap and in a blink of an eye, he was gone. The rest scattered and ran and within seconds, there stood only Water, Baum and Fire.
Fire embraced Water with a big hug, squeezing tight. Water squeezed back.
“Where have you been, Water?” asked Fire “I thought we were going to explore Mole’s cave today. They say it is the darkest cave in the entire Great Forest”
“We are,” Water replied. “I just stopped to help my good friend Baum, he needed some hope.”
Fire looked up at Baum. “Hello, Baum,” She said. “I hope Water was able to help.”
“He was,” Baum replied. His voice deeper than usual. “Fire, do you think I could talk to Water alone for a moment, I promise it will just be for a moment, then you will be able to go and explore Mole’s cave.”
“Okay,” Fire replied. And she quickly hurried off.
“Is everything okay, Baum?” Water asked curiously.
“Did you see how happy; Mouse, Elephant, Monkey, Tiger and all the others were when they saw you? Did you see?” Baum questioned Water.
“Yes, I did” Water replied. “I was happy to see them as well.”
“Did you see how happy; Mouse, Elephant, Monkey, Tiger and all the others were when they saw Fire? Did you see?” Baum questioned Water, further.
Water did not know how to respond. Fire was his best friend in the whole of The Great Forest, he could not understand why Bird had stopped singing. He could not understand why all the others had left.
“What did Fire do?” asked Water.
“Nothing. It is not her fault, but Fire was not meant for The Great Forest. Poor child. Her home is not here. Fire is not meant for Bird as she flies through the sky. Fire is not meant for Kangaroo as she hops from green to green with her baby in her pouch. Fire is not meant for Deer as he plays amongst the roses. Fire does not bring hope. She brings only fear,” Baum said regretfully.
“She does not bring fear!” Water defied.
“I’m sorry, Water. But it is for the best if you and Fire no longer see each other. You give others hope, while she gives other fear. The two cannot live as one,” Baum said.
Water did not understand. How could anyone be afraid of Fire? He was not going to let this happen so easily. Suddenly, Water had an idea. “If I can prove to you Fire can give hope to others, will you let us be?
Baum looked at Water with a curious peer. “Okay,” Baum finally agreed. “If you can prove to me that Fire can bring hope to others by the end of the day, you and she may still be friends. But, if you cannot do this then I must separate the two of you and you will never be allowed to dance, play or hold hands for the rest of time”.
Water reluctantly agreed.
Later that day, Water and Fire were skipping through the forest, towards Mole’s cave. Water’s mind was plagued with thoughts about how he could prove that Fire gave hope to others. “I’ve never been in Mole’s cave before, they say it is the deepest and darkest cave in The Great Forest,” Fire said, enthusiastically.
“I have heard that too,” Water replied, in a deflated tone.
Fire knew something was wrong. She has never seen Water so distracted before, “Is everything okay, Water? You seem distracted.” Fire was never one to beat around the bush.
They both stopped skipping. “Oh, I’m sorry, Fire. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Is there anything I can help you with?” Fire asked.
Little did Fire know, that’s exactly what Water needed, her help but he could not tell her.
“No,” Water replied. “I will be fine once we get to Mole’s cave. They say it is the deepest and darkest cave in The Great Forest.”
Fire laughed and they carried on their journey. They skipped through the forest, heading towards Mole’s Cave, they joked, they played, they laughed, and they shared secrets, just like they always did. Water would not let his day with Fire be ruined by the thought of them never being together again, he knew that she could inspire hope, in one way or another.
As the pair reached the edge of the Garden of Roses, they began to hear a cry. The cry was fierce and ferocious but sad. They decided to investigate.
They eventually reached the source of the crying, it was Bear, sat all alone, wiping away tears from his huge brown eyes.
Water approached first, in front of Fire, “Bear, what makes you so sad?” Asked Water.
Bear was pleased to see Water, he even managed to put a smile on his furry face, but the furry smile didn’t last long as Fire emerged from behind Water. Bear sprang to his feet, ready to make a quick getaway.
“WAIT!” Water begged. “Please, let us help you.”
Water knew this was a perfect chance to prove Fire could inspire hope. He was not about to let it go so easily.
“Yes, let us help you, Bear. What has made you so upset?” Fire asked as she stepped towards Bear.
Bear was hesitant but his sadness was too great. His eyes began to swell, and his eyes were filled with tears again and before Water and Fire knew it, he was back on his behind, crying.
Water stepped back, letting Fire take the lead. “Bear, what makes you so sad?” Fire asked.
Bear wiped his eyes, “My honey, I’ve lost my honey, I left it right here and now it’s gone.”
“We will help you look, right Water?” Fire said. “Of course,” Water replied.
Water and Fire began to search all around for Bear’s lost honey, they looked behind the bushes, atop the trees, under the roses, they search high and low, far and wide, they searched and searched and searched, but they had no luck. They could not find the honey anywhere. Water grew sad but wouldn’t let this opportunity go amiss, he would do anything to prove Fire inspired hope.
“I know!” proclaimed Water. “Although we could not find Bear’s honey, that does not mean all is lost, we could give him something that will make him feel better,”
“What’s that?” Fire asked curiously.
“Hope, we can give Bear hope, you can give Bear hope, Fire!” Water encouraged. “Hope that one day he will get more honey.”
“How would I do that?” asked Fire.
“Go give Bear a hug,” Water said.
“A hug?” Fire asked, eyebrow raised. “Okay, Water, if you think that’ll help.”
Fire walked up to Bear who was still sat alone amongst the roses, his big brown eyes still filled with tears, and gave him a big hug. Fire squeezed tightly as Water watched on. Bear’s big brown eyes dried, his cries went silent and a faint smile went upon Water’s face.
“What in the Great Forest do you think you are doing?” asked Bear.
Water’s smile quickly disappeared. Fire immediately let go of Bear. Bear rose from his bottom and stood up on his strong legs, and he began to run.
“Thanks for the help!” Bear shouted as he ran, his voice becoming harder to hear as he got further away. “Lets just forget about the honey, I’m sure I’ll get over it. See you around Waterrrrr”
Water and Fire watched Bear run through the Garden of Roses until he could be seen no more. This was going to be a lot harder than Water thought. What was it about Fire that the animals didn’t like? What was it about her that frightened them so much? Whatever it was, Water didn’t see it. Water quickly hurried Fire on their journey.
As they continued to Mole’s cave, they encountered so many familiar faces; Horse, Monkey, Snake and many others, each one having their own problem and for each problem they had, Water saw an opportunity for Fire to prove she could inspire hope. Horse had taken a fall and her magnificent, golden main was no longer magnificent or golden, it was drenched in dirt. Horse was so sad, she could barely look at herself. Water encouraged Fire to help but she could not, Horse would not let Fire near her. So, Water helped Horse and cleaned her main.
Monkey had a problem with his long tail, he had got it caught in rock and could not escape. Water encouraged Fire to help Monkey, but she could not, when Monkey saw Fire approach, he yanked so hard his tail was nearly ripped off. So, Water helped Monkey get loose. Problem after problem but Fire could do nothing about them, only Water. The animals only wanted Water.
Eventually, they reached Mole’s cave, it had taken all day to get there, the sun was beginning to set. Water had troubled thoughts, the day was almost over, and he is no closer now to completing his task than he was at the beginning.
“Look how dark it is, Water,” Fire said, as they both stood at the entrance of Mole’s cave. The cave was so deep and dark, light could barely enter. “Why do you think it is called ‘Mole’s cave?’ I thought Mole dug tunnels.”
Water was troubled, it was like he didn’t even hear fire. He had to find a way to prove Fire could inspire hope and the way wasn’t in Mole’s cave.
“I don’t feel like exploring Mole’s cave anymore. Let’s go see if Giraffe needs some help with something. I think I heard Squirrel calling for help. Let’s go,” Water said, trying to hurry Fire away.
Fire looked at Water curiously.
“What’s going on, Water? You’ve been acting strange all day, please tell me what’s going on,” said Fire.
“Nothing,” lied Water.
The sky had turned from bright blue to dark orange as the sun was setting.
“Tell me, Water. You’ve been acting different all day. I know the animals don’t like me, I’ve accepted that. And I know you know it as well and yet all day, when they wanted your help like they always do, you insisted I take charge. I saw the way Bear looked at me when I tried to come close. I saw the way Monkey nearly ripped his tail off when I tried to let him loose. And yet you still insisted, you’ve never insisted so much in all our time together. What changed today?”
Water felt a wind of sadness hit him. He knew he had to come clean.
“If I couldn’t prove that you could give others hope by the end of the day, we aren’t allowed to be friends anymore. Baum says you frighten everyone, and I give others hope and the two can’t live as one,” Water said with great anguish in his voice.
“Oh…,” said Fire. “So, I’m guessing time is nearly up.”
“Water, I am okay with what I am. I know how much you mean to everyone in The Great Forest, you make them happy, you keep them going every single day, you give them hope to carry on. And I don’t. It would be selfish for me to keep you to myself. So, lets go into Mole’s cave and have fun, for one last time.”
Water’s eyes quickly filled with tears.
“Okay,” Said Water.
And they headed into Mole’s cave. The cave was pitch black and darker than the peak of night, before long they had walked so far into the cave without realising it, Water was so afraid… A glow caught Water’s eye, a bright red light ignited all around. It was Fire, she lit up Mole’s cave for miles. Water looked on in astonishment, this is what he saw in Fire, this is what he wanted everyone else to see, this is how he wanted everyone else to feel when they were around Fire. He felt safe. In a place where it was darkest, Fire provided the light. Fire was Water’s light at the end of the tunnel.
After a while the two left Mole’s cave and heard singing, they both recognised the voice straight away, it was Bird. Bird landed before them.
“Hi Bird,” Fire said.
Although Bird was usually frightened of Fire, she stood her ground, she knew how difficult it must be for the two long friends and didn’t want to ruin it.
“Hello Fire,” Bird replied. “Water, it is time, I’m sorry.”
Water and Fire accepted their fate and embraced one last time. Water squeezed tight, Fire squeezed back.
“I will always remember you,” Said Water.
“Now until the end of time,” Replied Fire.
Water left with Bird, as Fire watched on.
And that is why Water and Fire no longer hold hands.