The Lake Ran Dry

Sample from the English version:

A young girl lived by the shore of a small lake in the bush, near the foot of a tall mountain. This girl spent most of the day swimming in the shallow, murky water, diving and chasing tilapia and dragonflies. One summer, the rains didn’t come, and the water level dropped and kept on dropping, until, at the end of those long, dry months, there was no water to swim in anymore. Her pretty little lake was now just a muddy hole, with dead fish and sad frogs. With nowhere to swim, the girl, too, started to dry up and sadden.    

One morning, as she scanned the sky for some sign of cloud or change of weather, she realised that it wasn’t going to rain, not soon, and maybe never. She went to consult the elders in her village; asking them when the rain would come and if there was anywhere else she could swim. 

– Only the sea, love. 

– Where’s that?

– Far away, dear. You see those mountains over there? 

– Of course, they’ve been there since I was born. 

– Well, dear, the sea lies on the other side. If you want to swim, you’ll have to cross those peaks. 

The mountains were high and dark, and she had no idea what she might find on those slopes. But she decided to act. It was either act or have nowhere to swim – and there was nothing she liked better in the whole world than to swim. She went into the kitchen and packed up some fruit, a carton of milk, a bottle of juice, a pack of biscuits and some corn on the cob, and off she went, toward the mountains.  

After a long while riding her bicycle across the bumpy bushland, she arrived at the foot of the mountain. She shuddered at the sheer height of it. It was truly a monster, somber and scary too. She thought about turning back, jumping on her bike and returning to her dried-up lake, but her yearning to swim and curiosity about the distant sea gave her the courage to face the climb… 

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