There once was a woman who roamed the desert in search of a home. She crossed many dunes and fought off many wild beasts until she arrived at an mausoleum. She sought shelter in the shade under its stone roof. When she opened her eyes she beheld a Sphinx staring at her.
"Don't eat me." She pleaded.
"You've slept under my roof while I was away. It is against the mandates to devour a guest."
"What do you intend to do then?"
"Well it is customary for a guest to repay the host in some way."
"What would you like for me to do?"
"Sweep the sand from my home when you are done you may go."
"But the desert..."
"Or I could make you my dinner tonight." The Sphinx licked her lips hungrily.
The woman's eyes widened in fear and she shook her head, "No, no I will do this for you."
A radiant smile replaced the hungry grin, "Good girl dinner will be in a few hours so you best start sweeping."
The woman took the broom and began to sweep. Hours passed and many times when she thought that progress had been achieved a strong western wind would blow back much of her toil. At dinner time she went inside and sat across the table from the sphinx. Afterwards she was shown her room and told that she would stay for as long as it took to clear the sand from the mausoleum.
She went to the well to fetch a bucket of water for her host. The well was dry she grabbed a shovel and climbed down. She dug deeper until the moist sand gave way to the water hidden below. She climbed back up and admired her handiwork. Her fingers were wet and covered in mud, it felt comforting, and as she looked around she saw the possibilities locked away, hidden except to one with a mind to undertake the difficult task, she sat up irrigation channels to direct the water to the grounds around Mausoleum. With care she planted seedlings and nurtured their growth.
Every evening before the sunset the Sphinx would walk the grounds with her guest and survey the day's work. Friendship grew and the years passed as the once barren desert turned green from the woman's hard work. Eventually the day came when the western winds no longer brought the burning sands to the doorstep of the Sphinx's home.
The Sphinx came to the woman that morning at dawn.
"Your debt is paid you may leave my home."
The woman refused her host's leave.
"Through my work here I have found the home I searched the sands for in my youth and a family to share it with."
The Sphinx allowed her to stay and in time other wanderers stumbled upon the lone island and found rest and comfort amongst peers. A place to call home for the tired and weak.