Urah

In Ancient Greece, long ago, there was a young shepherd boy named Urah. He had brown hair like sheep's wool, and had skinny limbs. Urah wanted to be rich and famous when he got older. When he told that to his mother, she grumbled "Well, find a talent that will get you money. And we only have one choice, do your father's work, and your grandfather's work. Be a shepherd." Urah quickly realized that he had no talent for it. So he prayed to the god Apollo.

"Oh Apollo!" he cried, "Help me with the sheep and cattle. You are the keeper of the gods' sacred cattle, please help me with mine." But there was no sign that Apollo heard his prayers. That night he dreamt that he was in a green field with red cattle. A bright light appeared, and when it dimmed Urah saw a young man with a wreath on his head and holding a shining gold lyre. Then a voice echoed in the dream. "My dear Urah," it spoke, "you will never really be a good shepherd, not truly."

But still in vain, he tried to be a shepard. His father and his father's father had all been shepherds and he wanted to be one too. That night he did not sleep, but cried.

After many weeks of sadness and grief, he went to Gaea, the earth goddess. "Oh great Gaea, goddess of the earth, Apollo rejected me, but please do not deny me too. Let me learn how to work you, as a farmer." Thunder shook the temple, then a voice was heard.

"Little boy! You dare ask for the help of great Gaea?" it boomed.

"Yes." Urah whispered.

"I like your daring, for that I shall give you the gift of farming. When you plant a seed, it will rise from the earth and dance at your fingers."

Later that day, when he got home, Urah took a seed from his mother's store and went outside. "Oh little seed!", he shouted, "Grow and sprout and dance for me!" A small plant appeared. Then it grew and grew. That night he feasted on grapes that even Dionysus would be proud of.

Many years passed. Urah's gift grow stronger and stronger. One day he called to the towns people, "Come people from far and near! See how the plants dance at my fingers! How the grapes are sweeter, the barley better!"

The townsfolk cheered, "Look, look! He speaks the truth! See how the flowers bloom early and die late. See how the trees seem taller, the grass greener. Hurray for Urah!"

"Even great Gaea could do no better!" Urah exclaimed.

"No, No!", the townsfolk cried, "Gaea will punish us all now!" At that moment all the towns people crumpled into piles of soil. Clouds covered the sun. A dark shape appeared. It had a human body as black as coal, wearing a silver-gold cloth that seemed to shimmer around her. It was Gaea, the earth goddess.

"Your people were right, Urah. I gave you this gift. I can take it away. From now on you shall feed on the soil you so dearly worked. You will have no eyes or ears, arms or hands. You will only have a pale slimy body and a mouth!"

And with that, the first earthworm was made.

The End