Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Water Nymph

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Water Nymph

Article excerpt

ONCE UPON A TIME, the world's rivers and lakes and seas were filled with fairies and water nymphs.

They swam and played with the otters, the fish, the seals and whales, and all the other creatures of the waters. Every night, the water nymphs climbed out of their watery world and played on the shore with land creatures. But as the first light of dawn peeked above the horizon, the water nymphs went back into the water, for they had been told never to look at the sun.

Clytie was one of these nymphs, but she seldom obeyed others. She wanted to do whatever she wished.

Sometimes she neglected her chores; sometimes she laughed at her friends who obeyed their elders. Sometimes she played all alone, for her friends grew tired of listening to her laughter and teasing.

Above all, Clytie was endlessly curious. She wanted more than anything to see the sun.

Every day, as the other nymphs slipped back into the water, Clytie stayed on the shore, watching the horizon turn from darkest black to blue to gray to pink.

"Hurry, Clytie, hurry," the others called. "The sun is coming. Come back home."

And every morning, just before the sun god appeared, Clytie slipped back into her watery home.

At last, Clytie could no longer bear the temptation.

One morning, after all the other nymphs had returned to their home beneath the waves, Clytie stayed on the rocks and watched as the horizon grew bright with light.

As the sun's first rays flashed forth from the horizon, their warm fingers touched Clytie's shoulder.

Clytie flinched and turned to slip into the waves. But then she stopped.

She touched the place where the sun's rays had touched her, and she realized her delicate skin had not burned. Beneath her hands, her skin felt warm and nice.

So Clytie decided to stay on the shore. She stared out at the horizon, waiting for the appearance of the great sun god.

As the sun rose, Clytie's eyes opened wide with amazement, for she had never seen such a beautiful sight in all her life.

The light seemed to cast the whole world in a halo of color, and the sky turned glistening blue above the sun's clear gaze.

"How lovely," she whispered, and then turned to look again at the horizon.

"Oh, my," she said, for now she saw four white-winged horses rising out of the waves. They pulled behind them a huge golden chariot, and in the chariot Clytie saw, for the first time, the glorious sun god.

The sun god touched his golden whip to his horses' backs. Up and up they rose, higher and higher into the sky.

The sun god's bright golden curls blew in the warm morning wind. Everywhere he glanced, gold fell down upon the world.

Clytie could not take her eyes off him. All day long, she stared as the sun god drove his horses westward.

All day long, she watched as the world below was bathed in his gleaming light. …

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