The Story of the Little Stone
by Bodo Bodenstein

Once upon a time there was a little stone. Actually, it was a small boulder, which was lying at the border of a large ocean on the bottom of the sea. His mother was the large coast rock, which sometimes stuck right out of the water during the tides. The little boulder was not old yet, but soon he wondered, where his father was and asked his mother, the coast rock. It must be said that each little stone had a father, because the sons and daughters always were formed during heavy storms, when large coast rocks struck against each other. However, there never lay a father rock beside his mother.

The mother rock was short of an answer, but finally she said: "It happened in a cold winter. Large ice-floes came from the North, they enclosed me completely and one ice-floe pressed me strongly. That's the way you were fathered. The ice-floe disappeared in the spring and I have never seen it again."

The little boulder was sad, because he would probably never see his father. But he soon was distracted from thinking about that, because school time began for the little stone. Mother rock sent him to the Reef School, by the ebb-tide he departed and by the incoming tide he returned. Little stone enjoyed school a great deal. He whirled around with other stones and between them there were moving small fish.

One day - stones and fish were practising hide-and-seek - a wave tore around the little boulder, right as a young coloured perch hid behind him. And since our little stone was still quite sharp-edged, he hurt the little perch's skin a little. The teacher, Mrs. Turtle, became furious about it and forbade the little stone to participate the game of hide-and-seek any more. All the other little fish boys didn't want to have anything to do with the little stone either and avoided him where only they could. They even pushed him into a cave, where he found out again only very difficultly.

The little stone became sad and somehow felt guilty, because he was so rough-edged and square. His father could not help, because he did not have one.

The school years of ebb and flow were dragging on, but one day the little stone made an alga's acquaintance on his way to school. Every time that he rolled by, they moved together in the ocean current for some minutes and the rushing surf played the music on it. The little stone enjoyed that and tried to keep hold of the alga, but he was not quick enough for the fast movements of the plant.

The little stone fell in love with the alga and asked her if she wanted to become his girlfriend. "Oh - no!" she said laughing, she had already a friend: "Do you see the bright wood piece above? That's him!" She moved out of his sight.

The little stone looked up to the surface of the sea and saw many wood bits and algae doing a dancing race. They were swimming harmoniously in the waves of the sea. The little stone became sad again, because he could only roll along clumsily on the ground. He cried bitterly but his mother, the coast rock, gave him a saying on the way which was from his grandfather:

Storm floats driving wood away,
It can not rest, it cannot sink.
The stone moves slowly on its way,
From ocean bottom it can blink.

A wood piece very fast is burning.
Mankind needs it for the fire.
The young stone often is returning.
But polished it is man's desire.

"Where is my grandfather?" the little stone asked. The mother rock replied, he had been a large coast rock, which humans blew up in the last war. Now he is grinded to sand long since and is dispersed along the whole local coast.

The little stone wanted to become polished, too, and he rubbed himself on the sand in tides again and again, on the sand which once was his grandfather. With the years, he became more and more roundish and also flatter. He was quite pretty to look at, with a small pattern, and he was not any longer sharp-edged. When he rested in the shadow of his mother rock at night, he was dreaming that he once would be gathered by little humans who would make him jump over the water or would even take him with them - to a journey around the world.

© 2007 Bodo Bodenstein

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