Leherika and the Sand Castles
Leherika and the Sand Castles
Once upon a time a long time ago when the earth was greener and the seas bluer, there was a kingdom under the sea called Samnagar, ruled over by a mighty and just king Samnaresh. He lived in a palace of brilliant corals and shiny pearls with his daughter Leherika. Leherika was as beautiful as she was intelligent. The people of Samnagar lived in houses made of large shells and decorated it with seaweeds and colourful stones.
Every morning the king would go around his kingdom in a golden chariot pulled by eight mighty sea horses with glistening scales and colourful fins, showering gifts on his people. As he would pass by, people would bow their heads low in respect as they loved their benevolent king. Then he would ride his chariot and travel long distances. Everyday in the evening all his people would gather in the palace courtyard and he would regale hem with tales of the sights and sounds that he saw on his trips. He would tell them about humans who lived outside water, lived in sand castles and moved in huge vessels they called 'Ships' and everyone would listen to him with wide-eyed wonder.
Then one day on one such trip Samnaresh took his minister along with him. Of all the wonderful things he saw the minister liked the sand castles the humans lived in. That night after the king's assembly, people all gathered around the minister, to know more. Elated by all the attention he was getting the minister started telling them about all he saw. "And looking over the sea was a huge castle, with colourful flags fluttering in the winds and glittering in the morning sun. It could be seen from miles away, standing tall and strong" he said waving his hands around him. "Was it really made of sand?" a young girl asked in disbelief. "Yes indeed" he said " big and strong, unlike our houses of soft corals and brittle shells" he added. "They are not blown away by wind or swept away by water" he bragged. That day everyone went to sleep dreaming about houses made of sand.
As the days passed by people heard more and more about the beautiful sandcastles on land. Now they all now wanted to live in sand houses as well. Soon everyone broke their beautiful coral and shell homes and started making sand houses instead. But, alas! Every time they built sand houses, the wet sand would be swept away by the water. Again and again, they tried to build their sand houses, but again and again, the wet sand got swept away. Now the people were really sad, they no longer had any homes to live in. Looking at the sad faces of his people made the king very sad. So one day be went to the Sea God seeking his help. "I am sorry," said the Sea God in a voice as soft as the gentle lapping of the sea waves," there is nothing i can do about it. Why don't you seek the help of the Land God. He might be able to offer a solution to your problem" he said kindly.
That night the king sat at the royal window looking out at his kingdom. People no longer sang and danced. They no longer laugher or made merry as they had no houses to live in. Seeing her father looking so unhappy Leherika said, " Father you need to be with your people. Let me go and speak to the Land God on your behalf and get help".
So, the next day Leherika rode on her father's chariot and went to meet the Land God. Reaching his castle she rang the huge bell that hung at the gate. Soon palace guards took her to the Land God. On seeing him Leherika bowed low three times and gave him precious gifts she had got for him - precious stones, colourful corals and pearls of all shapes and hues. Pleased by her genteel manner and generosity the Land God offered her a silk cushion to sit on and said kindly," what is it my dear sea princess that I can help you with?". Leherika told him about how her people had broken down their homes to make sand houses like on land, how it kept getting swept away by the water and how unhappy they were. As she ended talking two teardrops ran down her face and fell on the ground where they lay glistening like diamonds.
Touched by the princess' love for her people the Land God said, " Dear princess be sad no more! I shall help your people. My own children shall make strong sand houses for your people, dried by the wind and the sun. But you must take them to your people yourself as they can't breathe underwater". Clapping her hands happily, Leherika bowed low three times, " Thank you Land God. For their efforts your children will always be rewarded by us" she said gratefully.
Since then little children make sandcastles on beaches and Leherika comes along with her waves and takes them to her people, leaving behind colourful shells, stones and beautiful weeds for her little helpers.