The War Between the Clouds and the Earth – Part Seven

When Kay had finished speaking, it was morning. And the Monkey’s eyes widened. And he let out a great roar, and beat his chest, and the sound sent birds flying, and small creatures scurrying. Everyone in the forest was terrified by that sound.

And then the Monkey Who Has Forgotten stood up – and lo! He was so tall that his shoulders reached clear of the deep gorge which was his home; so tall that his head almost scraped the Sky.

And he reached down and picked Kay up, and placed her gently on his shoulder. And she clung to his thick hair, so as not to be blown off by the cold breath of the Sky.

And the Sky said:

“What is this? I could have sworn someone tickled me! Who is that, that can reach so high?”

And the Monkey said:

“It is I, the Monkey Who Has Forgotten; and this is my companion, Kay, most lost of the Lost Women, who went out across the Earth to find the Box of Tomorrow, and never returned; and I have come to put an end to this foolish war between your brother, the Earth, and the Clouds; for if they do not make peace we will all surely perish.”

“Ah!” said the Sky. “That is well. But my brother is bull-headed and proud, and so he is parched from thirst; and the Clouds are arrogant and vain, and have drifted so far from the Earth that they are barely more than a few water droplets, no more visible than a man’s breath.”

At this the Monkey was troubled, and he wept. And his great tears fell upon the Earth, and nourished it; and so the Earth regained his strength. And hearing the Monkey’s weeping, the Clouds, small and diminished as they were, came down to see what was happening. And as they did so, they saw the Earth, that they had almost abandoned, and they were ashamed for what they had done; and they drank deeply from the Ocean, and let their rains fall gently upon the plants and the animals.

And the Earth, for his part, was sorry also; and he said to the Clouds:

“Come, let us be friends – for it is clear we need each other. I promise never to make war on you again.”

And the Clouds replied:

“Forgive us our foolishness – it is clear we need each other. We promise never to make war on you again.”

And, so far as anyone can tell, they were all as good as their word.

But as for Kay, most lost of the Lost Women, she returned to her mountain, at the top of the world, and, so far as I know, she is there still; and sometimes you can hear her singing, when the mists lap the edges of the valley, and the Sun climbs into his bed.

And the Monkey Who Has Forgotten, they say he still lives in his deep gorge, and is a friend and brother to all the animals thereabouts, and is deeply loved.

But sometimes, when darkness covers all in its velvet cloak, and the valley sleeps, you can hear him weeping.

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