Storytime: Koby’s Magic Crystal
Sometimes it takes drastic measures to get people’s attention!
When his river home becomes polluted, a clever water-sprite teaches the local townsfolk a valuable lesson.
Once upon a time, there lived a watersprite named Koby who was very angry. With his small green feet, he jumped up and down on the bottom of the river waving his thin arms in despair. Being a watersprite, he liked his river clean, sparkling and full of fish. “Look at the garbage everywhere!” he cried and the ridge of fins along his back quivered. Bassy, his old fish friend, wiggled his tail fin. He’d never seen Koby so upset. But Koby was right. People were throwing bottles, paper cups and even tires into the river. Bassy had scars from scraping over something sharp.
“This calls for strong measures,” declared Koby. He kicked a small sand pile that made the water cloudy and Bassy sneeze. Koby took a deep breath to calm down. “Bassy, I need to talk to a human about changing all this.” Bassy gurgled and laughed. “People don’t talk to watersprites. They can’t see them.” But Koby insisted. “The mayor’s daughter can. She comes here often and I talk to her. I can make her understand that someone has to clean up this river.”
When the girl came down to the water’s edge the next day, she was surprised to find Koby so angry. She listened carefully when he told her how dirty the river had become. She then ran to her teacher and told her about the strange meeting. “Tsk, tsk,” the teacher scolded and wagged a finger at her. “It’s not nice to make up stories about watersprites. They only exist in fairy tales.” Even the girl’s mother thought she had a fever and put her to bed. Nobody believed her.
After several more plans were tried and failed, Koby decided there was one more thing he could do—use his magic crystal to dry up the river. Then the townspeople would see the garbage on the bottom and do something about it. He went into his underwater cave and brought out his magic crystal. He held it up to the sun. It shimmered and glittered and threw streams of colour over the river. Koby closed his eyes and chanted, “Water flow, getting low, down, down, down you go!” The river grew still and slowly the water level began to drop. Koby stashed the magic crystal in its pouch and, together with Bassy, swam off to a nearby pond.
The villagers were puzzled to see the water in the river drop until the bottom was visible. The mayor’s daughter pointed to the rusting, decaying waste and said, “I told you, the river is choking. We have to clean it up like Koby told us to.”
The mayor scratched his head. He still couldn’t believe his daughter could see and talk to a watersprite. But he ordered trucks to scoop up all the garbage and deposit it in proper dumps.
The teacher was sorry she hadn’t believed the girl and said, “Let’s take better care of nature and keep a sharp eye out for litter. Your watersprite has been a great help.”
Koby watched from afar and danced with delight. That night, he held his crystal up to the moonlight. Again he chanted, “Water rise, water flow, up, up, up you go!” Slowly, the water trickled back and within a few days it was clean and clear. Bassy came swimming back and Koby sighed contentedly as he splashed around.
The mayor’s daughter visited Koby often, happy to have such a special friend, and the villagers commented that the waves in the river had a magical light and sparkle to them ever since they cleaned up the river. ■