How Seashells Came to Be

Write stories as told by your kin, either to fill Legendary requirements or just for fun.
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peanutbutter
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How Seashells Came to Be

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When Breaking Free was much younger, whenever the doe was having a hard time sleeping it was tradition for her to tuck herself close to her father's side. She would lean in as he told her in his quiet timbre stories of the world, until she could close her eyes and finally find rest. Tonight was a night no different, her pink fur pressed against her father's dark blues as she curled in close, and as a cold breeze blew by, he found himself shuffling closer as he decided which to tell her.

It took him a moment, but as homesick and tired as he was, it didn't take him long to decide to retell what was quite possibly his favorite and he cleared his throat lightly before he began.

"Once, when the swamp new, and the creatures were settling in their new homes, the little creatures of the sea realized that they wanted more than was just underwater. It was true that under the water the area was barren, and there was little to hide in or create a home out of. So over time the creatures of the sea decided that they would go on land and get what they would need, so that way the water would be just as full as life as the swamp was.

"They decided they would go in groups up to the land, and they would take what they needed, and return back down. And so the first group went up to the land and they looked around - for there was much to see in the swamp, which had grown in their absence. After some time, and some talking, they decided to take the plants and grasses with them back down into the ocean. And so they did, and they planted it along the bottom, and it grew rich and thick in the sea. Some creatures took home in it, and some ate it, and many enjoyed what it brought to the sea.

"But over time, there was some that grew unhappy - they didn't like how flimsy the grass was, how it moved at every whim of the waves, how it let in the sun. So it was decided a second group would go up to the swamp, and they would pick something else to bring back down.

"So the second group went up to the swamp and they too looked around, admiring what had been made. After looking around and talking, they decided to take the wood back with them and so they did. Under the water they created shelters with the wood, light things that offered structure and protection, that allowed some shade to be. And for some time, all was well, and the creatures of the sea were happy.

"But once again, some grew again to be unhappy. They disliked how the wood could break apart, how sometimes it would need to be rebuilt. That it was still light enough to let in some light, that it didn't offer total protection. So it was decided that a third group would once again go up to the swamp and pick something to bring back. And the third went up, and picked the stones, for there was very little left to pick in the swamp. And they came back down, and built mounds with those stones, creating sturdy homes and darkness. With that, there was peace in the ocean, and all the creatures of the sea were happy.

"But one day, a doe came by the ocean. She was fair and she was sad, lamenting the lack of life around - the swamp had grown barren, things missing from the lands that had once been. It was a hard life to live and she had come looking for hope.

"The ocean creatures, hearing her tale, realized what had happened. They had taken too much from the swamp, and needed to set things right, for indeed the shore that once touched their lands was barren dry sand, unable to bear life where it had once before. So once again, divided into their groups, they created a plan to return the things they had taken back to the swamp.

"The first to return were the grasses, pulled and cut from the ocean and left to float back to the shore, with enough left for the creatures of the ocean to still have shelter and food. Over time, they had grown accustomed to the sea and the water, and they returned to shore damp and salty. But the creatures of the swamp were happy to receive it and it was named - "

"Seaweed!" Breaking interjected, perking up from where she had been listening. Dusk gave her an indulgent smile, leaning down to nuzzle her. He had told her about his home, but she had not seen the ocean yet - it was too far a trip for the small doe, too risky to take. But she had loved listening and learning all the same, and had asked him endless questions.

"Yes, it was seaweed. Named for how it appeared after being in the sea for so long, the creatures of the land took it and used it as food and as a way to make ropes and nets and such other things. And once again grass was in the swamp, and the sea creatures were happy. But they knew that that was not the only thing that had to return to the land and so after some time, the creatures of the ocean looked at their wood and found what was not needed and let that float back to the shore as well.

The wood was damp and salty, but it was also able to drift along the water and could be used for shelter. And so the creatures of the swamp took it gratefully and named it - "

"Driftwood," Breaking finished, less enthused as before, as it was clear she was starting to tire. It was rude of her to interject again, but Dusk was still pleased all the same, and indulgent of it still.

"Yes, driftwood. And so the swamp grew again, with the wood returning and providing shelter to the creatures and grasses that grew. But there was still something missing, and this was the hardest for the ocean creatures to return. Because over time the rocks they had taken had been delicately turned into beautiful creations, able to protect and also provide joy. But they knew that what they had taken from the swamp was too great and so these too were returned to the shore, for the creatures of above to find.

"And the stones they found again they called seashells, for the stones they found reminded them of protective shells they had seen on some of their creatures. And so stones returned to the swamp, and the balance was restored. But the creatures of the ocean still felt bad, for they still had shores that were barren bordering their lands, unable to support life. So this is why when you walk along the beach, you can still find seaweed and driftwood and seashells - the creatures of the sea are still paying their debt and trying to return to the swamp what was taken, even after it's long been repaid."

The story finished, Breaking was blinking slowly, obviously fighting the urge to sleep. Dusk watched her, rather fond, until she finally turned to him.

"Dad," She said, muffled and quiet from her sleepiness, "Can we go to the ocean sometime, and find a seashell for me?"

Dusk smiled as he tucked her closer, amused and slightly touched. "Yes," He replied, "We absolutely can."
Last edited by peanutbutter on Sat Nov 12, 2022 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1276
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