The beggars shrieked at us as we sat on the shore. They filled the sky, their wings beating against the wind. Some perched on the sand, greedy for some of the fish we might steal from the water. Ah, the restless birds always wanted more.
Yafeyt looked out over the waves as he held his pole. “Father, why does the sea breathe?”
I gazed over the rising and the falling of the dark waters. “Why do you breathe?”
“I need air!”
He looked away from me, thinking. “Because.”
“Yes. Because. All that lives breathes. And if the sea is to live, it must breathe.”
“The sea doesn’t live!” Yafeyt shook his head.
“No. Not the way we do. Now it slumbers.” I gazed out to where the ocean met the sky. “Before the shore, the sea and the sky loved each other. And their love destroyed all others. Their passion kept the sun and stars away. Their fierce jealousy burned away any plants that might grow. Not even fish or birds could find a way to survive. But then they were tamed. They were separated. The sky slumbered in her heavens, the sea slumbered in his depths. But still, they breathe. The waves. The winds.”
Yafeyt frowned. “What will happen when the sea wakes?”
I smiled. “Ah, young one. What could wake the sea? Only he who tamed it. And we need not fear him.”
“But you said –”
“I have told you before that the sky and the sea shall meet once more and drown the world. But we need not fear that.”
“Because the one who tamed them the first time? He has promised that we shall survive. He gave me directions. And you’re going to help me build a safe place, you and your brothers.”
The boy looked at me. “He was strong enough to tame them before?”
“Is he still?”
I laughed. “Son, he can do whatever he promises. And he keeps his promises.” I stood from the shore. “Come on. We should get started. It’s going to take a long time to build an ark.”