Grace continued to dance. As a young girl, she begged her parents to take her to dance competitions and festivals so she could watch all the dancers. She learned quickly from watching other.
She first danced in a festival when she was seven years old. She danced with a few of her friends who were in her dance class. Because Grace had such natural beauty and an elegant form when she danced, a short solo was choreographed with the other dancers supporting her. She actually liked dancing with a group as it provided greater opportunity for creative expression. Pahana choreographed several of their dances and even at a young age, Grace worked with her father to create dazzling dances.
In addition to dancing, Grace loved to read especially stories. The city she lived in, Sacoa, had an enclosed building where books were kept. Anyone could go to read the books that were stored there.
The books were printed with a type of lithography created by a man named Eon soon after Jared, his brother and his families arrived in the promised land. It enabled many books to be efficiently published and distributed throughout the land. Authors, poets, musicians, as well as the prophets could easily and effectively distribute their stories, information, music, teachings, and prophecies to the people.
When not dancing, Grace spent hours at the book room engrossed in the books. She especially loved fictional stories and the stories about the history of her people. One of her favorite stories was the story of how Jared and his brother and their families traveled across the large waters to their land. Occasionally, she read informational books, but did not enjoy those quite as much, although she loved learning about the stars and planets.
Not only did she like to read, but she loved to imagine and write her own stories. Even as a young girl, she wrote short and simple stories and poems. She loved to dream about the old world where her ancestors came from. She envisioned an imaginary world that she fantasized about visiting. As she grew into her teen years, the stories about her imagined world became increasingly creative and complex, so much so, that Pahana and Rachel encouraged her to continue to write.
One story that Grace began visualizing when she was about 12 years old, was about a boy named Hermes, who controlled a large and ornery dragon, Rouvin. They lived in a large cave by themselves because Hermes was not allowed to be in the kingdom of Geccal. As a child, Hermes accidently fell into a fire which resulted in many grotesque looking scars on his face and upper body. Because of the severity of the scars, many in the kingdom feared Hermes, so they shunned him and exiled him from the kingdom. His family pled with the villagers to let him stay, but the people were unyielding. They even pled with the king and queen, hoping they would allow him to stay, but instead, they listened to the voices of the people in their kingdom.
Soon after Hermes left the kingdom, a wizard came to him and presented him with a large sapphire colored egg. The wizard instructed him to love the egg, take good care of it, and as Hermes did this, he promised that he would find love and happiness. Hermes, surprised by the gift, carried it with him to the cave that he had made into his home.
Due to the deep pain of rejection, Hermes carried a considerable amount of hate and anger in his heart. Instead of taking care of the egg as the wizard instructed, he just set it on the floor in his cave and basically ignored it. He would occasionally pick it up and admire the beautiful color, but mostly, he gave it no attention. He saw no value in this gift and did not understand why the wizard would give him this useless egg.
One day, while Hermes examined the egg, it started to gradually crack. Surprised, he took the egg outside into the sunlight where he could better see it. Slowly, the egg progressively cracked until a pointed mouth and sapphire colored eyes began to appear. Whatever was in the egg gradually fought its way through the shell until it was completely free. Hermes was amazed when a baby dragon emerged from the shell. He immediately thought about all the myriads of possibilities that he could do with a dragon, including taking revenge on those who sent him away from his home and family.
Hermes named the dragon Rouvin after his grandfather, the one person from his hometown that he did not hate. Rouvin grew into a large, beautiful, and ferocious looking dragon. He was twice as tall as Hermes and his length was about three times his height. His golden colored scales and piercing sapphire-colored eyes contributed to his regal look. His tail was long and strong. He could breathe out fire when he wanted to. Unfortunately, from the time Rouvin hatched, Hermes did not treat him well and trained him to suit his own despicable purposes.
As the years went by, Hermes used the dragon to steal, plunder, and ravage from those in the kingdom close to where they lived, as well as other kingdoms. The king’s guards and the people desperately tried to kill Rouvin, but he was powerful and the fire blew from his mouth burned whatever it contacted.
One day, while the king’s beautiful daughter, Brisa, was walking in the woods with her large black dog and her three guards, Hermes and Rouvin came upon them. The guards immediately surrounded Brisa, but Hermes threatened them with Rouvin’s fire if they did not let Brisa go with him and also, he threatened to burn the homes in the kingdom. Brisa, understanding the situation, informed the guards that she would willingly go with Hermes to help save the kingdom.
After Brisa left, a strong, powerful, and kind wizard came to the kingdom to teach the people how to improve their love for each other, and especially to love Hermes. At first, the people did not know how love would help Hermes, but they believed the wizard and so they tried it. They sent gifts to Hermes and even to Rouvin. At first, Hermes commanded Rouvin to chase after them, which he did, but after a time, he began to accept their gifts. Some of the best food in the land was sent to them. Hermes devoured all the food that was brought to him and gave very little to Brisa. He smugly seized the generous gifts without showing any appreciation.
Brisa’s natural affection for animals helped her capture Rouvin’s attention by treating him with love, rather than dominance like Hermes treated him. She learned that Rouvin loved to be scratched between his sapphire eyes and behind his ears. Eventually, Rouvin trusted Brisa enough to allow her to climb on his back and ride around. This upset Hermes as Rouvin never allowed him to climb on his back, even after trying several times. Over time, Rouvin changed his loyalties from Hermes to Brisa. Hermes could not understand why since he has raised him from the time he hatched. Brisa carefully explained that she treated him with love.
Between the love that Brisa began to show to Hermes and the love he began to feel from the people in the kingdom, he finally let Brisa go and told Rouvin that he could go with her if that is what he desired. Brisa tried to convince Hermes to come with her but he had too many negative memories of being cast out. She informed him that she would go back to her kingdom and ask the people if they would accept him, and if they said yes, would he then come. Hermes thought about it for a time, then lovingly looked up at the beautiful Brisa and said that he would go back.
Brisa rode on the back of Rouvin back to her home in the castle. At first, the guards threatened Rouvin with their spears but Brisa commanded them to stay back, assuring them that she was safe and Rouvin had been tamed. The did as she asked. Her parents, hearing the news that Brisa was back, ran out to her and embraced her. They ordered a huge feast for the entire kingdom to welcome home their daughter.
At the feast, Brisa asked her father if she could talk to the people. He agreed. She recounted the story of Hermes and why he had become so wicked. She then asked the people if they would take him back and love him, despite the grotesque scars. She reiterated to them that he was just like them, he just had an unfortunate accident that left severe scarring on much of his body. She reminded them that any type of an accident could happen to anyone of them.
The people of the kingdom all shouted with one accord that they would accept Hermes back into their kingdom and would treat him with the love and respect that they knew Brisa treated him.
Hermes was warmly welcomed back into the kingdom. In time, he and Brisa married and lived happily ever after.
(To be continued…)