His Grandmother’s Tale
“The Fable of the Leviathan and the Fox”
The grizzled Vietnamese fisherman landed his tiny boat on a small island when the storm hit. He was racing to make it home but the huge swells of the sea made that impossible. Securing his boat and with forearm sheltering his eyes he spotted a small opening in the coral rock cliff. He pushed against the wind until he reached the little cave, then crawled through the small opening, like an animal entering its burrow. He stripped off his wet clothes and curled up in the dirt and pulled some dry leaves and grasses over top of himself for some warmth. He resting his head on 5 round stones that were lying in a circle in the center of the cave. A warmth seemed to emanate from the stones and it comforted him. As he fell asleep, he prayed he to see his wife again, even though he knew she would yell. He Dreamed..
And woke, to the fading memory of a very vivid cinema dream. So real, fading fast. Something about a huge fish, a giant bird and a fox. A nagging memory of a story his grandmother told him at the cooking fire when he was just a boy. Then it was gone and he was left with a nagging headache. Rubbing his neck, he looked down at the circle of stones that had served as his pillow. They were remarkably round and very smooth to the touch. They were way more comfortable last night then the should have been. He picked one up and bounced it up and down a couple of times, made a decision. Wrapping them up in in his nearly dry shirt he tossed them out onto the beach and wriggled out of the hole.
He arrived home to his village, which had taken a minor beating from the storm. His wife, true to form, ran out of their house crying, hugged him tight, then started punching him in the chest and yelling. He just grinned and took his beating. When she frowned and asked “where are the fish?”, he knew he would be all right. She pushed him toward the shower and prepared him a hearty meal along with multiple glasses of fresh water.
He went back to the boat to retrieve the fish he had caught prior to the storm, and saw his shirt with the stones laying in the front of the boat. He brought the fish and the stones back to his work bench, and while he was fishing around for his filet knife in his tool box he grabbed an old chisel that had belonged to his father. The hammer was sitting over at the corner of his workbench. With a couple of head shakes he thought “what the hell” and knelt down and put one of the stones on the concrete path, positioned the chisel and gave it a shot with the hammer.
The Stone cleaved in half perfectly, amazingly. Holding one half in each hand he looked at a shiny, mirror imaged patterns. Fascinating. The second stone cleaved as easily as the first, more patterns. And so it went with the third fourth, fifth, sixth and all then all seven. Each stone split with ease and revealing those shiny patterns. Two sets of patterned half spheres.
He laid them out on the ground in a semi circle in the order he had opened the stones and squatted down in the middle. He looked from stone to stone and back again. Before long, the patterns shifted to pictures. Then the pictures began to have meaning. His barely heard his wife when she started to squawk about something or another and just ignored her. As he began to feel light headed the pictures seemed to come alive. He now remembered the dream in the cave, he now remembered his grandmother’s story from so many years ago. He could see her face, illuminated by the cooking fire in the night. He could hear her words. She told the story of Bake-Kujira (Kun) and Kitsune (Huli Jing).
The First Stone
He was Ngu Tinh, Kun, Monstro, Kraken, the Leviathan most feared. A creature of many names. A Lord of the Seas. When he moved from his through the deep all swam away in fear. His magic was strong. With intricate song and a slash of his tail fin he could create a whirlpool that would suck the creatures on the ocean surface down into his realm.
Kun was an arrogant monster, filled with contempt for all the lesser creatures that shared his waters. They were only good for serving his needs and for food when he hungered.
But, he become bored in his realm and it intensified with every passing of the tide. He began swimming more frequently upwards, leisurely breaking the surface of the water and looking up into the sky. At first this great expanse of blue perplexed him. It was another ocean he thought, on why should this ocean be denied to him? He couldn’t comprehend, he was the master he was the god, he was the ruler of all.
His anger started to build, his swims to the surface became more frequent and more violent. Nothing should be denied to him! HE was LORD!! With great strength he mightily swam up, broke the surface into the blue. Such a moment, and he fell back into the ocean with a tremendous tsunami of a splash. His anger knew no bounds. Obsession.
During one surface trip he observed a few creatures from above who were gliding in the blue! They were diving down from the blue and plucking his fish from his ocean! His thoughts went red with rage and he drove upward and snapped at these creatures but they easily dodged him and flew away.
He dove down in anger, the blackness of his mood mirroring the stygian depths.
The Second Stone
For many tides, Kun’s mind festered with angry dark thoughts. He was the rightful lord of the blue above as well as the lord of the waters below. But those creatures of the air mocked him with their very existence. He would use his magic, become like them. He had changed himself before! Unstoppable Whale, Vicious Shark, Powerful Octopus, he had been them all.. Now he would be a demon of the skies! A plan began to form.
To become a sky lord he had to study these creatures. To study these creatures he had to capture one. They liked the small fish of the sea he reasoned, so Kun went and sucked a large number of small fish into his mouth. Without swallowing he drove to the surface at the place he previously observed the air creatures. he drifted on the tide, head to the surface, tail to the depths, quiet, unmoving. When he sensed activity above he slowly opened his giant maw and let the fish held within drift to the surface. A bird flew down and as it broke the waters surface to latch onto a fish, Kun snapped his mouth shut, He had done it. Bird within, he drove back to his depthsand spit the dead bird onto a rocky ledge. He poked and prodded and captured the image into his mind.
He began his song. A song never before heard under the sea. Deep and Melodic it began, in the rhythms of the whale
The Third Stone
The Fourth Stone
The Fifth Stone
The Sixth Stone
The Seventh Stone