The Hunters had their FIRE

The Hunters had their FIRE. The one who stole FIRE showed the other hunter far to hold their sticks, far enough away so the flames wouldn't devour the flesh, close enough, so FIRE feasted only on the juices that dripped from the yams, squash, and fish and boiled their beans with wild tomatoes in terra-cotta pots. With each drop the fall into FIRE, the hunters watched flames flare and heard the sizzling greed of FIRE appetite.

The smells of the roasting and the tastes were magical. With laughter and chatter, the adults set around FIRE and talked about the marvels of the flames and the charms of light and warmth FIRE offered them.

The children placed the emptied cooking sticks into FIRE and let the ends burn into a glowing ember. They danced turning around swinging the sticks back-and-forth. The gleaming ends burst into flames. Seeing the dancing and hearing laughter, Lord Wind thought he might help with the fun.

The children loved how Lord Wind sparked the FIRE sticks into high flames. FIRE extended because Lord Wind held Lord Air, who fed FIRE oxygen. As FIRE danced eating Lord Air, Lord Wind blew harder and faster. Sparks from the flames flew up into the sky.

Flashing and flickering, FIRE ate while the children lunged their sticks at each other. The magical, aggressive FIRE entranced the adult hunters watching the joy and merriment of the children.

From the jungle, animals collected on the outside of the camp and watched the dangerous play. Their eyes widened with fear. The stolen FIRE hypnotized the Hunters, who knew not how to keep FIRE contained.

They watched in horror as Lord Wind tossed the FIRE from the sticks into Lord Air. Crackling, rumbling FIRE sparked into the trees, the Holders of FIRE. The trees blazed with glee, popping and flickering as the eating, humming FIRE roared in it's eating fringy. Lord Wind caught in the hypnotic fury blew FIRE higher and flames stretched farther into Lord Air. The animals ran back to their homes for protection only chased by FIRE's appetite who ate their homes and them.

Finally, the Hunters heard the bellowing roar, smelled flesh roasting and noticed FIRE was in the trees spreading out-of-control from tree to tree, the Holders of FIRE were screaming, cracking, falling, spraying, FIRE to each other.

Smoke roared into the sky, and sparks popped and flew as the Lord Wind continued his dance with the eating, raging FIRE, who spread through the trees that exploded with the destructive FIRE into other trees.

Hot and scared, the Hunters screaming ran to their huts only to find that FIRE ate their homes. With panic for their lives, they followed the screeching animals to the river.

The Hunters throw water at FIRE to keep it from reaching them. Along the banks, they dug ditches to keep FIRE from reaching them.

Lord Wind still in rapture with FIRE's hypnotic spell traveled with the manic hunger. With the help of the Lord Wind, FIRE jumped over the river and roared through more trees. Animals and other humans fled to the river as FIRE with Lord Wind jumped from valley to village burning trees, shrubs, grasses, animals; FIRE ate anything in it's fringy.

Lord Rain in the sky heard the cries of the humans and animals and the sobbing of Mother Earth. He smelled the roasting and observed sparks of light flashing with Lord Wind and Lord Air. He knew FIRE was out of control into his raging hunger, eating, and Lord Wind was under a hypnotic spell.

Mother Earth begged, "Lord Rain drown FIRE to save the plants, the trees, and the animals; they did not deserve this rage of the tyrant's hunger set loss by the ignorant Hunters." Lord Rain filled with sadness took pity on the Holders of FIRE, the innocent Holders, the grasses, the frightened animals, the arrogant, stupid hunters. After all, Lord Rain nurtured all of them.

Lord Rain sobbed with great compassion dropping tears. FIRE began to smolder into darkening clouds which cause Lord Rain to lamented more tears, finally flooding Mother Earth. The blanket of tears from Lord Rain drowned FIRE. Lord Wind ceased its blow. Released from the hypnotic spell, Lord Wind disappeared behind the mountains in shame that he had help FIRE eat life on Mother Earth.

Standing in the river, the humans choked on the smoke from drowning FIRE and smelled the burnt trees, the innocent grasses, the flesh of animals and their people. They crawled from the river with the animals who ran in horror. The humans walked on the hot, muddy ash of what was left.

They saw trees left standing burnt, stripped of leaves and bark, silently forever wounded. The animals, the insects, all the other creatures ran from them in traumatic horror.

With shamed and guilted, the humans sobbed as Lord Rain and Mother Earth did. They witness useless death of other creatures. With broken bowls, they dug and carried dirt and river water to drown FIRE, who had no guilt, no shame, and waited, smoldering in patches here and there to eat again.

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To this day, the animals hold of the smell of FIRE eating and devouring them. Their ears remember their screams, shrieks, screeches, howls, squeals, and squawks as they died. Their bodies of fur, feathers, and skin remember the burn of FIRE. All the harmony and respect for the humans gone. And also, Mother Earth saddened because FIRE was released into a feverish eating while entrancing Lord Air and Lord Wind into play.

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If only the humans listened to one of the many ancient Lords of All the African Bushman god Kaang heeded words, "If humans use fire, fear and distrust will sour between humans and animals. Fire will frighten the animals from man, and they will not remain friends. Mother Earth's harmony will break. FIRE eats anything. FIRE brings more trouble than good."

We, the humans, would still be friends with our cousins the animals, the insects, the plants, and the trees and live in harmony with Mother Earth if only we had listened.

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