3:16 pm - Sunday January 20, 5354

The Crab That Played With The Sea-by Rudyard Kipling-Novel and Ebooks

Novel Name: The Crab That Played with The Sea

Written by:Rudyard Kipling

Category: Short Novel, Fiction, Fantsy, classics

PAGE 1:

BEFORE the High and Far-Off Times, O my Best Beloved, came the Time of the Very Beginnings; and that was in the days when the Eldest Magician was getting Things ready. First he got the Earth ready; then he got the Sea ready; and then he told all the Animals that they could come out and play. And the Animals said, ‘O Eldest Magician, what shall we play at?’ and he said, ‘I will show you. He took the Elephant–All-the-Elephant-there-was–and said, ‘Play at being an Elephant,’ and All-the-Elephant-there-was played. He took the Beaver–All-the-Beaver-there-was and said, ‘Play at being a Beaver,’ and All-the Beaver-there-was played. He took the Cow–All-the Cow-there-was–and said, ‘Play at being a Cow,’ and All-the-Cow-there-was played. He took the Turtle–All-the-Turtle there-was and said, ‘Play at being a Turtle,’ and All-the-Turtle-there-was played. One by one he took all the beasts and birds and fishes and told them what to play at.

But towards evening, when people and things grow restless and tired, there came up the Man (With his own little girl-daughter?)–Yes, with his own best beloved little girl-daughter sitting upon his shoulder, and he said, ‘What is this play, Eldest Magician?’ And the Eldest Magician said, ‘Ho, Son of Adam, this is the play of the Very Beginning; but you are too wise for this play.’ And the Man saluted and said, ‘Yes, I am too wise for this play; but see that you make all the Animals obedient to me.’

Now, while the two were talking together, Pau Amma the Crab, who was next in the game, scuttled off sideways and stepped into the sea, saying to himself, ‘I will play my play alone in the deep waters, and I will never be obedient to this son of Adam.’ Nobody saw him go away except the little girl-daughter where she leaned on the Man’s shoulder. And the play went on till there were no more Animals left without orders; and the Eldest Magician wiped the fine dust off his hands and walked about the world to see how the Animals were playing.

He went North, Best Beloved, and he found All-the-Elephant-there-was digging with his tusks and stamping with his feet in the nice new clean earth that had been made ready for him.

‘Kun?’ said All-the-Elephant-there-was, meaning, ‘Is this right?’

‘Payah kun,’ said the Eldest Magician, meaning, ‘That is quite right’; and he breathed upon the great rocks and lumps of earth that All-the-Elephant-there-was had thrown up, and they became the great Himalayan Mountains, and you can look them out on the map.

He went East, and he found All-the-Cow there-was feeding in the field that had been made ready for her, and she licked her tongue round a whole forest at a time, and swallowed it and sat down to chew her cud.

‘Kun?’ said All-the-Cow-there-was.

‘Payah kun,’ said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the bare patch where she had eaten, and upon the place where she had sat down, and one became the great Indian Desert, and the other became the Desert of Sahara, and you can look them out on the map.

He went West, and he found All-the-Beaver-there-was making a beaver-dam across the mouths of broad rivers that had been got ready for him.

‘Kun?’ said All-the-Beaver-there-was.

‘Payah kun,’ said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the fallen trees and the still water, and they became the Everglades in Florida, and you may look them out on the map.

Then he went South and found All-the-Turtle-there-was scratching with his flippers in the sand that had been got ready for him, and the sand and the rocks whirled through the air and fell far off into the sea.

‘Kun?’ said All-the-Turtle-there-was.

‘Payah kun,’ said the Eldest Magician; and he breathed upon the sand and the rocks, where they had fallen in the sea, and they became the most beautiful islands of Borneo, Celebes, Sumatra, Java, and the rest of the Malay Archipelago, and you can look them out on the map!

By and by the Eldest Magician met the Man on the banks of the Perak river, and said, ‘Ho! Son of Adam, are all the Animals obedient to you?’

‘Yes,’ said the Man.

‘Is all the Earth obedient to you?’

‘Yes,’ said the Man.

‘Is all the Sea obedient to you?’

‘No,’ said the Man. ‘Once a day and once a night the Sea runs up the Perak river and drives the sweet-water back into the forest, so that my house is made wet; once a day and once a night it runs down the river and draws all the water after it, so that there is nothing left but mud, and my canoe is upset. Is that the play you told it to play?’

‘No,’ said the Eldest Magician. ‘That is a new and a bad play.’

‘Look!’ said the Man, and as he spoke the great Sea came up the mouth of the Perak river, driving the river backwards till it overflowed all the dark forests for miles and miles, and flooded the Man’s house.

‘This is wrong. Launch your canoe and we will find out who is playing with the Sea,’ said the Eldest Magician. They stepped into the canoe; the little girl-daughter came with them; and the Man took his kris–a curving, wavy dagger with a blade like a flame,–and they pushed out on the Perak river. Then the sea began to run back and back, and the canoe was sucked out of the mouth of the Perak river, past Selangor, past Malacca, past Singapore, out and out to the Island of Bingtang, as though it had been pulled by a string.

Then the Eldest Magician stood up and shouted, ‘Ho! beasts, birds, and fishes, that I took between my hands at the Very Beginning and taught the play that you should play, which one of you is playing with the Sea?’

Then all the beasts, birds, and fishes said together, ‘Eldest Magician, we play the plays that you taught us to play–we and our children’s children. But not one of us plays with the Sea.’

Then the Moon rose big and full over the water, and the Eldest Magician said to the hunchbacked old man who sits in the Moon spinning a fishing-line with which he hopes one day to catch the world, ‘Ho! Fisher of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?’

‘No,’ said the Fisherman, ‘I am spinning a line with which I shall some day catch the world; but I do not play with the Sea.’ And he went on spinning his line.

Now there is also a Rat up in the Moon who always bites the old Fisherman’s line as fast as it is made, and the Eldest Magician said to him, ‘Ho! Rat of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?’

And the Rat said, ‘I am too busy biting through the line that this old Fisherman is spinning. I do not play with the Sea.’ And he went on biting the line.

Then the little girl-daughter put up her little soft brown arms with the beautiful white shell bracelets and said, ‘O Eldest Magician! when my father here talked to you at the Very Beginning, and I leaned upon his shoulder while the beasts were being taught their plays, one beast went away naughtily into the Sea before you had taught him his play.

And the Eldest Magician said, ‘How wise are little children who see and are silent! What was the beast like?’

And the little girl-daughter said, ‘He was round and he was flat; and his eyes grew upon stalks; and he walked sideways like this ; and he was covered with strong armour upon his back.’

And the Eldest Magician said, ‘How wise are little children who speak truth! Now I know where Pau Amma went. Give me the paddle!’

So he took the paddle; but there was no need to paddle, for the water flowed steadily past all the islands till they came to the place called Pusat Tasek–the Heart of the Sea–where the great hollow is that leads down to the heart of the world, and in that hollow grows the Wonderful Tree, Pauh Janggi, that bears the magic twin nuts. Then the Eldest Magician slid his arm up to the shoulder through the deep warm water, and under the roots of the Wonderful Tree he touched the broad back of Pau Amma the Crab. And Pau Amma settled down at the touch, and all the Sea rose up as water rises in a basin when you put your hand into it.

Filed in: Children, Classics, Fiction

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