A Fire with Meaning

Suddenly, the sky resounded with the clash of clouds.

The noise woke up the sun, which was darkened by the clouds. Amid the storm, a bolt of light and fire struck a tree, leaving only a broken and charred trunk.
elfuegoqueteniafrio-20224

The fire, small and mischievous, danced with joy. It loved hearing the crackle of leaves as they burned at the edges. It couldn’t help it; sparks of happiness would jump from it.

One of its sparks had burned the legs of an ant,

the wings of a dragonfly,

the rattle of a snake,

the feathers of a crow.elfuegoqueteniafrio-20228

One day, while playing at scaring little animals that ran and jumped in terror as the fire approached, it accidentally started a wildfire.

Seeing this, the forest animals called the wise rain frogs, so that with their song, they would make it rain and extinguish the fire burning the forest.

Thus, the fire had its first encounter with water in the form of rain. It wasn’t the best encounter, the fire would later recall when recounting the story of what had happened.

The frightened animals had taken refuge from the rain. The fire was left all alone. Wet and cold, it sat in a corner of the forest, turning to smoke.

Soaking wet and emitting smoke, it was found by some people walking through the forest. They carefully placed it on a stone and carried it in a boat down the river to where they lived.

Once in their home, protected from the rain, the little fire felt comfortable and started recovering with the little sticks the people fed it. When it grew big again, the people felt inspired and cooked some potatoes in a pot of water.

At night, a dark night, they sat around the fire. The little fire, honored by so much attention, rose up dancing, and, emitting the last bit of damp smoke, it released some sparks and lit up their faces.

They laughed at seeing themselves illuminated and watching their faces move with their shadows. In the middle of the night, they felt the warmth of the fire on their illuminated faces.

As they sat laughing, the little fire crackled some words and told them the story of what had happened. The fire explained that, having fallen from a lightning bolt, it thought its destiny was to burn and scare the animals and plants.

But upon meeting the water as rain, which it now heated in a little pot, it had learned a lesson. It realized that one must measure the consequences of their actions, that one cannot go around the world releasing sparks and setting fires all the time.

The fire also learned that water in its space and it in its own could do things together. The water had carried the boat where the people had sheltered the fire when it was cold and emitting smoke. Now, the fire heated water where the people cooked some potatoes.

Since then, it is known that people sit around the fire to keep it alive, and in doing so, they warm themselves, illuminate their nights, and laugh while telling stories like these.

In the morning, when the people, shaking its ashes, woke it up to warm the day, the fire realized that the meaning of its existence was only possible with life around it.

Go back to Stories