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The Wishing Stone and The Rainmaker's Stick
by A. D. Barncord Doerr
Copyright © 1998

On an arid plain, there was a village with a wise woman who could call the rain. Every spring she brought long soaking rains to prepare the fields for plowing and gentle rains for the young plants. In the summer, she called rains during the heat of the day to keep their leafier crops from bolting. The village became quite rich and all payed their respects to the wise woman.

One day a young and foolish young woman married a handsome, but cruel, man. After months of abuse, she ran away and hid in a cave. That night, as she tried to sleep on the cave floor, she found a small stone. With a sigh, she tossed it out of the cave. When the moon light hit the stone, it shined brillantly. The young woman retrieved the stone and gazed on the only brightness her life currently had.

"I wish had something to eat," she said to herself. At that moment, a wonderous smell came to her nose. She followed it and found a beautiful table covered with food. As she ate the delicious food, she thought about the stone. This must be a wishing stone, she thought to herself. She contemplated what she wanted most and then made her wish.

"I wish I had a gentle husband." The stone flashed. She put it her pocket and went back home. The house was empty when she returned. The next week she searched for her husband, but no one knew what happened to him. After awhile, she met a kind, gentle man and soon they were married. It was nice at first, but after awhile she saw her new husband's gentleness as a sign of weakness. In her pride, she started to despised him and felt that no one respected her for marrying him.

One day she ran across the wishing stone in her jewelry box. She held up the stone and spoked to it.

"I wish to be as greatly respected as the Rainmaker. Give me the wise woman's rainstick and all will treat me as I deserve!" The stick appeared in her hand. She clucthed it to her chest and danced around the room.

"Stick, I want to show my power to all. Bring me a powerful storm and show the village I mean business!"

At that moment, the most frightening, powerful storm ever to hit the village came. The fields were flooded and roofs were being blown off. The young woman ordered the rainstick to stop, but once the stick creates a storm, it cannot be stopped until it is finished. She grabbed the wishing stone again.

"O Great Wishing Stone! I wish you did not have the power to grant such foolish wishes. Please undo my folly!"

The rain stopped and the rainstick went back to its place. The young woman reconsidered her foolish pride and again saw the strength in her husband's gentleness. She then took the wishing stone to the wise woman and confessed her deeds.

The wise woman spoke gently to her, "My daughter, you have learned a great lesson and in spite of all the chaos you created, you did something truly wise."

"What was that?" the young woman asked.

"You wished away the stone's power to grant foolish wishes. Someday you will be the wise woman of this village."

And one day, she was.

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Copyright © 1998, Amanda D. Barncord Doerr