The rivers were a disgruntled lot. They had started out as tiny clear streams high up in the mountains and meandered through valleys and plateaus and plains. Their waters had swollen up during monsoons and had then reduced to a trickle during summer. But on the whole, they had flourished.

And now, at the end of their journey, they had to merge with the sea. They would lose their precious freedom forever.

River Talk [Illustration by Shinod AP]
River Talk [Illustration by Shinod AP]

And yet, they couldn’t stop themselves from flowing, could they? So they flowed till they reached the sea. “This is too unfair!” they said sadly to each other. “It’s bad enough that we have to merge. It is worse that our sweet and drinkable water becomes terribly salty and tasteless when we merge with the sea.”

The sea heard the rivers and looked amused, “If that’s the way you feel, I see no point why you should join me at all. Go away, and enjoy your cool, sweet waters by yourself.”

Of course, there was no way the rivers could do that. Even if by some miracle they could change their course and not flow into the sea, their very survival was at stake. For, very few rivers lasted on their own without uniting with the sea. Most dried up and died. What use was independence if one did not live to enjoy it?

So the rivers made peace with their situation and flowed into the sea.

245 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #rivers

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