Speaking of stones, did you hear the story of the stone that drifted?
This stone was originally found by a curious seagull living by the southern Atlantic Ocean, next to the Endes Mountains. He had unusually keen eyesight, even for a seagull, and noticed immediately that this stone was different from all of the others. He took it in his beak, and flew north for three days and three nights, dropping it when he reached southeastern North America.
This particular stone was lighter and less dense than most pebbles that you may have seen by the sea. It also possessed the unique ability to hear and speak – though it didn’t like to speak to everybody. He heard a few humans talking about these islands, and he worked out that these islands were called the “Florida Keys”. However, he had learned from his father, the Mountain, who taught all the rocks everything that they needed to know, that every Key fits a Lock.
“If these are Keys, then where is the Lock?” he wondered.
The Ocean heard this, and sent one of its Waves to speak with this stone.
“You are looking for the Loch, aren’t you?” rumbled the Wave. Despite all of his education, the pebble had never heard of a Loch, and so, assuming that it was a Lock, he said that he was indeed looking for a Lock.
“Come to Scotland, and you will see plenty of Lochs.”
The small pebble agreed.
Halfway through the journey, at Latitude something and Longitude something else (the stone could not reasonably be expected to remember ALL the things that were taught to him) a storm broke out. The Wave remained on course, but the rock could not stay there. He was thrown off the back of the Wave, and landed on the back of something that he thought was called a Wale (or Whail).
“Perhaps it is a Wheel; I have heard that they are normally round, and this looks round – if only I could look round the rest of it!” the pebble thought.
He looked around and saw a whole group of these creatures. They were not completely round, and so they could not be Wheels.
“They must indeed be Wales, in that case.” He noticed a Wale swimming up to him, and he asked her (as it was a female Wale):
“Can you tell me where your School is headed?” (Once again, thanks to the Mountain, he knew fish went in Schools – and later in Colleges).
“Certainly – to Canal City, in Italy.”
The stone had not heard of Canals – he had only heard of Canines, which were some teeth that humans had. He hoped the city was not full of teeth.
The little pebble hardly noticed his entry into Canal City. They went from the Ocean to a smaller river, with people on the left and right. He did not see any Canines.
Some people nearby were speaking about ‘vaporettos’, which the small stone had never heard of. Perhaps, he thought, the city did have Canines, but they instantly Vaporised. The Wales could not enter the city, so they were waiting near an island some distance away. The rock floated down these rivers, and did not really decide where he would go. He saw the air shimmer slightly, and assumed it was a Vaporising Canine. Eventually, he ended up back at the entrance to the little-river-maze, and called upon the Ocean to take him elsewhere.
“The way forward is through the Middle Sea. You may go through it, to the east,” offered the Ocean (now the Sea).
The pebble agreed.
While he was journeying through the Middle Sea (or, as humans know it, the Mediterranean) he saw a land to the south. He asked the Sea what it was.
“That is Africa. Its size is immense, and a large amount of the north end is covered with sand,” said the Sea.
So this was the Sahara Desert which the Mountain had warned him about! He did not know the way through it, and could only travel with the help of the Ocean or Sea, or with an animal, and he could not see an animal anywhere, so he told the Sea to carry on.
Where will he go next?