I was very young when I first heard this tale. I was sitting on the deck of my first father’s boat, mindlessly drifting along an endless sea. In the days before Netfilx and Facebook, before TV and the written word, we used to amuse ourselves with the simple act of story telling.
First Father, who was a trader on the river before the deluge, would always have a few too many flagons of wine and would regale us with his stories and tall tales. He was a masterful storyteller and delivered his tales with great animation and enthusiasm. He would jump up and down on the deck and gesticulate like one of the wild creatures down below. We all would laugh at him and think he was a bit shikerd, but amusing none-the-less.
It was a simple time then, although I didn’t know it. We would spend our days fishing and waiting for landfall. We would spend our days in the company of love.
First Father would daydream during those languid days on the boat and in his dreams he would say that the creator spoke with him. Told him why we were spared and how we should live. The creator told him what the meaning of wicked was and what to do about it. The creator told him the stories of creation and why we were on this earth, this plane of existence. He said the creator spoke with him as I speak with you, personally and honestly with as much candor as one could muster. I never really believed him, but loved his stories so much, that I remember them all to this day. Ages later.
First mother said that he was a drunk and that he should go spend time with the animals below deck.
Our world at the time was one of confusion. There was war between the tribes and hatred among the clans. There was famine and starvation everywhere you looked, but we just called it life. It was a ruthless time with no saving graces except for love, and that was hard to come by.
When the rains came, First father told us it was the creator’s way of cleaning our land while guiding us toward a better future. We never understood what the word future even meant, but we helped First Father build his boat while we were mocked and scorned.
This was not an uncommon site for us. The townsfolk never liked First Father and only traded with him because he was the only one to carry the precious cargo of salt, down river.
The rains had cleansed the world but did not cleanse the souls of those he left on it.