The Tale of Pebble-Woman and Pond-Man


Accipiter G. Goshawk

This is a much older tale. I’ve re-edited it a smidge, but it may require some more work before I’m 100% satisfied with it.

It tells the tale of Pebble-Woman and Pond-Mand and their quest to find their secret desire.


Once, when Reality was still fairly new, the Universe and Time came together and had countless children. And since they both felt empty and cold, they spread their children across their expanses, so as to never be alone ever again. One of their children, Earth -the beautiful and loving-, walked very far and in the end decided to sit and live by her brother Sun -a boisterous and joyous fellow-. She had many adventures waltzing around the solar system and in time, she brought many fine sons and daughters into the Light. Once they had been weaned from her, she let them roam her great surface, for she was a loving mother and disliked her children to wonder far.

Low on the great belly of Earth, two such children had taken up residence. One was Pebble-woman, a creature so beautiful, wonderful and extraordinary, that countless myriads would come from the farthest reaches of space to plead for her hand. For her part, she would just dance and bounce away, her rocky laugh exploding into the Void, as her eyes sparkled with mirth.

The other child was Pond-man. He was a dreamy fellow; he had the light of the stars reflected in his waters and in his heart.

One day, as Pebble-woman danced happily along the expanses of her mother, she chanced upon Pond-man and being a curious and sociable girl, she struck up a conversation. The two quickly bonded and became good friends: Pebble-woman told Pond-man all about the world that surrounded them, the people she had met, the songs she had sung, the dances she had danced; her life, in short. Pond-man also told her much: he told her of the stars and the things that he had seen by their light in the murky darkness of himself. Pebble-woman was so pleased and taken with her new friend that she even revealed her greatest desire, her Secret Dream.  His waters had stilled and his reeds had quieted as he’d listened in rapt attention.

She’d jumped to her feet and using song and dance had showed him. One day, she wanted to live among the stars, to waltz and frolic in the heavens, their million lights bathing her in wondrous beauty.

It was in that moment that Pond-man fell deeply in love with Pebble-woman. He lost his heart in her wild hair, in her eyes of mystery, called by the curve of her breasts, her hips, her life and laughter.  

Immediately, he told her that she should do it. She should reach for her dream and he would do everything in his power to help her.

So that same day, they set to work: Pebble-woman began collecting sand and debris from her mother’s skin, whilst Pond-man used his waters to mix up a strong mud. They used these materials to add layers to Pebble-woman and slowly, inch by inch, she began to grow. She grew taller, larger; and as the couple toiled for the next thousand years, she began to assume gigantic proportions.

Soon she couldn’t dance anymore, for fear of hurting someone. At first, she was a little saddened, but her determination never wavered: her gaze was ever fixed upwards, her eyes sparkling with heavenly light.

For his part, Pond-man fell ever deeper in love with her. Even as she grew, so did he: his arms stretched and he expanded his great watery pools, all to better add new layers to her legs, thighs and shoulders.

 For millennia they worked, until he was no longer Pond-man, but River-man and she was Mountain-woman. In the end, she was ready to leave and although she too had grown fond of River-man, she blew him a goodbye kiss and bounded into the heavens, out of his life forever.

He grieved for a long time. He cried softly in despair, as the memory of her eyes haunted his soul. Now, he had nothing left on Earth. He took to wondering from place to place, confused as to why she had decided to part ways with him; why she hadn’t chosen to stay in his arms forever.

Now, he would spend months staring up at the sky; no longer looking at the stars, but searching for her.

One day, as he knocked about on the deserted plains of Earth, he chanced upon a distant cousin of his: Sound. Now, Sound was very wise, for he/she (Sound could never make up his/her mind) had travelled far and wide, and had heard many things. All the things Sound had heard, he/she had collected in many tiny bottles all lined up neatly on a shelf in his/her house. He/she of course knew of River-man’s deep love for Mountain-woman, and he/she also knew where to find her. However, he/she told the disheartened lover that it would be impossible for him to leave Earth, because he was bound to remain there by the greatest power: his Secret Desire.

River-man grew angry, and threatened to harm Sound: how could he/she say that his Secret Desire bound him to Earth when it was obviously clear that it was waltzing somewhere among the stars, in the heart of Mountain-Woman? Sound soothed his/her cousin, and explained what he/she had overheard whilst skipping through the halls of Universe and Time: a Secret Desire could never be a person. That was not how they had created Reality. A Secret Desire was a heartbeat, that connected all the children to their parents and enabled Everything to move ever forward, never back.

River-man sat down, covered his face and wept. How was he supposed to give up on Mountain-woman? And for what? A stupid Secret Desire?  How was he supposed to know what it was, anyway?

Sound the approached his/her cousin and gently revealed to him the secret to finding the Desire. He had to be alone with grandmother Time and she would likely reveal it to him.

So, River-man left and went to talk to his grandmother. He found her on a plain, swishing a broom back and forth, tapping her foot. All around her, the Universe seemed to answer to her tapping; like a giant heartbeat.

They talked for a long time and when they were finished, River-man understood.  As his grandmother left for another corner of Reality, he lay down and looking high into the sky, perked up his ears and listened.

Then, the stars began to sing to him and tell him tales, stories, poems. He remembered them all and the desire –his Desire- to have more grew. He spread out farther, his limbs stretching endlessly, as he tried to collect as many stories as he could from the eager stars.

As he stretched out, he grew larger and larger, covering more of his mother than any other child before. He shared stories with all those he met, whispering tales in the lost places of the world. He made new ones and revel in their telling for, as he had discovered, he was the very first Story Keeper, the very first Story Giver.

He grew out of his old name and soon the children of Earth called their brother Ocean-man. His voice grew and in time, he whispered his own stories back to the stars, in repayment for their generosity.

It was because of this -the following his Path-, that his voice reached the ears of Mountain-Woman, who had been dancing among the stars, far from Earth. She was so enchanted by the voice and the wondrous stories it told, that she didn’t think twice about dancing all the way back to the skies of her youth.

One night, as Ocean-man began to tell his many tales, he was astonished to find Mountain-woman in the skies above him. And although his first instinct was to reach out for her, he soon came to his senses. Instead, he took his Desire and gave it to her as a gift: he told her stories, some beautiful, some terrible, some small, some large. All different.

To his surprise, she stayed. Night and day, she circled around Earth, growing more and more engrossed in the beautiful tales he spun for her. She shone for him, and her love, that before had been eclipsed by her Desire, now grew and grew. In the end, she gave herself to him, plunging her shining form into the dark waters of his heart.

That is how Mountain-woman, now Moon-woman and Ocean-man finally found each other. To this day you can see her dancing in the starry sky; she never dances to far however, for she is always listening to the soft whisperings that he sends her way. And if you are very lucky, on special nights, you can see the two of them locked in an eternal embrace, even as they lose themselves in each other and become one.-

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