This a tale I recently wrote and am now sharing with you all, so I hope you enjoy it.
Once upon a time, a long time ago when the skies were ruled by Zeus there was a girl called Kalandra. Now Kalandra was mute, yet that didn’t take away from her loveliness for she was the most thoughtful, warm, loving and kind-hearted girl there was. She loved to serve others, cleaning their clothes, sharpening their spears and playing with their children. She was pretty too, with shining golden hair and endearing eyes of chestnut brown. Kalandra was so lovely that there was not a person she met who disliked her and everyone was sure she would be the most sought after girl in the village when the time came. However she never was. For although the boys would moon over her with adoration in their eyes none of them were prepared to enter the sacred ritual of courtship with her.
At first, Kalandra wasn’t fussed and it didn’t bother her much. Yet as time wore on, all her friends coupled and moved on to other lands to start their own families. She suddenly found herself sixteen and all alone. However, what Kalandra didn’t know was that the Sun God Apollo had claimed her for himself meaning no man would ever touch her until he himself came to claim her from the underworld. But Apollo was off bickering with his twin sister the Moon Goddess Artemis and so did not notice her sadness. Zeus however, looked down from the heavens and saw the lonely girl sitting by herself alone and, knowing Apollo was busy, sent her a gift. This gift appeared as an old man who travelled from Zeus’ temple at Dodona to Kalandra’s village of Rhodes in the middle of the Aegean Sea.
So one day, whilst Kalandra was plotting herbs in her garden, the old man, whose name was Deacon, came up the path. He stood outside her garden and called across to her “Are you Kalandra of Rhodes?”
Kalandra nodded and smiled at Deacon, gesturing for him to come into the garden through the little gate. He came through and held out his hand for her to shake.
“I’m Deacon of Dodona,” he said as she warmly shook his hand and smiled once more. “I hear you have had no suitors thus far in your life,” he asked her.
Kalandra shook her head sadly. A kind of grief filled her eyes. She circled her face with her index finger and then patted her heart.
“They think you are pretty,” said Deacon.
Kalandra nodded. She pouted, then shook her finger.
“But none of them kiss you?” asked Deacon.
Again, Kalandra nodded. Deacon sat down.
“Child, let me tell you something,” he said, patting the space beside him. Kalandra sat down, eager to hear what he had to say. “Sometimes in life, dear child, some things are not meant to be. You can be as lovely as you want but no one will touch you.”
Kalandra’s eyes started to fill with tears. She did not want to be alone forever.
“But let me say something to you now,” Kalandra looked up at him, a spark of hope in her eyes. “No matter who leaves you, Earth is always here for you. No matter who cannot love you, Earth loves you; Earth will always love you and never leave you. Now let me show you something my child,” Deacon offered her.
Kalandra looked at him inquisitively.
“Come on,” he said, helping her up.
Together they walked down the path and into the forest. The birds sang songs in the canopy, squirrels danced through the trees and the fish swam merrily in the streams.
“See,” said Deacon. “See how Earth embraces all life. She loves all life as her own, including you, child.”
Kalandra looked around in wonder at all the wildlife bounding happily through the forest. A nearby tree leaned down and hugged her, smiling its bark face. Kalandra laughed silently into its branches. Her heart glowed inside her chest with joy. Her soul felt replenished with all the love shown by the Earth in the forest. Mother Earth was watching over her, caring for her better than any lover could.
Kalandra turned around to thank the old man but he was gone, vanished like smoke on the breeze. From that day forward Kalandra decided to move into the forest. She made friends with the squirrels and the birds. She learnt to hunt the wild boar and fish, and she made shelters from the trees.
Then one day Apollo appeared to her, saying “Kalandra my darling, you have done so well. Better than any other mortal I have known. I am proud of you my love,” said the Sun God, caressing her cheek before he vanished.
And so Kalandra carried on until it was time for her to drink from the waters of the River Lethe and once she had crossed the Great River Styx, Apollo was waiting for her on the other side.
Thanks for reading,