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Northern Lights

Far in the north a snowstorm raged.  It was winter in the arctic.  The snow was carried by the wind up and down. Billions of snowflakes danced in the cold. It was a dance within darkness with the wind as their music.  Finally, the storm ceased and the clouds opened up to reveal the stars.  Now billions of planets and stars danced in the sky.  Only moments before it was the snowflakes.  Now they only shimmered on the ice.  Suddenly, a great lightning shone over the sky and danced even more passionate than snowflakes or stars.  There was no darkness but great colours of yellow, green, and purple that now ruled the heavens.  It was the northern lights.

The winter elapsed and the months passed by and, as with every year in spring, the sun appeared again and the ice shone in bright yellow colours.  Underneath the snow there was something moving.  Snow was thrown aside and a sleepy polar bear looked out of a hole.  She had big black eyes, white glittering fur, and big paws that were designed to tear seals apart.

She squeezed herself out of the little hole and rolled around happily in the snow.

But suddenly she was alarmed.  There was a crackle to be heard from the ground and then a loud crack.  ”The ice is melting quicker than in the passed few  years! ” the polar bear growled.  Then she called strictly ”Come on you two! We have a long way ahead of us!  We are in a hurry!  The ice is already melting! ”

And there out of the hole came two polar bear babies.  One of them was slightly larger than the other one.  Her eyes were just as big as her mother’s and she had sharp claws.  The female baby polar bear’s name was Pointyclaw.  The little one was a male and had big ears.  His fur was very soft, fluffy, and snow white.  His eyes were smaller.  But he already had some sharp teeth in his mouth.  His name was Whitetooth.  He toddled towards his mother Whitelight.  She lowered her head and licked both of them.

” But we are still hungry! ” Pointyclaw protested.

” No!  If we don’t leave now the ice will be gone!  Come!”

So the three polar bears walked into the white desert.  Their white fur made them disappear in the snow.  They were nothing more than ghosts in the realm of the ice.

On and on they went for nearly a day.  Whitetooth called out exhausted ”Mum, I, I cannot go any longer!  Can we have a break? ”

” Yes!” the polar bear growled.  She lay down exhausted in the soft snow and fed her babies.

Finally, it became night and the polar bears watched the milky way and the northern lights.  They appeared like two dancers, the milky way and the northern lights restlessly celebrating in the sky.

Next morning their journey to their hunting grounds continued.  They travelled over snow hills and snow valleys. After a while they saw more and more ice blocks that protruded out of the ground.  They glittered in blue, violet and yellow colours.  There were many of them in different forms and shapes.  Small ones with sharp edges, faces, or wave-like fingers.  Big ice blocks with holes.  In some of them there were even little caves to be found.  The three passed by slowly and with dignity.  Pointyclaw, the more curious of the two of babies, looked up and asked her mother quietly ”Who are these great creatures? ”

” They are our ancestors.  They have watched over the polar bears for a long time.  And one day we will freeze and transform into ice sculptures as well. ”

” You mean when we are dead we will turn into these statues?” Whitetooth wanted to know.

” Yes… but for some time now some of the sculptures just melt away.  The polar bears do not know why this happens.  But the birds tell us, as I have heard from one of them, that there are strange creatures in the south who create grey fog and billions of little unnatural stars that make the ice melt away.  And so they take our home. ”

The polar bear looked seriously at her children.  Suddenly, the wind changed directions and carried a strange but also familiar scent to the three of them.  Whitelight sniffed and went up and down.  Then she stopped and said   concerned ”Your father is coming!  Hide in that cave over there, I want to speak to him alone.”

Whitetooth and Pointyclaw ran into a little cave from where they could observe what was about to happen.  Finally, in the distance a white silhouette was approaching Whitelight.  She started walking towards him and called ”Iceheart!  What are you doing during the hunting season here in the north?”

” I came to tell you that I hid a seal for you in the south.  The ice is nearly gone.  I have only caught three seals,” he said in a deep voice.

He looked worried and walked up and down.  His fur was snow white.  Only in some parts it was slightly blue.  His nose was big, he pointed it upwards and sniffed.

” Do you want to see your children? ” Whitelight asked mockingly.

” No thank you!  I’m a loner and I don’t want to waste any time.  I’ll go south again.  Goodbye Whitelight! ”

” Goodbye Iceheart! ” Whitelight called out cool and sadly.

Two days had passed and Whitelight’s milk had not lasted the first.  Whitetooth was especially weak.  He coughed and needed something to eat.  Finally, they reached the south.  There were ice floes everywhere.  The blue sea stretched over the horizon.  Ever on and on.  It looked even mightier than the northern lights and the great stars. After all the heavens were far away and did not affect the polar bears but the sea decided what they eat.  The sea gives the polar bears their prey.  Whitelight said in a serious tone ”Both of you stay here.  I will look for food!”

” What about the seal father hid for you?” Pointyclaw wanted to know.

” Most of the ice fields melted away. It is probably on the bottom of the sea,” Whitelight whispered sadly.

Whitelight quickly said goodbye and ran towards the melting sea.  When she arrived she spotted a seal immediately. She was about to jump but the ice broke under her weight instantly.  She swam to a larger ice floe but this one broke as well.  The same happened about twenty times.  It was like a desperate dance in the water, failing by every move.  At the end of the day she was worn out and returned exhausted to her children.  Pointyclaw was crying in the snow and howled full of sorrow.  Whitelight ran to Pointyclaw.  Next to her was lying the lifeless body of Whitetooth.  Whitelight carried him to a snow hollow and buried him there.  Then she said to Pointyclaw, who looked very skinny and weak, ”I will try again tomorrow. ”

Then both of them cuddled together and fell asleep.

Like every night, the northern lights danced around the milky way.  Nothing had changed for the two of them.  Far away and yet admired by everyone who walked the ice.  Far in the north a little ice sculpture grew in the snow.  It looked like a big tooth looking over the ice. Like a little figure looking up at the northern lights, desperately wanting to join in the dance.

Next morning, both felt their incredible hunger.  Whitelight went out for one more hunt with all her strength.  But the ice was even thinner and less than on the day before.  The result was the same.  The ice broke constantly under her heavy body.  In the past, Whitelight used to dance on the ice and in the water easily.  She was within her element.  Now the music had changed and ice and water would not dance with her the way she wanted. They did not dance together anylonger. Whitelight was dancing solo.  All her polar bear strength taken away from her, she returned to her child that had died of cold and hunger.  She picked up her dead daughter and disappeared into the snow.  And above her the stars were dancing with the northern lights.  Both dancers will continue their duet for millions of years as they did in the past.  Only the ones who look up to them will change.  The audience will be a different one.  But the northern lights will keep on dancing.

One comment on “Northern Lights

  1. Brigitte sagt:



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