The Firemaker


Once there was  man who was able to make fires.  The people of his village were amazed at his wondrous gift. But they were a little afraid of it. But then the firemaker taught them how they could use this gift to keep warm how they could used it to cook their food and fire their pottery and how it could be a cry for help when they were lost in the wilderness. But he said that it could be dangerous – so he taught them how to handle the fire reverently so that it would not hurt them

Soon everyone in the region heard of this firemakers gifts and until everyone in the region had heard. He was in great demand – and he travelled through the villages teaching his skills to everyone who wanted to learn

In time his popularity came to the attention of the village elders and rulers and to the lord of that region and they did not entirely like what they were hearing. He seemed to be giving people what they deeply desired and how they could lead fuller and happier lives. So the people were turning away from their rulers and leaders to follow this upstart firemaker.  He had to be stopped they all agreed, but they did not see how they could do it so they trapped him one night and killed him and forbade the people to make fires in future.

The people were dismayed but were too afraid to challenge the leaders; they grieved for the firemaker whom they had all loved.  They forgot most of what he had taught them because they never practised their skills again, but they never forgot him

The rulers conferred on how to take the minds of the people off this dangerous man.  They hit upon the idea to encourage the people to build shrines to the memory of the firemaker.  So a monument was erected in every village. It  was decorated with flowers and beautiful painting and statues. They gathered together regularly to remember the firemaker and all he had meant to them.  They wrote down in the books the instructions he had once given them about the fires and they read extracts from these books every time they met together.  The rulers were pleased because they had brought their fire under control. But the people got used to chilly, dark  nights again and they ate cold food, and they forgot how to dance and sing in  the firelight.