The Sea, Who Loved the Boy


For Gretchen–and to us, the many other Seas

​The Boy was with the Sea all his life.

The Sea loved the Boy and cared for him—his flowing hair the Sea would crown with shells and pearls and little corals.

Every afternoon the Boy would swim to the surface and look at the sky, his back on the water. He stared at the blue expanse which stretched above them.

The Sea would be there, watching with the Boy.

At night, the Sea would lull the Boy to sleep, cradling the Boy in its arms until he dreamt of the stars above them—and the Sea, of course.

​The Boy was happy, and the Sea loved the Boy very dearly.

But one day, at dusk while swimming, he saw the Sun disappear at the horizon.

“Where does the Sun go?” The Boy asked.

“To the Earth,” the Sea replied.


The Sea took the Boy to the direction of the shore, where the Boy saw, for the first time, what the Earth looked like.

“The Earth looks calm and beautiful,” the Boy said.

That night, the Sea gently embraced the Boy to sleep—but the Boy dreamt of the Earth which the Sun left the Sea for.

Every day, he would ask the Sea to take him nearer to the shore.

“The Earth is not very tempestuous,” the Boy would say.

“The Earth looks more lush and alive.”

“The Earth feels so vibrant and warm.”

Every night, the Boy dreamt of the Earth.

It was not long when he woke up and told the Sea, “I want to go to the Earth.”

“But why? Aren’t you happy with me anymore?”

“I would want the Earth for me,” said the Boy.

The Sea wept.

But the Sea wanted the boy happy, and thus, it let the Boy go.

Its waves carried the Boy to where the Sun goes. And there the Boy found the Earth.

The Boy had never seen such a sight before, this Earth.

“Hello,” the Earth said. “Who are you?”

“I am the Boy,” the Boy said. “Can I stay with you?”

The Earth welcomed the pretty thing.

“I can give you the fruits of my trees, and the seeds of my plants,” the Earth said. “Come, sit.”

The Earth crowned the Boy’s flowing hair with flowers, and the Boy was happy as the Earth entertained him.

The Sea, meanwhile, was lonely, and no longer gave its water to the sky.

And the sky no longer had clouds.

And soon after, the rain never came to the Earth.

So there came a time when the trees and the herbs and the flowers began to wither.

The Earth stopped giving fruits and plants for the Boy to eat.

“I’m sorry,” the Earth said to the Boy. “You must leave now.”

But there was nowhere the Boy could go. He was too ashamed to go back to the Sea.

“Let me stay here by the shore a little longer,” said the Boy.  “I want to be with you.”

“If you wish,” the Earth said. “But you must go soon.”

It was not long before the Boy perished.

Soon the tide came, lapping up against the shore.

That was when the Sea had found out the Boy was gone.

“What did you do?” The Sea rushed to the Earth.

“I told the Boy to go back to you,” the Earth had said. “But he wouldn’t listen.”

The Sea was furious.

It roused up its waters and brought flood to the Earth, drowning the animals and vegetation.

“Why do you do this to me, Sea? It was the Boy who left you,” the Earth cried.

“I loved him,” the Sea said.

“But he thought he deserved more than you,” the Earth said.

And the Sea knew it was true.

And so the Sea took the dead Boy back in the water—away from the Earth, deep into its heart.

​The Sun shone brightly above on both the Sea and the Earth, watching.  

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