By Jeff Baker
“Story! Story!” Kiaro said. She was four and it was past her bedtime, even though she was in bed she seemed wide awake.
“All right,” said Oramo, her mother. “Long ago there was a little boy…”
“Little girl! Little girl!” Kiaro said.
“All right, a little girl,” Oramo said. “And she and her family lived on an island in the middle of the sea. Her name was Avario,” Oramo said.
“Ooooooo!” Kiaro said. Oramo went on.
One day she was sitting by the sea and she heard the voice of the Ocean. It told her that she would know she was grown when she found the third iguana. Now there were lizards all over the island, eating flies and beetles, but the only iguanas she had ever seen lived near the ocean, on the rocky shore. She went looking and found only two.
So she would look every morning before she went to school and still only counted the two iguanas. And after school she would look for the third iguana and only find the one. And she would sit on the big rock and stare out at the sea. And the voice of the sea would sing to her saying that when one learned the ways of the land, what is hidden would be revealed. And yet every day she saw only the two iguanas.
And then one day, after a good deal of time had passed, Avario realized; the rock she was sitting on was the third iguana. It crawled back to its spot on the beach every morning, sat there all day and went hunting for the large night-dwelling bugs that hid during the day.
“And when Avario realized this,” Oramo said softly, “she understood how much time had passed and that she was now grown.”
Kiaro was silently asleep. Oramo pulled the cover over her shoulders and kissed her daughter silently on the forehead. She crept out of the room and shut the door.
In the bed, little Kiaro curled up in her sleep, dreaming that she was an iguana.