Historias 6 de 9
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Deep in the heart of Ireland, on the slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain there lies a tear-shaped pool. Ancient willow trees cast a shade over it and a clear stream flows out, across the green pasture and down to the valley below.
Thousands of years ago, a forest of oak trees grew where sheep now graze and above the pool stood a magnificent hazel tree. Through this forest, on a fine autumn day, the golden-haired Sinnan wandered, gathering luscious blackberries and big brown hazel nuts.
When she came to the pool, she admired her reflection in the still water for a moment and then walked over to the big tree. She seemed to hear a voice telling her not to reach out for these nuts - but she was a spirited girl and she went ahead and picked some.
They were fine nuts, so big and brown that she decided to eat some then and there and not wait until she had taken them home. As she cracked a shell, she heard a clap of thunder. That wasn’t imagination and it was certainly an odd happening on a sunny day - but Sinnan wasn’t frightened of thunder.
She tasted the nut - and it was very good. But the moment she bit into it, she was suddenly aware that this was no ordinary hazel, but the tree of knowledge. She knew this because she had been transformed from a girl who was merely beautiful and clever to a person in possession of all the knowledge in the world. And what was more, she realised - too late - that no mortal who had tasted these forbidden fruits could survive.
The quiet pool erupted. A great torrent of water gushed out, cutting a deep trench through the forest and carrying poor Sinnan far, far away. The water never stopped flowing. It surged down the mountainside, cutting a channel for itself in soft ground, spreading far and wide to make great lakes whenever there was a rock barrier it couldn’t cut through.
Sinnan cried to the gods for help - but the gods would not rescue a mortal who had violated their sanctuary. Sinnan perished in the flood, long before the water reached the ocean.
Moved by her youth and beauty and innocence, the gods decreed that Sinnan should give her name to the torrent that carried her away and now it is known as the Shannon, the greatest river in Ireland. Sinnan has remained the guardian spirit of the river that is as beautiful and as spirited as she was when she tasted the nuts of wisdom long, long ago.
The Shannon has served the people of Ireland well. Salmon and trout and eel provided fine food for those who lived by its banks. For thousands of years it served as a highway. The early Christians built monasteries beside its waters. The Vikings used it as a water road. Today the strength of the river creates pollution-free electricity. It is still a waterway where people, tired by the pressures of life, relax in a quiet haven of nature.
Dirección web - http://www.irc.nl
Autor - Christopher Moriarty
Idioma(s) - English
Origen geográfico - Ireland
Derechos - Extracted from Water Stories, © IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, 2003