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Emerald Wave
by Lisa Suhay

The sky was bright and blue, the waters a wide, flat, calm on the Ocean of Life the day that the littlest wave made its wish.

To be big and strong and powerful, the wave said to the open sky. That is what I wish. I want to be the most powerful wave in all the world.

Two large gray clouds appeared across the blank face of the sky and seemed to furrow heaven's brow.

Not a wise wish my friend, came the voice of the sky that seemed to burst from all around. Why dont you choose another, eh?

The little wave was all churned up inside. It had spent its life lapping at the ankles of children and frothing lightly in the sun. It could not be ridden like its brothers. It could not strike terror like its father or mother.

I want to be better than a little wave, it said. I want to be an emerald wave. A wave of power.

Now the sky darkened with concern.

An emerald wave was one so high and so mighty, that when a sailor looked at its face, the sun could be seen shining through its eclipse - the brightest, most murderous gem ever hurled by the seven seas.

The little wave waited pensively for the answer.

So be it, came the voice and the sky went black.

The wind began to cry out and churn the waters. Night fell and a full moon took the place of the sun.

The little wave felt the pull of that moon and began to swell. Higher and higher and wider it grew. The wave felt a rush of power. It felt joy and wonder at its new strength.

Yes, the wave shouted in delight. This is what I have always wanted - to rise above it all. To know that nothing can harm me. Everyone who looks upon my face will know my power. I am no longer just a childs playground.

The wave grew to enormous height. Just then the dawn broke and the wave looked out upon the seas, and down. Down to one of the small islands where it had been just a froth.

Look at me now, it thundered.

But the waves moment of glory was cut short by a hard shove from behind. It was the wind. It lashed the back of the wave driving it on faster and faster.

The wave felt a ripple of panic as it realized it was being driven. Stop, it cried. What are you doing? I am supposed to be in control.

The wind howled with laughter. No, my friend, the wind corrected. You were to be big and powerful and so you are. Because it was power that you took from another it is power another controls.

The wind whipped the wave even harder. The sun moved behind the wave and shone fiercely. The giant wave now cast an emerald light that fell like a laser upon the shore of the island where children played in the tide pools and ripples.

With a sudden shock the wave recognized the children whose ankles it had tickled the day before. It realized that being among them had made it feel warm and alive loved. The children loved to play in the little waves. The wave had been loved for its gentleness.

Now it saw those who had loved it cast in the sickly green light. It was overcome with a chill sense of emptiness and fear.

Please, it cried to the wind and the sky. Let me break now. Do not use me to do harm to those I love. I was wrong to make this wish. Release me. Spare the island and I will never wish again.

Make not a promise you cannot keep, thundered the sky. Say that you wish to grow your own way and perhaps I shall consider.

The wave felt the driving of the wind and heard the screams of those it was about to crush beneath. It made a new wish, Oh please, let me be but a humble wave again. I will be the best that I can be and no more and no less.

For one terrible moment more the wind blew, the moon tugged and the wave hung high in the emerald sky.

Then the wind stopped and the moon turned its face away, until it was just a ghost of a crooked grin in the blue heavens.

Instantly the wave collapsed and became but a ripple on the vast Ocean of Life. The children ceased their crying and gasped in wonder at the change. Then they jumped and splashed in glee at the return of their old friend and the safety and joy it brought.

The little wave rolled in to the shore and whispered over their legs, mumbling a song of the sea, to be repeated for all time: Little wave. Little wave. Drift in. Drift out. Better a spray of diamond foam, than an emerald giant without heart or home.


This fable is from "Tell Me Another Story"
It was written for my oldest son, now age 8, who wished to grow up to be the most powerful thing in the world.
I combined out years living aboard trimaran "Gypsy Wind" with his wish to make some waves and a lasting impression.
Now he wants to grow up to be a toy designer.