For many years the lands of the earth had been feeding the growth of deserts. The deserts consumed quickly and completely all fertility in these lands leading all things otherwise to starvation. As often is the case in such circumstances, a few remained; embittered subjects to never ending toil. The world is no place for fun. Two individuals look sullenly at the tiny canyons that mosaic through the unworkable farm.
'Our mother earth has become sick as the sky refuses her water. Look at the cracks on her body, you expect a crop to issue from this soil?'
'Perhaps a crop will not rise and perhaps mother earth is indeed slain. That being so, did you know of another pasture where we might plant this years crop, sister?'
'No. I know nowhere else. I also know any seed given to this earth is being given a burial.' The female is a practical sort. She has the nomad spirit in her chest. This spirit compels her to leave. ' Perhaps we should say a prayer for each seed we bury here.'
'If you aren't going to help you should go.' The male is far more pragmatic. Certainly this farm was difficult, this desert made it harder. But a crop had always been yielded here and would be again. He had been working with a neighbour to connect two underground water sources. This would irrigate the farms until the sky gave rain. Only a fool would presume running away could solve their problems.
'I have already decided to leave, brother. Will you come along or will you perish with this farm?' The female wanted her sibling to accompany her but already knew this would not happen. She would have liked to bid her brother farewell and thought maybe he should like the same, but neither knew for certain. Sentiment was just another casualty that had perished. And so the two parted company, both quietly and sadly confident of one another's doom. It would have been nice to bid one another farewell.
A week had passed since Cotan watched his sister depart. He worked feverishly to connect his water channels. He had sown his crop and was desperate to get what little water he could to the baked earth of the farm. Derzyn, the neighbour with whom Cotan was pooling water, was an incessant prophesier of rain. A passing bird, a strange hue to the setting sun, rains are-a-come! Cotan often cursed his luck but there was no other neighbour, nor was there other water. Yet aspects there were that made Derzyn useful. He could find sources of water when pushed, he had a skill for spotting the signs of an underground source through the state of the surrounding bush; a great skill in such a place and equally distributed against his inaccurate soothsaying. Also, when he wasn't speculating the comings and goings of the rain, he played excellent reed cane. If one had a good imagination, one could embellish the warbling tones of his playing and one could almost know music. As the sun plunged into its recess for the night, Cotan silently imagined a prayer. A hope of safety for his departed sister, thanks for the companionship of Derzyn, and a plea for rain, for although he was certain the crop would not fail this year, and that he was correct in his course of action, he worried in his heart that should the rains not come the water he had in the subterranean tunnels would not sustain him.