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The Hare and the Mermaid 

Once, very long ago, in a time when clocks did not exist and Time was the dominion of the Sun and Moon, there were nefarious thieves that stole a ship. Up the coast they sailed never venturing too far from the sight of land for they were thieves; and not truly pirates. Pirates know the ways of the stars and the tides. Thieves they had always been, and when they came upon a prosperous village it was to their temple they sought to plunder. 

To this temple under the guise of night did they venture, where never under the full sway of the sun’s rays, dare to show their profane faces. The thieves thought little of the offerings made to an invisible Goddess, and though they could not see her for they were unworthy, She saw all they did.

She watched as they stuffed their sacks with her offerings, and in a way she was pleased. Now, by this act of sacrilege, by stealing her offerings they would release her from This Temple she had been tethered to like a dog to a stake in a yard.

The thieves freed her to wander like a cloud and this they wondered about how a cloud could follow them. Little by little she gently pushed them far from the land they had known all their lives to the middle of a vast and magnificent ocean, where their fresh water was diminished under the hot, hot sun. In this world of endless sea they began to panic and the larger ones survived this odious time until their craft landed gently on a tropical island.

The surviving members of the throng of thieves first thought was where to hide their stolen treasure and they notched the skin of an innocent palm tree with a symbol to claim this Island.  Much as these men believed all they saw was theirs for the taking, the animals that lived there knew these men were invaders. They smelled of the death they had inflicted on the smaller criminals of their gang. Once they had planted the treasure they stole from the Temple of the Goddess; now this was her home, her land, her temple.

Almost within moments the surviving members of the gang began to bicker and argue who was the leader and who owned the treasure, the island and even the craft they had crossed the sea on. Not long did they argue because these were men that understood the one who laughs last, laughs the longest. Knives were drawn and all that was achieved was plenty of food for the gulls and crabs to scavenge through.

The men were gone, the little ship pushed away with the outgoing tide and the Goddess sat on the sand and looked over her shoulder to where they had hidden their horde, hidden her offerings.  She wiggled her index finger and the sand fell away to reveal the gleam of golden treasures, jewels and coins.

The Hare that had lived there before returned gingerly, carefully and allowed the Goddess to stroke his silky coat and to caress his long ears. The Goddess smiled and laughed softly, gently she was pleased to be liberated. She leaned back and smoothed her luminous hands over her lithe legs and opalescent scales glazed over the surface of her legs. She had been tied to a temple in a dusty little village and now she was free to roam the sea.

The Hare slept on the treasure because it held the heat of the sun long after dark; and while the tides and seasons came and went the Hare never aged. He was always the same as when the Goddess and the treasure came to the Island. He grew to be a great and wise Hare that told the younger hares stories while their mothers were grazing in the cool evening shade. Often he would tell them of the Pirate’s Folly, but sometimes he would share stories the Mermaid murmured in her sleep that sounded like the soft rattle of cup-shaped scallops in the gentle lapping waves. Stories of where there lived rabbits that did swim beneath the sea, where the colors were so extraordinarily bright and vivid that the brightest day on land was as night to this marvelous new world of the Mermaid Goddess.

The Treasure Hare was painted on Arches’ 100% cotton hot pressed paper produced in France, as it has been for centuries. Watercolors are a collaboration of Sennelier produced in France, Winsor & Newton originally produced in England, and Schmincke iridescent watercolors produced in Germany.  The avarice of Dictators that blights the world’s peace all eventually fall to ruin while humble people strive to rebuild after the latest land grab. What I have learned from studying history is that Art, Art always lasts be it the Grecian statues housed in the world’s museums of fine art or the humble paintings of Vincent van Gogh. I strive everyday to produce good work, to be kind, and to be honest; these are qualities that I witnessed in my grandparents. I wish every child had such opportunities.  

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