Orchestra

A long time ago, a time without music, there was a girl. The girl had no name, did not know how old she was, only knew the cold and starvation of winter. She was sleeping in a damp, and dark cave with only a candle for light and even that flickered threateningly, as if it would go out any minute. The girl was sleeping quite peacefully at the moment, not feeling the beating wind on her back or the freezing cave floor, lost in her own little world. But a far-off noise, no, noises, in the distance woke her up. It was a mixture of melody and harmony, of sadness and happiness, of memories and forgetfulness. It had a name , she was sure. But she was young  and could not remember. The only time she had heard anything like it was the memory of when she was little her mother singing her a lullaby. But that was just a memory, her mother was gone now and the time for -music, was it called?- was over. But the child, being a child, could not help wondering what the sound was.

Stumbling slightly, she got up and peered around the edge of the cave. It was snowing considerably hard now, and the girl was very cold, having only thin, singed, old rags to cover her. But still she made her way through the cold to the unyielding , mysterious sound. It got louder and louder, when suddenly, it stopped. She looked around through the falling fast snow, squinting her eyes.

“You look quite cold.” came a merry old voice from behind her. She spun around quickly, to look at a boy, younger than her she wagered. Suspiciously, she peered at him. “Come over here,” he said, and started walking towards two trees. The girl hunched herself over. She was quite cold and knew the way back to the cave, but for some reason she followed the boy. They came to a clearing with a warm, crackling fire. The ground was snow-covered, but snow was not falling on them. The young girl took no notice of this; she was entranced by the fire.

The boy sat down and begin fiddling with an- an – an object of some sort. ” Name’s Or. Yours?” And when he looked up at her, there was a twinkling of young mischief in his eyes, like he already knew the answer. Still staring at the fire, the girl shrugged. When he went back to meddling with the object, she tore away from the fire and stared at him. He looked up and asked, “You play?” Her face was twisted in confusion, and her eyes showed no understanding. She simply shook her head. “Would you like to hear some?” he asked.

The girl hesitated for a long time and it was as if time froze as she stood, contemplating her answer. The object he was holding was a brown color, the color of firewood. It was shaped a little like a pear with a very long stem, or perhaps the number eight with a one on the top. The top had a swirl or scroll, like when the villagers cat rolled up his tail, over and over. There was four strings or yarn running up and down the object, tied to both ends of the object and in the middle they rested on a little piece of wood.  He held it on his shoulder the long part in his left hand, his right holding some kind of stick with animal hair attached to both ends. Her eyes met his and the tiniest bit of a nod broke the trance. His stick met object and she was lost in a memory of sound and happiness. But it was over as soon as it started, his hands going down.

“My favorite kind of music,” he said smiling at her. And the girl remembered. She remembered, but still forgot much more. “Tell me.” The two words escaped her blue, shivering lips before she could stop them. The boy understood.” This is the bow.” he said, showing her the stick. And slowly, he showed her all the parts of the object, which was called a violin, she found out. And pretty soon, she was playing along with him. But it went far into the night, and she found herself slowly falling asleep to the merry music.

She woke up the next morning, soft snow falling around her. The fire and boy were gone, and she wondered if she had dreamed them. But when she got up, she saw a message etched into the tree. It read: Goodbye Viola. And she knew he had given her a name. Knowing and loving music, she began to make a copy of the violin out of whittled wood, but hers came out different, and eventually was called a viola. And as the age of music grew and grew, the two instruments came together and formed what was called an Orchestra. 

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