The Cry of the Sea-Gull

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A beautiful maiden called Nya lived in a village by the sea, well loved by all her people and desired by every young man among her people. She also loved her people, and would willingly have married but could not decide which man she loved the most.

One day a young man came from the east, riding the sea in a slim canoe and singing a happy song, and although he was neither handsome or rich, or famous, Nya fell in love and begged him to marry her: for the minds of women are fanciful and beyond men’s understanding. The stranger saw her beauty and took her for his wife; he dwelt in that land with her for several moons, and she was well content.

There came a day when the south wind blew and the song of the sea was loud: the stranger walked on the shore alone, listening to the voice of the wind and the song of the restless waves. He took his canoe to the water and paddled out to sea.

That evening Nya called to him, but he could not be found. Men had seen him go with his canoe. She went to the sea and called his name, but all in vain for the south wind snatched at her words and tossed them away inland: and the stranger never returned.

Nya lay on the sands and sobbed, and died of a broken heart. Her spirit became a sea-gull, and when the south wind blows her lonely cry is heard as she calls to her lover who went away to sea.

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