The Drought

Once, in a faraway country there was a drought. There had been no rain for days. No rain for weeks. No rain for months. And the land was dry, dry. And hard and cracked and brown and dusty. And the sun beat down relentlessly. And the heat was unbearable. Like living in an oven. Impossible to breathe. And everywhere the dust. On the ground. In the air. On your skin. In your eyes. In your throat. Suffocating dust.

And the plants were dying. Changing from green through yellow to brown, they withered and died. And the animals were starving: the cattle, the sheep, the pigs, the goats – getting thinner and thinner and thinner … and dying. And the people were starving too, for there was nothing to eat. And the drought went on and on and on.

So one day; all the men went into the temple to pray for rain. In the sweltering heat they got down on their knees on the hard, dusty ground and they prayed and they prayed and they prayed for rain. But still there was no rain.

And so another day, all the women went into the temple to pray for rain. In the sweltering heat they got down on their knees on the hard dusty ground and they prayed and they prayed and they prayed for rain. But still there was no rain.

And then one day, a little girl went up the steps to the temple. She was about nine and she was wearing a dirty yellow dress that was torn. Her feet were bare and her legs and arms were dusty. Her long hair was tangled and in a mess. There was dirt on her face. And up she went up the steps of the temple, to pray for rain. But do you know what she had with her? She had with her an umbrella. Not a posh umbrella. A scruffy old broken umbrella. But an umbrella just the same. And she skipped into the temple and got down on her knees and put her umbrella on the ground beside her and she prayed and she prayed and she prayed for rain.

And do you know what? When she came out of the temple, it was raining.

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