A cold and obnoxious sea brooded and worried under the wind and the rain. It boiled and toiled all on its own, its waters being dark and deep and inhospitable to life. Troubled, the sea tossed and tumbled in a torment of tidal ebb and flow with only the sun and the moon to watch over it. These wretched hecklers served as neither comfort, nor company, but only tugged and shoved at it which only annoyed the great sea even more.
One day there came a tiny spark, deep, deep within the sea, and up from the sea floor bubbled a tiny blob of red hot lava.
The sea instantly snuffed it out.
Again, a blob of glowing red lava glubbed up from the sand in the same place.
The sea became angry and said, “What is this?”
“I am a volcano.” said the blob.
The sea laughed heartily. “You are no volcano! Volcanos are mighty and live upon the land. What kind of volcano — especially one as tiny as you — thinks it can live at the bottom of such a ferocious sea as I?” And the sea immediately put out the small fire with its coldness and massive weight with hardly any effort at all.
But again, the lava oozed from where it had oozed before. Just a little bigger than it had been before. “But I will grow!” said the little volcano in defiance of the sea.
“That’s impossible!” said the sea. “What force have you against my enomority? You will be only what I say you will be, and no more.” and the sea cooled the lava to stone.
The tiny volcano, which was only a tiny bump at the bottom of the sea, spat “I will be what I will be. I will defeat you.” and sprouted red again.
“That is preposterous!” insisted the insulted sea “I will not allow it.” and the sea quickly drowned the little mound.
And each time the sea did its awful deed, the spot would jump, shudder and pop, wrinkle, sputter and hop, and a new lump of searing hot, bright red lava would emerge again and again, if only briefly, before being turned again to stone, each time in turn, by the very stubborn sea.
The volcano, now an imposing hill on the floor which belonged to the sea, spit forth another sprout and taunted its oppressor—“You see, I am still here. I am growing.”
“Nonsense!” the sea exclaimed, “You are silly!” and put it out again.
The persistent little volcano went on and on. Fueled by a fire whose source nobody knew, upheavals and shoots ever came. And no sooner could the sea douse one than another and another would spring forth. For a quantity of time that only the sun and the moon can comprehend, the growing volcano smoldered and struggled, without end, against the sea. Back and forth. Hot and cold. From dawn until dawn. Lava, then stone.
After much time, the little volcano grew into an undersea mountain so large and tall that it could see and feel the light coming from the sea’s surface. And despite the sea working against it from all sides, the volcano aimed for the light with all its might, belching fire and liquid stone as it yearned for the air above.
Finally, one day, like a whale breaching the waves with a great exhale, the volcano’s top reached the surface and its fiery eruption lept into the air.
“Victory!” cried the volcano.
“Not so fast,” cried the sea, “for I am merely at low tide and I have tricks you have not seen!” and the sea set upon it with all the tides and typhoons it could conjure.
Undeterred, and no longer confined to the sea’s envelope, the volcano spit as far into the air as it wanted. And it did, and did without rest. Unrestrained, it grew more rapidly until even the highest waves did not reach its top.
Soon, even the strongest typhoon could only hope to moisten the volcano, and barely cool it, never dousing its fire.
The sea was obstinate—“I’ll show you who’s boss!”—and sent more storms. But the rains only washed soot and sand off the volcano, which ran down the mountain’s slopes into crevices and ravines and became soil. The sea sent great winds to blow against the volcano, but those winds brought seeds from other lands, which took root and began to grow.
Now free from the contrary sea, the volcano became a beautiful island with sandy beaches, waterfalls and trees. Birds and other animals began to thrive on the island. Flowers sprouted from every crevice and bloomed year round.
The island made a home for undersea creatures as well. It gave birth to great coral reefs which surrounded the island and extended far into the sea. There came a multitude of sharks, rays and fishes, and the once-desolate sea was filled with wealth, and teemed with life.
After that, the sea was not so troubled, for it was no longer alone or lifeless, and the sun and the moon smiled down upon them both. The volcano was happy and the sea was content, and they lived in peace and harmony until their struggle was forgotten.
The fire that burns from within can never be extinguished.