The Reason We Have Stars
(A New Greek Myth)

Mariana. Age 11. San Pablo, California

Long ago in a small Greek village lived a woman named Zahara. She had beautiful brown hair that wrapped around the world twice! (She is an ancestor of Rapunzel, but that’s a story for another time.) Zahara wore a long yellow dress that had beautiful pink flowers on the bottom and that reached her ankles. One sunny day, Zahara decided to take a walk in the “Forest Of Wonder.” 

“Amazing!!! This forest is beautiful! The trees are all so tall and healthy. All of the birds chirp together like a chorus. Now I know why animals love it here so much!” Zahara thought to herself.

It was a hot day, and Zahara became very thirsty. As she continued walking, she discovered a well with steps that went down to the bottom of it. (This well didn’t have a bucket with a rope.) Zahara climbed down the steps. When she got to the bottom, she noticed a hidden hallway that led to a door. Zahara was curious and kept walking. Soon she opened the door and saw a box that was taped shut. Suddenly, she heard a noise.

“Thump! Squeek! Squeek!”

“YIKES!”

Luckily, it was just a mouse who dropped a miniature clothes hanger.

Zahara jumped like a kangaroo.

“Silly mouse!”

Zahara proceeded to open one of the boxes slowly and carefully.

“Oh...MY...Goodness! Diamonds! DIAMONDS!!! A box full of DIAMONDS! I’m rich for the rest of my life!!!” YES!! I’M RICH!! I’M RICH! I’M RICH! FOR THE REST OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! YES!!”

As Zahara continued to grab and hug handfuls of diamonds, Hades, the god of the underworld, overheard Zahara screaming about the diamonds. Hades was a greedy god, so he decided to take her diamonds away from her. He wanted to become rich and show all of the other gods his dangerous power.

So, Hades decided to steal Zahara’s diamonds. But Hades had a small problem. Although he could hear Zahara talking, he did not know her exact location or what she looked like. He only knew the general vicinity of Zahara and her diamonds.

Hades wasn’t going to give up easily. He was determined to get his hands on those precious diamonds by investigating Zahara’s exact location. Maybe one of the villagers could tell him the whereabouts of Zahara. Since Hades didn’t want to terrorize the villagers that live there, he dressed up as an old man and set off to the village.

Moments later, he spotted Zahara walking on a sidewalk holding her box of diamonds. He knew it was her because he recognized her voice when she said hello to others, and she smiled like a monkey holding a handful of bananas. So Hades followed Zahara to her house and knocked on her door.

“Excuse me, madam, do you know a woman named Zahara?” Hades asked Zahara.
Zahara did not know it was Hades and let Hades walk in without a problem.

“Yes. I'm Zahara,” Zahara replied.

“Are those diamonds you have in your box? These used to be my son’s diamonds, and now that he's long gone, you must hand them all over to me, his father. I must get them back. I promised him that I would take care of his beautiful family with all of these precious diamonds. Don’t stop me from fulfilling that promise!” Hades exclaimed.

Zahara refused.

So Hades grabbed the box and ran out the door into the night. Zahara ran out and caught him and grabbed hold of one end of the box. Hades finally grew tired of acting like an old man and broke into his real character.

“Give me THE BOX!” shouted Hades.

Zahara held onto the box with all of her might. It became a tug-of-war for the box of diamonds. Hades versus Zahara. Back and forth. Zahara and Hades kept pulling too hard and loosened the tape and flaps on top of the box.

Suddenly, all of the diamonds in the box shot up into the sky like a fireworks display.
None of the diamonds fell back onto the ground.

Hades went back to the underworld as a bitter god.

Zahara was very sad that she lost her diamonds. She kept looking up into the sky hoping that they would fall back down. Everybody in the village realized that every night the sky would darken, and the diamonds would light up the sky with their amazing shine.

The villagers did not understand why there were so many lights in the sky. Zahara began to tell her story about the diamonds. The villagers realized that she was a greedy person because she only wanted the diamonds for herself. She had no intentions of sharing the diamonds with the villagers.

So she eventually became banned from the village, and no one heard from her again.

As she left the village, she looked up into the night sky and left a note for everybody to read: “The most beautiful, shiny, and precious things are stars, which are the only thing I have now”.

Zahara fell asleep on the hard, cold, and dirty ground while glaring at the stars.

This is why we now have beautiful stars in our lives. This is also why they look so shiny like diamonds in the sky.

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