Skip to main content

Fire and Water

Khambu Folktale

Fire and Water

Khambu Folktale

When the earth came into being, an argument between Fire and Water ensued. Fire, with all its fury, roared, “I am the mightiest.”

Hearing the fire boast about its strength, Water replied, “No, I am the mightiest, much stronger than you.”

Fire retorted, “No, I am the mightiest. My power comes from the Sun -the one who can cause great drought and dry up your seas, rivers, and lakes.”

As the argument intensified, seething with anger, Water leaped forward to extinguish Fire. Startled, by this sudden physical action, Fire jumped back and ran. Water chased after Fire.

Fire reached up to a cliff. Water pursued it there. It reached a hill and Water was right behind. It seemed that Water wasn’t going to give up and had decided to extinguish Fire once and for all. Fire ran across the hills, forests, plains, and mountains and Water was still hot on its heels. Finally, it reached a cave where scattered on the ground were some Flintstones.

In a moment of desperation, Fire pleaded to a Flintstone, “Water is trying to kill me. I know that you have been with Water. Only you can save me now.”

 Flintstone asked, “If I hide you within my body, what will I receive in return?”

Fire replied, “If you keep me inside your body, whenever human beings want it, they can bring me out to light up the world. If humans are ever haunted by evil spirits, their Shamans can hold you in their hands and vanquish evil powers. With me living inside you, humans will access my powers through you. If humans consider you the mother of Fire and place you right underneath their Hearthstones, their prayers will be answered and the spirit realm will be opened to them.”

Hearing this, the Flintstone, took Fire and placed it inside its body. Water arrived with its powerful waves and crashed into the cave. But Fire had already vanished inside the body of the Flintstone.