The Legend of the Cobra by Jack Cashwell

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Long ago in the Sahara, there lived a serene village of farmers. They lived in peace, raising livestock and farming the Sahara’s fertile soil. The Sahara had the highest quality land for growing in the world, and anyone who could find work there would be paid handsomely.

The reason for the Sahara’s superior soil was the Cobra. The Cobra was a serpent who would come to the village at the start of each growing season to bless the soil of the land. The Cobra’s blessing brought rainfall, sunshine, and kept away pests. The Cobra provided this service on one condition: that the villagers do not use the land that the Cobra and his family live in.

One day, after an arduous day of labor, Sam, the village’s King, received a letter from the local courier.

“Your majesty, a letter from the King of Highwood, the nearest village,”

“Thank you,” replied the King.

He opened the letter and was shocked at what he saw. It was a graph detailing this season’s harvest for each village in the region. He noticed that his village was now producing only the second most crops out of the eight regional villages.

“Ridiculous!” he shouted, enraged. “We’ve been first for years, how could this be?!” he yelled furiously. He got into his carriage and headed to the Cobra’s home. He banged on the door loudly.

“King Sam, what a pleasant surprise!” the Cobra said with a smile, answering the door. His smile quickly faded upon noticing Sam’s angry facial expression.

“Second?!” Sam accused. “Have you gotten lazy? Last time I checked, you are supposed to make our soil the best in the world! Second won’t cut it.”

“It would be in your best interest to stop yelling at me, Samuel,” the Cobra said with a calm demeanor. “I gave you that farmland. I can just as easily take it back. I am aging, and as such my powers are weakening. I am not able to keep you in first all of the time. But I still do my best. You are lucky to even be second best, because without me you’d be in dead last. Learn to be thankful,” Cobra warned.

Sam stormed off angrily and called a town council meeting. The citizens of the village all arrived at the town hall.

“What will we do?” One citizen asked.

“If Cobra takes away our crops, how will I feed my children?” A woman cried.

“Well, if we can’t produce as efficiently, maybe we just need to grow more. We should expand our growing area,” a man suggested.

“Yeah, yeah. There’s plenty of land to the east. Looks great for growing,” another person chimed in.

“Wouldn’t that be in the Cobra’s territory?” someone asked.

“Who cares?” the previous man inquired. “Not like he’s been much use to us lately anyway.”

“Yeah, we don’t need ‘em!” people shouted over each other.

“Silence!” King Sam yelled with authority. “I agree with what has been said. Let us take his land by whatever means necessary!”

The meeting concluded and the townspeople left for their homes. The next morning, they woke up to a new world.

They awoke to sand. Lots of sand. The temperature was unbearably hot and the air was incredibly dry. All of their crops were gone, lost beneath layers and layers of hot golden sand. The people commenced in the town square, all of them shocked.

“I told you what would happen if you betrayed me,” came the Cobra’s voice from afar. “Enjoy the life you have created for yourselves.” The Cobra disappeared and was never seen again. The villagers were never heard from again, though there is much speculation as to what happened to them. Some believe they starved to death due to their lack of crops, and others believe they were taken out by a nearby village. But to this day, still no one knows the full truth of the legend of the Cobra.




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