by Winnie Kay
Nathan discovers his powers and saves his village from a sea monster.
Once upon a time, in a tiny fishing village by the Great Sea, there lived a brave Ninja boy named Nathan. No one knew about Nathan’s special Ninja Powers, no one except his Great Aunt Winnie. He knew he was somehow different. He could jump higher, run faster, and lift heavy objects easier than any of the boys in the village. But he didn’t know just how special he was. Nathan had a great love for his aunt who lived on the east shore of the village. They spent many afternoons together as she told her nephew stories of the great Ninjas throughout history, of their power and bravery.
Seven years ago, when Nathan was born, Winnie had seen the signs in the sky. She had the gift of reading the stars, and the night of Nathan’s birth, she looked up to the heavens and saw the long awaited shift in the position of the constellation Orion. The Hunter’s mighty sword fell to earth at Winnie’s feet. This was the sign that a great Ninja Warrior had been born. It took all of her strength, but Winnie lifted the heavy sword from the ground and carried it into her house where she hid it under a board in the floor. I’ll know when the time is right to reveal his true powers, she thought to herself. And Winnie waited silently for that moment.
Nathan’s father worked long hours at the harbor, repairing the fishing boats for the men who went out into the deep sea. Everyday, as the sun began to set below the mountain across the sea, Nathan would make his way down the little path that led from their sturdy house to the shore. He liked to walk home with his father in the quiet early evening breeze and listen to the stories his father told of the fishermen’s adventures. This was their special time, a time when Nathan had his father all to himself. He loved his beautiful mother fiercely and would die to protect her. And he enjoyed playing with his older brother, Ryan, and his baby sister, Kaitlyn. But his walks with his father were his favorite time of the day.
One evening, as they were walking down the path, Nathan’s father told of a great sea monster spotted by the old fishing captain, George Smith.
“What did he look like, Father?” Nathan asked as they made their way home for supper.
“Well, son, old George said he was fishing around the base of the mountain across the sea, and the surface of the water started to bubble and steam about fifty feet from his boat.”
Nathan shifted his father’s tool kit from one hand to the other. The tools were heavy, even for his father, but the boy carried them with ease. Nathan could always tell when his father was pulling his leg, but this time he saw truth and fear in the sun-baked wrinkles of his face. So he kept quiet and respectfully listened as they walked the dusty path.
“According to George, the water broke with a mighty crash as a green-scaled head, with black horns on either side, emerged from the sea. Its red eyes stared at George, and the old captain froze with fear. Then, all of a sudden, the monster slowly sank back into the water and disappeared from sight.” Nathan’s father glanced down at his son with a worried look and quickened his steps toward home. The sun was low behind the mountain.
Nathan knew Captain Smith as a hardworking leader of the community. He was honest and true, and Nathan knew he would never lie. “What shall we do, Father? What if this giant should approach our shore?” Nathan looked up at his father for answers.
“We will fight, son. We must protect our families and our land. Don’t mention any of this to your mother. She will only worry. Promise me, Nathan! Not a word!”
“I promise, Father,” Nathan swore as they stomped the dust off their shoes and entered the little house. The aroma of stew and biscuits surrounded Nathan as he put down his father’s tools and bolted the heavy door behind him.
“I hope you two are hungry,” Nathan’s mother said as his father planted a soft kiss on her cheek. She held Kaitlyn on one hip while she stirred the stew in the large black kettle. “Go wash up, and, Nathan, tell your brother supper’s almost ready. He’s out back in the barn feeding the horses.”
“Yes ma’am.” Nathan washed his hands at the pump on the back porch and headed to the barn to fetch Ryan. Just then a howl bellowed through the fading light of day. It was like no sound Nathan had ever heard before, and he knew it came from a green-scaled, red-eyed, black-horned sea monster. Ryan came running out of the barn with the pitchfork in his hand from pitching hay.
The back door swung open and their father stepped out on the porch, the long-rifle in his hands. Nathan noticed he didn’t look afraid, only determined. “Get in the house, boys.” The brothers raced across the yard and through the door, Ryan still holding on to the pitchfork. The howl erupted again, and this time it was closer. The sound of people screaming and gun-fire could be heard in the distance.
They found Aunt Winnie sitting at the table holding a long object wrapped in butcher paper. She was out of breath after carrying the heavy package from her house on the east shore. “I need to see Nathan,” she gasped as she stood and approached the boy. Nathan looked up at his beloved aunt, and somehow he knew this was no ordinary visit. She carefully unwrapped the sword and struggled with its weight as she held it out for Nathan to take. “This is yours, Nephew. It is time to unleash your powers.”
Nathan took the sword from his great aunt. In his hands, it wasn’t heavy. He was not afraid. Like his father, he was determined to protect his village. His mother stepped forward, ready to stop her little son, but Aunt Winnie raised her hand. The house trembled as the sea monster’s steps approached the front of the little house. Ryan raised his pitchfork, and their father aimed his rifle at the closed door, but Nathan shook his head. As his little sister began to cry in her mother’s arms, Nathan calmly put a finger to his lips, gave his mother a kiss and slipped out the back door. Aunt Winnie softly whispered, “He is Ninja. He will save us.”
Outside, Nathan took one giant leap and landed on the top of the house. With the magic sword of Orion in his hand, he quietly crawled on his belly over the shingles of the roof until he came to rest just above the front door. The sea monster didn’t look up, didn’t see Nathan standing above him with the hilt of the sword in both hands, the long shinny blade pointing downward. With one quick motion, Nathan leaned forward and plunged the sword into the top of the green-scaled head, right between the black horns. It was then that the beast raised its red eyes and looked into the smiling face of the little ninja. It was the last thing the sea monster saw as he gasped a final hot breath, and his giant body fell backwards into the front yard.
Nathan jumped down onto the green-scaled body and pulled his sword out of the top of the monster’s head. Green blood pooled in the dirt. Nathan’s family rushed to his side. His mother smothered him with kisses and his father lifted him onto his shoulders. All Ryan could do was keep repeating, “Way awesome, Little Bro,” as he cleaned the green blood off of his brother’s sword. Aunt Winnie held Kaitlyn in her arms and cried as she looked up at the Orion constellation which brightened the night sky. The people in the village gathered around the body of the sea monster and danced and cheered.
The fishing village honored Nathan as a hero. Every year, on February 12th (the anniversary of the slaying of the sea monster) the village celebrated with parades and parties and singing and dancing. Captain Smith and the leaders of the village declared that day as Nathan Day, and everyone lived happily ever after.