The River's Birth
The mountains shivered. A plain opened in their midst. The mountains shuddered. Cliffs
cracked. The mountains exploded. Earth tilted on its axis. What was water became land,
what was land became seabed. Dust clouded the sun. In the first convulsion, life became
extinct. Reptilian, mammalian, crustacean. Humanoids too. Were they really people? Who
built Atlantis and the other lost cities of the ancient worlds? A side issue. Something
for the Donnellys of the world to ponder, and for the followers of Ignatius to pounce on,
and prosper by pandering to a public rootless in its own unbeliefs.
A coldness and a darkness covered the planet. The first of the ice ages had begun.
When life returned, and aeons and aeons marked the centuries and the millennia, moisture
gathered in the plain. Plants grew. Plants decayed. Cycle succeeded cycle. Vegetation
matted. Decaying matter compacted, compressed into hardness. Bog. Peat. And overall the
Fissures appeared. Channels became rivulets. Water seeped, bubbled, spread its tentacles,
reached the bottom of the hills, rested, gathered strength, sapped and undermined
foothills and mountain rock, and with one glorious surge of power burst through the
limestone and over the granite of a hard, northern country, into a fertile land, creating
lakes, islands, and a river that, in the course of but a few miles, fell in a rushing
torrent to meet the sea, taking its last leap over a bank of rock where the sound of its
fall would reverberate throughout recorded time.
This was the birth of the Erne.
The Hawk of the Erne Navigation
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