Story by Steve and Maria Yolen
Translation from the Portuguese by Guillermo Angulo

A young Indian woman, of a Brazilian tribe, heard her father tell of the old belief of a God-Soldier, frightful but beautiful and powerful, who lived in the Moon. As time went by she believed in the legend and fell in love with the Soldier of the Moon and, after that, no young person of her tribe was considered deserving of her affection. The efforts of her family to marry her with a respected and noble young person proved to be unfruitful. The young Indian women waited patiently when the Moon was not completely full. And when the moon appeared splendid, fulfilling each lunar cycle, she remained hours and hours wide-awake, watching the sky, hoping to see the face of the imaginary lover. Often she was seen running through the jungle, with outstretched arms, trying to grasp rays from the Moon and to embrace the soldier.

But to embrace the lunar rays was, then as now, a hopeless task and the great love of her life continued to be an unattainable dream. Her father, their relatives and their friends tried with desperation to convince her that her passion was a mere illusion. The months passed and she persisted in looking for the rays of the Moon without managing to approach the loved one. But one night completely clear, in which the Moon shone like never before over highest jacarandas and in a sky without clouds, the young Indian went to the forest, this time with the firm determination to embrace the Soldier of the Moon and to have him for always.

She ran into the forest, far from her town, and arrived at a lagoon that seemed a mirror where the shining reflected Moon was seen. "Finally" she thought, "My loved one has descended to the Earth to bathe in the pool." Without doubting at all, she entered into the water in search of the encounter, but it was an illusion. As she discovered her error, life left her. The young poor woman drowned in the solitary lagoon of the forest, far from her town, her relatives, her friends.

But the story does not finish there: The Soldier of the Moon, tells the legend, did really exist, and he felt pity for the beautiful young Indian who had loved him so much until dying in the desperation of desire to embrace him. With much remorse but without the power to return her to life he turned her into an Earth star. He transformed her into a star of the Amazon River sweet waters. The star is now an enormous flower that reigns as queen of all the aquatic plants. The young Indian was transformed into a gigantic aquatic plant, the Victoria amazonica, whose flowers are opened completely only at night. There is one saying that Victoria amazonica only unfolds its flowers in all its splendor on fully moonlit nights, when the sky that covers the Amazonian forest completely is clean and particularly clear. Who can say that it is not certain?

Waterlilies | Lotus | Aquatic Plants | Victoria | Our Adventure With Victoria
Water Gardening | Water Gardening Friends | New This Month
Kit & Ben Knotts | Our Garden | Search The Site | Home 
Email Discussion List