Shōji Ueda

The story of the sea

He called her up and said: “I’m not going.”

She had been thinking about it all week. What dress to wear, the feel of her stockings, red or pink nail polish, whether to laugh with a wide-open watermelon smile or rather stay quiet as a mouse.

He just called up and said: “I’m not going”.

Just three little words. Almost nothing.



A tear slid down one cheek, then two more down the other and in no time there were three thousand tears on both cheeks. They all became friends and called to the rest, forming a trickle through the apartment that grew until it reached a river which flowed out into the sea and became an ocean filled with three thousand brightly coloured fish swimming along on a wave of happiness born out of unhappiness.

That is how the sea was born.

That is why it is salty.

Because tears contain salt.

The same salt that ended up in the sea.

That is its secret.

But the scientists do not want to know and carry on with their experiments.

They do not want to know that the sea was born out of the tears of a woman who turned her unhappiness into happiness.

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