Reprinted with permission from "How the Children Became Stars" by Aaron Zerah, published by Sorin Books.
The coldest winter was about to come, a winter like none the world had ever seen before. This winter would destroy all the creatures of the earth if something was not done to save them.
So Ahura Mazda, the Creator, spoke to Yima, the first man and the first king of the earth, to tell him what was going to happen. "O Yima," he said, "upon all the living things in the world, both animals and plants, will fall a killing frost, and snow so heavy that the highest mountains will be covered.
"Before this terrible winter, the earth gave plenty of grass for cattle. Now the beasts that live in the wild places, from the mountaintops to the sweet meadows of the valleys, will have to find shelter under the earth. When the snow melts, O Yima, it will be a wonder to see the footprint of a sheep!
"O Yima," Ahura Mazda said, "this is what you must do. Make a place for the creatures to live and close it off on all sides so that they may be safe. Bring to that place oxen and sheep, human beings, dogs, birds, creatures of all kinds, and fires that burn red and hot.
"You, too, shall build a house there, a big house, with a place from which to look out and a great yard in which to walk," Ahura Mazda said to Yima. "May all of you live a life of perfect happiness."
Bringing It Home
To Do This Week