Among these people lived a little girl named Amani. She had large grey eyes, and reddish hair, and her eyebrows were always poised high on her forehead, as though something of importance might happen at any moment. Although the people of her village enjoyed the little girl very much, for she was very sweet, and hard working, many of the people who knew her regarded her as strange. She certainly did have a very peculiar quality, which was unheard of among their people. She seemed to have an intense interest in everything around her. She often wandered far from home to study the sharp blades of grass, and spent hours watching the tide slop against the muddy shores. She would ask question upon question about the things she had seen and no one could tell her the answers, because no one had really cared to find out until then.
One day, while Amani was off studying the bone-colored grasses that lined the sandy dunes a ways from her home, she heard a pathetic cry coming from just at the foot of a smallish dune in front of her. As was her nature, she instantly became interested. Her grey brown eyes widened, and her eyebrows raised even higher on her forehead. She quickened her pace, not wanting to miss the opportunity to study whatever it was that was huddled at the foot of the dune.
As Amani neared the small dune, she saw what seemed to be a small animal struggling weakly to unwrap itself from a piece of torn sail. Amani was excited, for she was certain that she had never head any animal make this noise before and she was eager to discover what kind of new animal it might be. Once she had reached the small twist of cloth, however, she realized that it wasn't a new animal at all, but a very small, very weak baby, who was shivering and calling out more sadly and as pitifully than anything Amani had ever heard. The poor little baby's cheeks were a pale shade of grey blue and stood in contrast to his thick shaggy wet black hair and his tiny purple lips which trembled vigorously.
Terrified for the poor suffering little baby, Amani quickly scooped him up in her arms and rubbed him rapidly with her hands, hoping to warm him. His skin was damp and chilled, and Amani could see that his eyes had a far away look of despair. She was too far from home to call for help, and she feared he might die at any moment. She unwrapped the wet cloth and wrapped him in the rough black cape she had draped around her shoulders, but still the baby trembled, and his cries became weaker and weaker. Not knowing what else to do, Amani tucked the baby inside her shirt, where he could hear he heart and collect some of her warmth, and then she set out to make a small fire out of dune grass.
But the grass was not very good for fires, and there were no shrub nearby to help the fire grow, so the fire remained a small, and a bit cold.
Amani was so sad, as she laid the baby next to the fire, hoping that even the small heat that the embers made might help him. Tears began to trickle down her face as the baby weakly cried and shivered.
Not knowing what else to do, Amani began to speak to the fire, begging it to grow, and to help her save the life of this lost little baby.
The fire heard Amani, and though it was also weak, it drew strength from this determined little girl who so wanted to help another person. It grew stronger and stronger, until it cracked and popped, blazing so warmly that Amani had to stand back from its fiery tongues.
The little girl was amazed at the fire, and so happy that it was willing to help her save the little baby, but the baby did not seem to be getting better. His face remained pale and blue, and his little body shook as if chilled to the bone.
Amani did not know what else to do, so she asked the fire to tell her if anything else could be done, or if the baby would surely die.
The fire took pity again on the little girl and the baby she seemed to care so much about, and so it decided to give her one of the greatest talents a fire had to warm the earth: kisses. The fire showed Amani how to kiss the baby just as the fire kissed the cloudy, bland sky and warmed the cold sea air.
Amani leaned over, collected the baby into her arms and kissed him gently on his forehead. Instantly the baby seemed calmer, and his breathing seemed to grow peaceful. Again she kissed him, and a faint shade of pink began to glow in his cheeks. As she kept kissing him, on his face and arms and hands and toes, the baby first began to relax and then began to smile, and finally began to laugh, a loud musical laugh, that echoed off the sandy grey dunes and bounced across the muddy shores. The kisses and the laughter tumbled down and away from the two giggling children, and it seemed to bounce across the land. The grass began to soften and sway. The ocean began to frolic and splash. The sky and clouds brightened to see such happiness. And soon the happy noise spread to village, where the people also began to grin and laugh, for reasons they could not first explain.
Once Amani was sure that the baby was fully warmed, she carried him back to village, told her parents the story of the lost little child. Everyone was amazed at Amani's good heart and clear thinking. Most of all they were delighted to learn the wonderful talent that the fire had taught Amani, and they immediately began practicing on each other, bringing each and every person in town to delighted fits of giggles.
From that day forward, the world was not a dull and melancholy place, for the fire had given it kisses and passion. And it was all thanks to one very curious and brave little girl.