Once upon a time, there was an ocean of water and at the center of this ocean of water was an ocean of sand and at the center of this ocean of sand was an ocean of air and at the center of this ocean of air was an ocean of fire.
This ocean of fire was the realm of the dragons.
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“The only gift you ever ask for is a story, the same story, year after year.”
Nisha grinned at her uncle. “Well, I like the story, especially the way you tell it.”
“You, dearest niece, do not need flattery to win my heart. But I like the sound of it nevertheless. You shall have the story, of course. But I’ve brought you something else this year as well.” He pulled the basket he’d set on the table closer. Nisha had thought the basket was meant for one of her siblings. He lifted the top. “A gift,” he said, “as well as a burden.”
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