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Ulrich, and his five year old daughter Anka were walking through their small German town late at night, the smells from restaurants and small family shops filled the dimly lit streets. They looked in and out of many stores, but never entered, Ulrich held his daughters hand as she skipped beside him, trying to keep pace with her father. Neither of them speaking, only Ulrich was watching his daughter’s delighted smile as she took in the lights from the few shops still open, Anka released her grip from her father’s and ran to an open shop window.
“Papa!” she squealed, taking in the sight of nearly a dozen glass stars in the window. “Aren’t they pretty, Papa?”
“They’re very pretty” Ulrich said to his daughter.
“Papa?” Anka questioned. Ulrich looked away from the glass stars to see his daughter. “Why aren’t these stars in the sky like the others?” Anka wore a confused look as she looked back at the stars.
“Anka, these stars were in the sky a long time ago. Before even Opa was born.” He said starting the tale he was told.
“That was a long time ago” Anka says with wide eyes.
“Yes it was.” Ulrich said with a heavy sigh. “Now Anka do you see all those stars up there?” Ulrich asked his daughter, pointing to the sky, Anka nodded. “Well a long time ago when the stars lived on earth with us they would hold any dream that was offered to them. The stars lived on dreams, having the happiness inside of them was why they lived on dreams. When the stars had the dreams inside of them they were also lighter, and could float to the sky if they wanted to.
“However the stars had a God, this ruler was a giant star and he went by the name of Sonne. Sonne did not like that the stars were on earth holding dreams for people, while the sky lay bare. He went to war with the Earth Gods, trying to reclaim the stars, however even with blistering heat, and droughts the Earth Gods were strong. The war went on for years, neither of them giving up. The stars were torn between the two Gods, having loyalty to Sonne, but loving the Earth Gods.
“After years of war, a star, that wasn’t very smart, held a powerful dream. The dream was for the stars to be free of their ruler Sonne. The star was excited to be given the honor of holding such a dream. But the dream was too powerful for the star, and floated up to the sky. It kept floating until it was too far to come back down to Earth. Sonne saw this star and captured it. However they could see the Earth, and they saw that the dream was coming true. The stars were becoming free, and Sonne couldn’t control them anymore.
“Sonne saw this and knew this star was powerful, he also knew what happened to stars whose dreams were killed, and they were killed along with it. Sonne saw more stars floating towards the sky, carrying important dreams that were too powerful for them. So he captured them, holding them forever. Years went by, and every star carried a dream too powerful for them and floated into Sonne’s grasp. Only one lonely star was left, which decided it had to float up to Sonne, for it would be alone forever. Sonne finally captured all of the stars, and now the sky was full of them. The very first star that floated up to Sonne, which held a powerful dream, had died along with the dream.
“The star fell great heights to Earth, but it never reached. One of the living Earth Gods saw the star falling and dreamed on it, having that star hold its dream. The star never made it to the Earth, for it had received another dream and was able to float back up into the sky.” Ulrich finished, looking up at the stars with his daughter.
“But Papa you never told me why these stars aren’t in the sky.” Anka asked, a confused look returned to her face.
“Anka while these stars fell no one dreamed on them to save them, they didn’t believe that the stars could fall.” Ulrich said, now looking at his daughter. “But Anka it’s getting a little late” Ulrich said, looking at the now deserted street and few light stores. “We have to head home, back to Mama and Opa.” He said grabbing his daughter’s hand. Anka wasn’t skipping to keep up with her father anymore; she was staring at the sky.
“Wait Papa,” she said, causing her father to stop in mid-step. She turned toward the sky and closed her eyes very tightly.
“What are you doing Anka?” Ulrich asked, bending so he was at her level.
“I saved that star Papa, I saved it from falling” Anka said, looking at her father. He smiled, an old and wrinkly smile, now closing his eyes and saving a star too.
“Me too, Anka, I saved one too.” He said. He kissed her on the cheek and grabbed her hand, now walking back to see Mama and Opa.