Once upon a time in a kingdom far from here there was an island and on that island lived a tribe of women who were so beautiful it is said you would not want to leave the island but would want to lie in their arms forever being caressed and loved.
The women are tall, slender, with tanned skin, long dark wavy hair, blue eyes, small noses and full lips.
It is also said that the waters around the island are treacherous, filled with sunken sailing ships that floundered on the jagged rocks and all on board eaten by the sea monsters that swam up and down in pursuit of prey.
As the legend of these women spread far and wide, more and more tall sailing ships journeyed to the island. The men on board hoping to land and live among the women in paradise forever.
People would stand on the decks of the tall sailing ships and point to the island. Men would ask, how can we get there? The sailors answered it is well-nigh impossible. Few have managed, and many have drowned in their efforts to row a small rowing boat across the choppy waters after anchoring the tall sailing ship out in the deep ocean.
One man made it to the island, and he made it back to the tall sailing ship, but later died of tuberculosis. Between strained breaths and heaving chest, he told of these tall, tanned women who would hold your head close to their bosom and sing to you as they ran their hands through your hair. A veritable paradise.
The women bathed on the seashore but never entered the treacherous waters as the waves were choppy right up to the shoreline, which was strewn with rocks.
There is another island not far from the first. A tribe of men live there but they cannot get to The Island of Women because of the rocks, stormy seas and the sea creatures that live in them and who eat anyone who happens to fall into the salty surf.
The tale goes that one man made it, though, and he is the father of all the children on the island. His name is Roemdra. He is not tall, but he is muscular. His hair is long and curly down to his hips. He does not rule the island or the women, but he teaches the children.
He teaches the children and any of the women who care to listen about the ways of the land and the birds and the sea creatures. He knows all about the sun and the moon and the stars. He is a very wise man indeed.
Children ask him questions such as, where do we come from and what are stars made of? and Roemdra has all the answers. If he does not have the answer right there and right then he tells the children he will ponder over it. Then he goes to the top of the hill at the far side of the island and he sits and he hums a mantra or he looks up at the moon and he waits until he has an answer.
Sometimes it is days before he comes back from the hill. When he does, he calls the children to him. He sits on a rock and the children sit in a semicircle before him and he tells them of what he has discovered. The children sit wide eyed and opened mouthed and gasp at his mysterious stories. They learn of space craft and earthquakes and hailstones as big as a chicken’s egg.
The children then run off and play and act out what they have learned. They make dens between the rocks. They throw flowers at each other pretending they are hailstones and the children shout out as the flowers land on them and then they laugh and roll down the grassy bank, tumbling away and giggling.
The mothers call to their children and ask them to do some chores around the house, which is a small opening between the rocks and the roof made of pieces of turf. The mothers show the children how to sweep the earth floor and keep it clean. How to keep themselves clean and brush their teeth with small twigs from a special peppermint bush. How to cook on the open fire and how to fend for themselves should some stranger make their way to the island.
One day a stranger did come to the island. He wore an odd looking triangular shaped hat, a jacket with long sleeves, baggy trousers and black shoes with silver buckles. He grabbed one woman by the hair and held a knife to her throat and spoke in a strange tongue. The women of the island knew what he wanted by his mannerisms. He wanted to capture all the women and take them away to another place far away.
One day, one of the children of the island came along with a huge rock and crushed the man’s head as he lay asleep next to the woman he had tied up. The boy then dragged the body of the man to the top of the cliff and threw him over, and the sea creatures below devoured him in a feeding frenzy.
His clothes washed up later and the boy and the woman who kept this a secret between them climbed down the cliff face and buried the clothes beneath many rocks so that they were never found again. They told the other women and Roemdra that the man had fallen off the cliff when he went to find a place to bathe and the boy had then set the woman free.
Roemdra is very old, but he does not look old. He eats the blueberries from the fruit bushes that adorn the island and it keeps him young. The blue berries have magic powers but you can only eat them at the time of the full moon. If you eat them at any other time, then they can be poisonous and give you an upset stomach.
Each full moon the women and Roemdra gather at the top of the island and sing and dance and bless the full moon and then they gather the berries in the light and feast on them when the warm sun rises then they sleep as their bellies are full.
The story also goes that one day a man from the other island made himself a raft out of broken tree branches and he sailed to The Island of Women. He was made welcome by the women who all loved him because they had not seen another man for many years. That man was Roemdra. He fathered many children on the island, but he knows that his time will come and he will have to step aside.
As sure as the full moon comes around, another man will be able to cross the treacherous channel between the two islands.
Roemdra often thinks about this, but he has peaceful thoughts about it, too. He understands that the children must have new blood and so he will step aside when his time comes.