The Whispering Wind
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents
Zohara was walking along the soft yellow sands of the Judean desert.
Her bare feet stepped lightly upon the fine saffron-colored ground,
leaving faint traces behind her as she walked. She was followed by a
large herd of long-haired goats. Her long black dress swayed slightly
as she walked. The sky had a threatening amber shade, a sign of an approaching
In the distance, across the open plains, she suddenly spotted a whirlwind
coming in her direction. Rising up into the golden skies, it blew along
in great force towards the large herd of goats.
She called to the goats and ran towards a distant cave. The sands began
pricking her face; she could no longer see the goats as the fine grains
were stinging her eyes. She reached the entrance of the cave, finding
refuge from the agonizing sands.
As her eyes became accustomed to the dim light, she walked further into
the cave, passing through a narrow passage that opened out into a spacious
room. There were stone ledges along the walls, as if the room served
as a meeting hall.
Zohara sat down upon one of the ledges, looking around with fascination.
She could hear the wind blowing strongly outside; she was now feeling
safe and well protected in the depth of the stone room. In the distance
she noticed a massive, smooth grey rock raised up slightly from the
ground. It was large enough for a man to lie upon, stretched out to
his full length.
She walked up to the flat grey rock, and ran her hand along its surface
— it felt smooth and warm to the touch. She climbed up onto the
rock and lay upon it, stretching out her long legs. She folded her arms
behind her head to form a pillow and closed her eyes. Feeling safe and
comforted by the silence and the warmth surrounding her, she fell asleep.
The sandstorm was blowing fiercely outside. The herd of goats was scattered
in all directions, some finding shelter from the stinging sands behind
rocks, others lying helplessly on the sands, being covered by the fine
“I was waiting for you, what kept you?” Zohara heard a faint
She opened her eyes and looked around the room. All she saw were grey
walls and a rocky ceiling overhead. She closed her eyes and lay very
still; her heart began beating rapidly with fear. “I have been
waiting for you,” she heard the faint whisper again. She looked
around the large empty room, perplexed.
Suddenly she felt a light breeze from the passageway; a warm wind began
caressing her face. She began feeling warm. She pulled her long black
dress over her head, letting it fall lightly to the ground. She lay
back upon the smooth rock.
“I waited for you,” she heard the whisper, as soft gusts
of wind began caressing her bare body, playing gently upon her slender
neck. She closed her eyes, surrendering to the warm comforting caresses.
Zohara woke to the sound of the wind blowing fiercely outside. She got
down from the rock and stood on the dusty ground, picked up the long
cotton dress, and put it on. She walked towards the light coming from
the narrow passageway, and stood before the entrance to the cave.
A large cloud of yellow dust rose before her. In the faint light she
thought she saw a figure of a man walking away in the distance. The
air suddenly cleared; she looked towards the direction where she had
seen the figure--there was no one in sight. Zohara walked out into the
clear air and began calling to her goats, managing to gather them just
On a clear bright sunny morning, Zohara walked along the soft golden
sands in search of pasture for her goats. A soft wind was blowing over
the surface of the ground, creating slight ripples in the fine sands,
and causing her long black dress to swirl around her ankles. On the
horizon she saw big dark clouds being blown rapidly towards her. She
called to the goats, and led them quickly into the safety of a nearby
cave, to find refuge from the approaching thunderstorm.
The cave seemed familiar to her. She looked into the narrow passage
leading into the depths of the cave. She began walking slowly along
the passage which opened out into a large spacious room formed by a
deep hollow in the grey rock. The narrow stone ledges along the walls,
and the large flat smooth rock seemed familiar to her.
Zohara walked towards the smooth grey rock, climbed upon it, and lay
down on its flat surface. A warm comforting feeling engulfed her, as
if a tender hand were caressing her gently. She took off her long black
dress. She folded it into a small pillow, placed it under her head,
lay back and fell asleep. She felt sheltered and content, surrounded
by the strong stone walls, which were protecting her from the thunderstorm
that was in full power outside.
“I have been waiting for you,” she heard a soft whisper
in the silence of the cave. She opened her eyes slightly, then lay very
still, surrendering to the warm currents of air engulfing her bare body.
The storm calmed down. Zohara opened her eyes, climbed down off the
rock and walked out into the fierce blinding sunlight. She thought she
saw a tall slender figure, surrounded by a halo of light, disappearing
into the strong sunlight. She looked hard towards that direction, until
her eyes began to fill with tears from the strong glare. There was no
sign of anyone. She called to her goats, and led them along the damp
sands, leaving heavy footprints embedded in the soft yellow ground.
“Zohara, Zohara, my child, where are you going?”
“I am taking the goats out, Father, “ she replied.
“In this heat! My child, stay at home today, there is going to
be a heatwave, don’t go out today!”
“But Father, I must!”
“You must? Whatever do you mean by that?”
“Father, I am going!”
Zohara began walking down the lane leading to the sand plains. The sun
was fierce and blinding as Zohara looked towards the horizon. In the
distance she could see the large grey rocks bordering the golden sands,
and the massive dark opening in the rocks, leading to a cave.
“I can shelter there at midday, in the coolness of the cave,”
she said to herself aloud, taking a long thirsty drink from the leather
water flask she had slung over her shoulder.
When the sun stood in mid-sky she took the goats down to a stream that
trickled out of a rock, leading them to drink from the clear, cool water,
and refilling her flask. Then she headed back towards the cave.
As she entered the cave, the cool darkness felt refreshing, creating
a pleasant contrast to the heat outside. She led the goats into the
cave, and sat on a rock beside them. She noticed an entrance to an adjoining
room. She walked through the narrow passage and found herself standing
in a large spacious room with smooth grey walls. It was surrounded by
level stone benches, and there was a massive, flat grey rock, like an
She put her hand lightly upon the rock, it felt cool and level. She
climbed onto it and lay calmly, feeling the pleasant coolness penetrate
through her thin cotton gown. The light cotton fabric clung to her skin
with the sticky sweat of her body after her long walk in the sun.
She took off her gown and let it fall to the ground beside the rock.
She lay back upon the rock and gave out a long sigh of relief, then
closed her eyes.
“I feared you would not come in this heat. I have been waiting
for you,” she heard the slight whisper beside her. “I have
a gift for you,” a soft voice echoed in the silence. Zohara opened
her eyes and looked about the empty, spacious room. A bright ray of
light shone in through the narrow passage. At the end of the ray, Zohara
saw a shining object.
She got down from the rock, and walked towards it. A necklace of fine
gold beads, threaded on a thin gold chain, lay in the fine grey dust.
Zohara picked up the necklace and held it gently in her hands, looking
at it with amazement.
“It is a secret. No one should know about it, or ever see it,
never, never,” she heard a faint whisper behind her.
She turned around slowly; the cave was empty. She walked along the narrow
passage into the bright sun. Zohara held the necklace to the bright
light; the gold beads shone in the blazing sun.
She went back into the large room and placed the necklace carefully
in a far corner upon the flat grey rock. Then she gathered her goats
and headed out along the sands. By the time she had reached the black
tents of the Dahab tribe, the sun was beginning to set.
On the following day, Zohara’s whole tribe, in a long caravan
of camels, headed towards the oasis of Ein Fesha, where there was an
abundance of pasture, and springs of fresh water for themselves, and
for their goats and camels. Zohara and her family were at the lead,
walking proudly, followed by the largest herd in the tribe.
The heavy storms were back, bringing great floods. Rains gathered in
the canyons and came rushing down in great force, sweeping away everything
that stood in their paths. Strong winds began howling around the empty
caves at nightfall, causing terror and fear amongst the desert inhabitants.
Two thousand years later, on a hot dusty day, a young Israeli man and
woman drove down to the Judean desert in an open Jeep. The stinging
sands were blowing into their eyes, and the fierce sun was burning their
exposed faces. They headed towards the massive grey rocks in the distance.
On arriving there, they stopped the Jeep and jumped out.
“Zohara,” the man said to the woman.
“Yes,” she asked in a slow, dreamy voice.
“I’ll join you in a minute,” he said and walked off,
disappearing behind a big rock.
Zohara entered the dark cave. It felt cool and fresh inside. She gave
out a long sigh of relief, finally being out of the strong sun.
She noticed an entrance in the wall leading to a narrow passage. She
looked through the passage, and in the far distance of the cave, she
saw a shining object, lit by a single ray of light coming in through
a crack in the wall.
She walked very slowly along the passage and entered into a spacious
room. In the far corner, raised up from the ground, on a flat rock,
she saw a necklace of solid gold beads. It was flashing in the ray of
sun falling upon it.
She went up slowly to the rock and climbed upon it, picking up the gold
necklace. Holding it carefully, she climbed down from the rock.
“Zohara, I have been looking for you, where have you disappeared
to?” She heard a faint voice behind her. She turned around in
fear, her heart beating rapidly. There was no one there.
The light coming in from the narrow passage was suddenly blackened out
by a figure standing in the entrance. She heard the sound of heavy footsteps
coming towards her.
“Look, look what I have found!” she called out in an excited
She held out her hand, clasping the beautiful golden necklace. The man
gazed at it with astonishment.
“It must be thousands of years old!” he said in a slow voice,
looking into Zohara’s flashing eyes.
“I wonder who it belonged to,” she said in a dreamy voice.
“Who was she? Who wore it? What did she look like?” she
“A very beautiful woman,” the man replied in a mysterious
way, and walked slowly out of the dark cave into the bright sun. They
got into the Jeep and drove away down the sandy hill, creating a big
cloud of yellow dust.
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
for reprint permission, contact Ash Tree Publishing
PO Box 64 Woodstock NY 12498
or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for more stories by Luz, daughter
of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents