Once upon a time there was a little town located not too far from something called a volcano. Most of the time, this volcano, like all volcanoes, simply sat there being calm and quiet and not at all dangerous. Then one day, it erupted, which is what volcanoes sometimes do, and which means that it went from being calm and quiet to being noisy and dangerous. It shot lots of smoke and ash into the air, and melted red rock called lava came spilling down its sides.
The people of the town nearby were a bit startled by this eruption and weren’t quite sure what to do. There was a good bit of concern that the lava was creeping too close to the town, and some of the townspeople were starting to worry about what might happen if the lava made it all the way there, what with lava being so very hot and dangerous. But no one seemed to know what to do.
Luckily, a little girl named Keilan had an idea.
“Everyone grab a shovel and follow me!”
All the townspeople who owned shovels grabbed them and followed Keilan as she ran down the main street of the town out into the fields beyond.
And they ran and they ran and they ran until they were just about halfway between the town and the volcano. Then Keilan turned around, put up her hand, and told everyone to stop.
“But we haven’t yet gotten to the volcano,” said someone.
“We’re not going to the volcano,” said Keilan. “We’re going to dig.”
“I don’t want to dig,” said someone else.
“Then don’t,” said Keilan.
“Okay,” said the someone else, who then went home.
Everyone else put their shovels into the ground and began to dig.
And they dug and they dug and they dug and they dug. And they dug and they dug and they dug some more. Then they dug and they dug and they dug even more. And all the while Keilan gave them instructions such as, “deeper, wider, this way, and that way.”
Finally, Keilan said, “Okay, everyone. Stop digging!”
Everyone stopped. Someone said “thank goodness.”
All looked around and saw that what they had dug was a deep and wide and long trench that ran in a half-circle between the town and the volcano.
“What now?” said a voice.
“Now we go home and have a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!” said Keilan.
“Hooray!” shouted everyone, and ran back home.
And from the windows of their homes they ate sandwiches and watched as the lava crept to the edge of the trench they had dug and slowly spilled over the side and filled it up. The lava rose just to the top of the trench and no more. After a few days it cooled and turned into rock again, and the town remained very happy and safe.
And that is the story of how Keilan saved her town from the volcano.