His name is Bala-Im. On a clear night, away from city lights, you might be able to see him. Near Polaris, the North Star, just to the right, shimmering and shaking, whirling and twirling, dancing the night away. He is a dancer to no song – he creates his own rhythm with his movements.
No one knows why Bala-Im dances thus. Once Jerem, Messenger of the Gods, asked him why he danced. Bala-Im stopped in his tracks and stared at Jerem in befuddlement.
“Why would I not dance?” he asked. In truth the thought had never occurred to him not to dance.
“Sorry. I was just wondering. Never mind.” And with that Jerem was gone, off on his next mission. He did not realize the damage he had done, as Bala-Im stood there in the void, the question burning into his mind.
“Why do I dance?” he asked himself aloud. Fatigue washing over him for the first time in his life, he sat down on the nearest star to rest.
As he thought about it, he realized he could not remember a time when he wasn’t dancing. Was that all he was? A god that danced? What had he done before he danced? Had there been a before? What else could he do? What did the other gods do? He realized he didn’t know. In fact, he didn’t even know who most of the other gods were. Jerem would know. He knew all of the gods. Bala-Im would wait until Jerem returned and ask him to take him to the other gods, to find out what they did and perhaps answer his own question.
Bala-Im did not have to wait long.
“Why are you not dancing?” demanded Jerem. “Kin-Taba is furious!” Kin-Taba was All-Father of the gods. “He orders you to dance!”
“I’ve been thinking of your question,” replied Bala-Im. “Why do I dance? I haven’t come up with an answer.”
“But you must dance! It is the will of Kin-Taba!” answered Jerem.
“Is that a good enough reason to dance? Have I not my own will?”
“Do you not love to dance?”
“It is true. I do,” said Bala-Im.
“Is that not enough? Do you enjoy sitting here on this star, lost in thought, more than dancing?”
“No, I do not. It’s been rather boring and tiresome, actually.”
“Then dance!” exclaimed Jerem. “Dance for yourself. Dance for Kin-Taba!”
It was reason enough. Bala-Im arose from his resting place and began to dance again. On a clear night, away from city lights, you might be able to see him. Near Polaris, the North Star, just to the right.