Disclaimer: Spirited Away is not mine.
I watch her, a girl who has just become a woman. When she was a child she played on my banks, in my waters, with me. I enjoyed her brightness and her joy. Then one day she fell into me, she should have drowned but she did not. I saved her and marked her with a little bit of me. In exchange, I carried just a little bit of her within me.
After a time mortals destroyed me. Emptied my body of water and filled it with concrete. I should have died, I know others had died. But instead I survived, held together by a little piece of a mortal girl that I carried within me.
I was diminished and weak. Lost and confused.
I returned to the Spirit World and wondered like one half asleep. I was not a Forgotten One, like the others who had died. But I had forgotten many things. I wasn't wholly me, I was no longer a dragon, a river, a god but a ghost. I found refuge in the bathhouse of Yubaba, a witch who promised me: myself, me as I was meant to be as I had forgotten.
She had lied.
Under her contract, I lost even more of me. I was little more than a spirit, one that remembered nothing beyond a faint dream ofsomething. So I stayed in the bathhouse of Yubaba. Day after day, time must have passed but I realized none of it. I existed and waited forsomething.
Then something came and I knew its nameChihiro.
She was mortal! I knew her name.
She was mortal! In her was a tiny bit me.
She was mortal! How could this be?!
I did not understand but I hid her and I protected her and I helped her. I knew her name despite Yubaba's contract. What was she? Just by being near her my mind became clearer, sharper, less weak. She felt special to me. It was strange to feel such. My heart chilled to see her cry and warmed to see her eat.
Sen stayed in the bathhouse and worked as hard as any other. I saw her rarely. Yubaba was scheming and needed me to play thief. I stole the seal of a rival witch, who then cast a curse that hunted me. I made it back to the bathhouse, where Yubaba upon seeing my injuries left me to die. But Chihiro, my little mortal girl saved me from death. Then continued her own quest to restore her parents.
Sen succeeded in guessing that no pigs displayed were of her family and freed her parents and herself. Not however, before freeing me. My Chihiro remembered me and gave me back my name.
I was freed not just from Yubaba but also from my weakness. I knew now what I had been a dragon, a river, a god. Mortals had destroyed me, so I became a ghost of a god. Yubaba had tricked me and I had become a spirit that had forgotten all that it was. My Chihiro had saved me, revived me, gave me back myself.
Through my Chihiro I reclaimed myself as a dragon, a god. A river god no longer, instead I was a guardian diety. To think that when I saved a little child who had fallen into me and when I gave her a little bit of me inexchange for a little bit of her I had laid the foundation needed to become guardian of my Chihiro and all her line to follow.
I smile to myself as I watch a girl who has just become a woman. My Chihiro will grow, find love, start a family and I will watch over her line for the rest of eternity.
I hope you all liked my little take on Kohaku's thoughts and how he survived the loss of his river.