August 8, 2016
The Lord God Sun gathered all living things and said, “They that will not fight shall be my Chosen Ones.”
Tiger and Bear said, “We shall not fight; we are your Chosen Ones.” “No,” the Lord God Sun said, “You are my beautiful ones, my princes of the jungle, of the mountains, but you fight mightily.” Butterfly said, “I shall not fight; I am your Chosen One.” “Yes,” the Lord God Sun said. “I name you Brother of the South, and your bright wings shall be called Wind.”
And so this gathering went, until Butterfly and Tree and Riverrain and Big Fish Who Breathes were settled upon as Chosen Ones. Tree became Sister of the West, for though she could uproot herself and fly, she chose not to, instead content to be shade and cool breath and fruit. Riverrain was named Brother of the North, the water prince who could lie still, fall, rise to the heavens and weep. And Big Fish Who Breathes was named Sister of the East, for despite its massive size it alone among animals chose not to fight but to live, eating only little fishes for sustenance.
And Man, born from the pores of sponges, the bones of fish and of the tribe of great apes, stood up on two legs, able to see over the grasses, and he contemplated the Big Fish Who Breathes and Tree and Riverrain and Butterfly, and he used all these according to their gifts. And he hunted Tiger and Bear until they were but a small number of the Living Things. And he poisoned Butterfly to the brink of extinction. And he fouled Riverrain with the detritus of his camp.
Lord God summoned Man, and he said, “You were born of all that I created. You inherited all my gifts. You might have lived in harmony with your fellow creatures. Your Brothers and Sisters South, East, West and North would have cared for you.
“I would have fed you, but you have a hunger that transcends all gifts. But I will not destroy you. I grant you the life you desire. I will turn my ears away from you.”
Man, upon receiving this gift, bowed to the Lord God Sun and thanked him.
The Lord God Sun then called together the last Butterflies, the last Big Fish Who Breathes, the Last Tree, the parched and depleted Riverrain.
“Man does not want you,” the Lord God Sun said. “I have promised that he may live. But since he does not want or need you, I will take you with me, to join my infinite Brother and Sister Suns, that we may live in peace.”
The Lord God Sun and the Brothers and Sisters of the North, East, South and West, and all their subjects the animals departed and settled in the area of Venus the Godstar. And they were happy.
Man, with no light save for distant stars, no animals, too much shade and no water, crouched in darkness and huddled the children of Earth together. And songs of lamentation echoed around the world. And prayers, to the Lord God of the Sun and all attendant Gods of Creation, went out into the heavens.
But Man had gotten his wish. He lived exactly as he was wont to do. He was free to live in nothingness – until his bones and his children’s bones shattered from brutal cold, from hunger, from thirst, until blood was the last water, sipped from the dead. True to Man’s nature, not a voice spoke of recognition or vanity or greed or ignorance. From Earth rose a last, horrifying shriek:
The Gods had kept their promises. The Lord God Sun lived peacefully among His creations, and was cooled by Wind and shaded and fed by Tree and washed in Riverrain and sang songs of joy with Big Fish Who Breathes.