Monday, October 18, 2010

Origin Stories

It was the beginning (though no one had realized it yet), and he was hungry. He sat there naked below the tree, thinking of ways to get at its fruit. It was a perfectly ordinary tree, and it grew perfectly ordinary fruit, it was not forbidden and it contained no knowledge. It simply existed-- or so he thought-- to fill the hole in his stomach.

He went and found the longest stick he could and came back to the tree. He reached up high with the stick, but couldn't hit the fruit. It was just out of his reach. So he threw the stick at the fruit, but he missed, and the stick remained in the branches, and did not fall.

He grew hungrier and hungrier by the second, but he still had no fruit. So he tried climbing the tree. He wrapped his arms and legs around the trunk, reaching out as far as he could. But he couldn't climb, the trunk of the tree was much too wide. And so he fell back to the ground.

He laid there on the ground and stared up at gleaming juicy fruit. He could think of no way to get the fruit down, and so he just stared. He stared and stared. He stared and he hoped.

A howler monkey popped its head out from within the leaves and looked down at him.

"You look hungry," said the howler monkey. It swung from the branch with one arm and gracefully plucked the fruit with the other. "Would you like some fruit?"

He nodded furiously and the monkey tossed the sustenance down to him.

"Thank you," he said.

"You're very welcome."

"I want to get the fruit on my own someday," he said through a mouthful of fruit.

"You will certainly be able to accomplish much greater feats than that," said the howler monkey.

He finished the fruit and sat back against the tree contentedly. As he sat, full and fulfilled, he began to think.
He thought, and he kept thinking. His mind was moving faster than it ever had. His questions needed answering and his ideas needed doing. He looked up at the monkey.

"How did I get here?" he asked.

"What do you mean? Your mother birthed you, of course," the howler monkey answered.

"But what birthed the first mother?" he asked. "What came first?"

At that moment, a lion and a lioness walked up to him from out of the surrounding vegetation.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I am God," said the lion, "and this is Beginning."

"I am Hope," said the monkey.

"I am," said the man.

"Indeed you are," said the lion. "Come, we have answers for you, should you wish them."

The four of them walked off into the world.

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