The world the Master created was perfect. It was beautiful. And it was good. The Master’s world was good!
Earth, brown and hard, spreading out for all eternity, was the first creation, exisiting merely by a single word of the Master’s, and bringing forth her numerous bounties: the tall mountains, the dry desserts, the solid rocks, the lowlands and highlands and the many, many different sorts of animals – the ones that fed their youngs and otherwise. There was to be heard no disputes in the world of then; no squabbles; no man; no wars. The weak animal knew its place, and so did the strong, and neither bothered the other, and peace reigned. But, alas, Earth, Mother Earth, as it was then known by all that lived, was female, in which case she was in need of a lord, and in the event of which the Ever – wise Master, out of His infinite benevolence and love for His creation, provided her with a spouse: the high and mighty Sky.
Sky completed Earth like the final tile in a jigsaw puzzle and took her as mate in accordance with the wish of the Master. On the day of the ceremony, Sky, whose place since creation had been very many feet above Earth, descended and dwelled with his bride. Oh, and the lion roared, the wolf howled, the cat mewed, the sheep baaed, the snake hissed, the rat squeaked, and the bird sang melodic tunes. When it was time for gift-sharing, Earth gifted Sky the birds, allowed them to find a second home in its vast compounds, in return to which Sky blessed Earth with Rain in the form of a jewel.
As infinitesimal as a grain of sand and as precious as Earth’s own essence, wet Rain softened Earth and revealed a part of Earth that Earth didn’t know it had: the fertility of its soil. Because of Rain, Earth’s soil could now produce, bring forth directly from its womb which lay beneath the surface an outstanding specimen called Plant. Plant was a beauty – not only in the physical sense, but in the sense that it made a remarkable meal! Many animals took to its fancy and deserted the eating of their old, which led to the longevity of life and in turn to the proliferation of wise animals. And in this sense the world was perfect.
But Rain also showed Earth that she could be every bit a villain as she was a hero. For many days, relentlessly, Rain visited Earth, even when Earth was least expectant. The result was a catastrophe! There emerged a body of a specimen that soon was called Water which the animals learned to avoid after it swallowed up a grazing Zebra. There also emerged Mud that dirtied, Quicksand that deceived, Canal that stank. Alas, the beauty of Master’s word was trampled upon and Mother Earth was aggrieved. So once, after the pleasures of mating, she cried unto Sky and told him of her sorrows, in the event of which the following conversation ensued:
‘Why do you weep my Love?’ Asked the blue-eyed Lord.
‘Sky, my Lord, ’tis but the woes of my children that bring tears to my eyes.’
‘Speak to me, my Lady. So much do I hate to see your lovely face besmirched by tears. Speak to me! Not a thing will I stop at to see your radiant smile.’ At that moment, Sky touched Earth’s face and wiped her tears.
‘I do appreciate your gift to me: Rain. ‘Tis but him that blessed my lands with Plant and brought great joy to my children. But he also appears to have equally cursed my land…’
‘Water has invaded us. It has drowned many of my animals. They all live in fear, the small ones especially, for they don’t know when next Water will crawl up behind them and consume them all. And the big ones, they’re…’
‘Say no more, my Queen. I know of a solution.’
‘Oh, my Liege, I was confident you’d rid my land of Water. Thank you, my Liege. Thank you’ Earth smiled a genuine smile and took Sky in an embrace. But Sky said:
‘I’m afraid, my Love, that I cannot take Water away.’
‘Water is good, my Queen. It is essential!’
‘Water has done us no good.’
‘Not yet, Earth, not yet. Your animals must learn to live with Water. They must learn to love it like I love you. Only then will they be able to use it.’
‘But, my Liege…’
‘No buts, my Queen. No buts.’ Said Sky, touching his lips to Earth’s eye. ‘Because of my love for you, I will teach your animals to live with Water.’
‘How?’ Whispered a wondering Earth.
‘Fish,’ said a proud Sky. ‘The species that live in water. I’ll instruct her to teach your animals the necessary skills. But I must warn you, only the bravest and wisest of them.’
Earth thanked Sky and took her leave. Soon, she’d gathered a mob of her bravest and wisest animals – amongst whom was Tortoise – and instructed them to learn from Fish. Tortoise learned fast, became a great comrade of Water and begun to dwell therein much to the displeasure of his kin, ipso facto earning himself the name ‘Turtle’ – which meant ‘Betrayer’ in the primordial parlance – , for his greed had turned him into a mere puppet of Water.
Though many still resented Water, many others learned to live with it and, some, even love it. Their tutor, Fish, majestic and pretty, loved every single one of them, so much so that some of her own children, the leader of whom was Shark, took quite a strong dislike for Earth’s animals. When an animal wandered of carelessly into Water, Shark could smell it from miles away and it would travel all the way and devour it. This so often happened that the number of animals on Earth began to dwindle, and once again, Earth wept unto Sky. This time, said Sky, there’s nothing I can do. And he turned his back on his Queen. And his Queen banished him from her lands.
Meanwhile, Water was growing stronger and stronger, and soon, enveloped Earth and made her pieces of Islands that soon was called Continents by man. Earth cried and cried and cried but her tears could not save her children. She became ill -one might think out of worry, but Earth became ill because she was with child. Sky’s child. She delivered twins: Sun and Moon, in the event of which Sky sent for one. She gave him Moon and kept Sun for herself. After many years, when Sun had grown into a radiant specimen, he requested to see his father, and his mother sent him up.
The moment Sun met Sky, it’s magnificent and penitent father from whom he had been separated for years like eternity, light shined upon Earth and all was clear. But Moon, jealous of his brother’s radiance, fought Sun and caused an Eclipse. Sun, now king, banished moon from Sky because of Moon’s bad ways, but with the pleas of their Mother, restored him to his place and they both lived to be sons of Sky. But once in a while, Sun descended to visit his mother Earth, during which Moon ruled awhile. (When Man came around, he called this moment Sunset or ‘dusk’.) And all on Earth rested in the company of their mighty king.