Living in harmony
John Ilsley (c)1993.
Long, long ago, when the world was new and the sea's were clear and
the river's fresh, a time when there was no sickness, where plants
bore wonderfully tasting fruit and when all the animals lived in
perfect harmony with man and where there was no killing of either man
or beast, a seed from outer space came through the skies and landed
upon the earth.
The seed landed upon a river bank where it took root and began to
grow. Man had not noticed this until one day when one of the animals
came back from taking a drink at the river. The animal was a Tiger, a
gentle creature which was as kind and gentle as it was handsome and
Man was used to living with the animals. Man was used to going out and
collecting fruit for the animals around him and for mans own use.
Both man and animal helped each other for only a few animals like the
Monkeys and the Marmosets could collect the fruit from the highest
tree. As man and the animals all talked the same language the animals
that couldn't climb helped man out. For when man had collected the
fruit, those animals would help man carry the basket of fruit home.
Man and Tiger had been out that morning and collected the fruit that
they needed, for in those days both man and all the animals ate fruit.
It was now a little past midday in the middle of summer. The Tiger
walked up to man, and man put out his hand to stroke the Tiger as man
always did with all the animals, but to man's surprise, the Tiger
growled at man. Man looked closely at the Tiger and noticed his claws
and paws were covered in blood and his mouth was dripping with blood
in the Tigers fur were some feathers.
Bewildered by this, man wondered where the blood was coming from, so
man followed the drips of blood back. The blood led man back to the
river. There man found on the bank of the river, the body of a bird.
He took the body of the dead bird, dug a hole and buried the bird and
said a prayer for it.
Man was still puzzled as to why the Tiger had done this. When man
noticed on the far side of the bank a Lion and a Hyena playing. Man
laughed at first for he thought that the two animals were having fun.
This made the man happy and forget about the bird.
Man got up and walked towards the tree for man was out in the sun and
was rather hot not having any clothes, except a fig leaf for
protection. Man came to the tree by the river and knelt down and took
a long, cool, refreshing drink. Man heard the Hyena laughing and
decided to join in there game. Man looked up towards the animals, but
instead of seeing two animals playing, man noticed there was now
another animal, a Monkey, but there was something wrong. The Monkey
was being tossed around, each of the two animals were pulling at the
Man was very taken aback by this event and shouted at the Lion and the
Hyena, but the two animals were used to man and so took no notice of
the shouts and carried on tugging at the monkey. Then man took a
stone up from the ground and threw it at the Lion and Hyena, striking
the Hyena. Upon this, the Hyena dropped the monkey and the Lion
snatched up the monkey and ran off. The Hyena got up and followed the
Lion. Both animals kept fighting for as far as man could see them.
Man made his way back home. Man felt bitter and angry. This scared man
for man had never felt bitterness or anger before. Man felt the
animals should be punished. Why had the Tiger ended the life of their
friend the bird and why had both the Lion and Hyena ended the life of
the poor Monkey. The Monkey had always been kind to all the animals,
especially the Hyena who couldn't climb.
Man decided something had to be done to protect the other animals and
called a meeting down by the river that evening just before the yellow
sun started to set in the west. Man and the animals discussed how to
protect the other animals. Should they build a fence around the places
man and the friendly animals live, or should all the animals that kill
be banished from the lands around the places where man and the
friendly animals lived. Neither man nor the animals could decide and
by now it was getting dark. So man asked the animals if they wouldn't
mind go looking for wood for a fire while man went and got a lighted
splint of wood from his own fire. The animals agreed and in the
meantime some of the animals that could carry food like the Kangaroos
went and brought what they could.
When all had returned, the animals arranged the wood they had
collected into a small unlit bonfire, then let man light it with the
splint of wood. The meeting then continued. Every now and then one of
the animals would go down to the river for a drink and come back and
sit down. After long discussions and many idea's, it was agreed by man
and beast that any animal or man that killed would be sent from their
home or land and be banished forever to live on their own.
By the time the meeting had ended it was very dark and very late.
The animals were nearly all too tired to move and even man was tired.
So they mostly slept where they were. The snakes, the cold blooded
animals and the smallest mice and shrews nearest the fire to keep
warm. The larger animals and man further out, all huddled together.
They all slept till morning, very soundly.
Man awoke first and went down to the stream for a drink. Then as man
drank noticed coming from the roots overhanging the river, a clear
liquid dripping into the water. Man took a taste of the liquid and
felt very ill afterwards. Man was scared for these too were new
feelings. Man was again angry. By now, all the animals were beginning
to wake up. Man went over to a Hare that was still lying fast asleep,
picked it up by it's large ears and carried it to mans home. This
outraged all the animals. They all began to have the same feelings as
man had had. The animals started to make strange noises for they could
no longer talk all in the same voice and there was panic among all
Man went home and killed and skinned the Hare. One animal followed
man. That was the dog. The dog had been the most friendliest animal to
man. To the dog man gave the Hare's innards as food, all of which the
dog ate without concern or thought for the Hare's life. Man had now
turned the same as the animals were beginning to turn. Man had noticed
this and realised what had caused the changes to happen. Man realised
that the world could not be put back to perfect harmony, so in a fit
of rage climbed the highest of the mountains around him, looked
around at the wild animals and cried out, with a voice of pain and
anger, "I love you, I love you all but do not ever trust me again,
for I am not fit to be trusted. Trust only in yourself and others of
your kind". All the animals heard this and all the animals of the
same joined together. The Lions joined together and walked in packs.
The birds joined together and flew in flocks and all the horses
joined together. All the animals joined together with their own.
For a while there was some sort of peace, but it was far from perfect.
Man needed food and the dog needed food, so did the Lions and
Tigers. Man made a spear and went to look for an animal that he could
catch. All the animals were now afraid of man and so ran away very
quickly. The dog was smart. For although all the dogs had packed
together, they were not happy. One dog saw what man was doing and
started to chase a Gazelle towards man. Man had noticed this and got
ready to spear the Gazelle when the animal passed. That evening and
for a few days after the Gazelle was a meal for both man and dog for
dog was the only friend man had.
As time went by each of the animals took their own languages so that
if there was food somewhere only animals of the same would know.
Those animals with sharp pointed teeth that could run fast and had
lots of strength like the lion, tiger, leopard, hyena and such
all became meat eaters. They fed upon the animals that had hoofs or
teeth that were only good for eating grass or vegetation. All the
animals became wild. They trusted nothing and no one. The baby animals
that were being born could not talk as man did or understand what man
was saying. So although the poison from the stream had now worn off,
man had no way of telling the animals that he wanted to be friends
again. This angered man and he kept hunting the animals with the dog
as his aid while other animals hunted animals of other types.
One evening man went back to the tree that had spread the poison and
looked upon it in wonder where had such an evil tree come from?
Why had it done this to the lands? Looking upon the tree, man noticed
a fruit on it. He picked up a stone and threw it at the branches. The
stone brought down with it a seed. Man looked upon the seed and then
broke it open, upon doing so, tasted the seed. It was bitter and made
man sick. Man had lost almost everything, the friendship of all but
one of the animals, lost the animals trust in man, but most of all,
lost the harmony of all the animals living together. Man decided to
call this seed an Acorn and the tree an Oak. For man was much wiser
now, even though he had lost everything.
The poisoned water from the river flowed into the sea and travelled
all over the world making the world an unhappy place. It has taken man
a long time to get the trust of the animals. He is still trying to
win the trust to this very day. Man has all the technology today. The
animals still live on their basic instinct, Man can only live on
instinct when he is put in danger. The animals do it all the time.
Whatever technology man has, man hasn't yet and never will find a
way to talk to all the animals and say to them, "I love you, please
trust me. I wish to be friends". Man calls animals dumb. If man had
technology to tell all the animals so they understood, do you think
the animals are so dumb as to believe? They have lived for many, many
years. Many of their kind have been totally wiped out by man. They
would never trust man ever again.