In the darkness and emptiness of Space a Voice began to sing. It was more beautiful than any music heard since. As it sang, the void suddenly filled with planets and stars, each guided into place by the music. One bright sun lit up a planet more lovely than the others. It was almost covered with sparkling blue water.
From the dark secret depths of this water, more voices began to join the first Voice. These voices belonged to huge creatures which kept rising to the surface to breathe,
blowing out enormous jets of steam. Each one was given a different task to do by the first Voice. Some were told to sing life into the land, making it flourish with grass, flowers and fruit. Others sang to make the winds blow, the rain fall and the seasons change. Yet others to create
new animals, birds, fish and insects. These new creations and their habitats were maintained by the songs.
The children of the great creatures took over their parents' duties. Sometimes the parents died before their children had time to learn the song, and so they sang a
different one and changes took place. But each note lasted for hundreds of years, and so the changes were gradual. Although the songs were all different, they were all in harmony and the world they created was harmonious.
Millions of years passed until one day something happened that was to lead to the doom of the planet. A creature singing the life of a monkey sang a clashing discordant* note and a new unplanned animal was born. This note was so out of tune that the new creature was out of tune with its environment. Because it was unplanned
it had no creature to sing its life. At first it did not cause much trouble. It ate only vegetables and was kept warm by its own skin. But gradually it lost the ability to keep itself warm and started to kill other animals to wear their coats. It then started to eat other creatures and found that
it enjoyed killing just for fun, something which no other animal did. The harmony of the world was upset and other creatures were put in danger.
It had accidentally been given powers which should have been kept secret by the supreme Creator. It misused these powers to gain things for itself at the expense of other creatures. It was bad-tempered and fought with its own kind. It thought that it was so much more important than everything else that it even imagined that it must have been created by a God with a body which looked like its own. It learned to speak and called itself man.
Once, early on, the Creator gave it a chance to start again. One family was chosen to watch from a small boat as the rest of its race was drowned by flood waters which covered the seas for 40 days. Lots of land animals died because the boat could only hold two of each kind. But the creatures of the seas survived and the songs continued.
After the flood the planet was peaceful again for a time but as man multiplied, the trouble began again. It was never satisfied and wanted parts of the planet that had
been given to other creatures. It built wings which made it possible to take the air from the birds and it built boats which made it possible to take the seas from the fish. It had dirty habits and left rubbish and pollution wherever it went. Eventually no part of the planet was safe.
Finally, the worst thing it did was to start killing the greatest creatures of all, the ones singing the songs which had kept everything alive. Not satisfied with light from the sun, man used their blubber* to make oil for lamps and later in factories. It ate their meat and fed it to the animals
that it kept in slavery. It killed them to make oils and paint to decorate its own body, and toothpaste to brush its teeth, necessary because it now ate the wrong foods.
Even when so many whales had been killed that they began to disappear it did not listen to warnings. The
songs became quieter because there were fewer creatures to sing them. Soon there were not enough left to carry out their duties and without the songs other creatures died. The balance and harmony they maintained was upset. The weather was upset and men were drowned. Still man continued its destruction. Finally it managed to kill the very last of the animals it had called whales. Or it thought that was so!
As the last note of the last known whale died away, another one rose angrily to the surface of the sea. It was
bigger than any man had ever seen and was not as gentle as the others had been. It breathed once through its blowhole and let out a note so sad and long it could not be described. It was very different from the music that had been used to begin Creation, and at the end of it Man and
"his" Earth were no more. Then God swam sadly away into Space and perhaps a new Creation.
By Nicholas Cole, aged 11 (Thank you, Nicholas for this fine story. I hope you don't mind using it for my site.)
Source: Looking at Language, Beaver Books 1995, p.28
* discordant - disharmonisch, mißtönend
* blubber - Walspeck, Tran
1. What happened that the "harmony of the world was upset"?
2. Why was the new creature "out of tune with its environment"?
3. What do you think does the writer of the story suggest when he says that the Creator gave man "a chance to start again"?
4. After man had been given "a second chance", did he grab it? Explain what happened then.
5. What symbols are there in Nicholas' text and what do they stand for?