often ask, as an idle question, whether the process of evolution began with the
chicken or the egg.Was there an egg out
of which the first chicken came, or did a chicken lay the first egg?I am in a position to say that the first
thing created was the egg.
God had manufactured all the eggs out of which the fishes and the serpents and
the birds and the mammals and even the duck-billed platypus would eventually
emerge, he called the embryos before Him, and saw that they were good.
I ought to explain,” added the badger, lowering his papers nervously and
looking at the Wart over the top of them, “that all embryos look very much the
same.They are what you are before you
are born – and, whether you are going to be a tadpole or a peacock or a
cameleopard or a man, when you are an embryo you just look like a peculiarly
repulsive and helpless human being.I
continues as follows:
embryos stood in front of God, with their feeble hands clasped politely over
their stomachs and their heavy heads hanging down respectfully, and God
said: ‘Now, you embryos, here you are, all looking exactly the same, and We are
going to give you the choice of what you want to be.When you grow up you will get bigger anyway,
but We are pleased to grant you another gift as well.You may alter any parts of yourselves into
anything which you think would be useful to you in later life.For instance at the moment you cannot
dig.Anybody who would like to turn his
hands into a pair of spades or garden forks is allowed to do so.Or, to put it another way, at present you can
only use your mouths for eating. Anybody who would like to use his mouth as an
offensive weapon, can change it by asking, and be a corkindrill or a sabre-toothed
tiger.Now then, step up and choose you
tools, but remember that what you choose you will grow into, and will have to
embryos thought the matter over politely, and then one by one, they stepped up
before the eternal throne.They were
allowed two or three specializations, so that some chose to use their arms as
flying machines and their mouths as weapons, or crackers, or drillers, or
spoons, while others selected to use their bodies as boats and their hands as
oars.We badgers thought very hard and
decided to ask three boons.We wanted to
change our skins for shields, our mouths for weapons, and our arms for garden
forks.These boons were granted.Everybody specialized in one way or another,
and some of us in very queer ones.For
instance, one of the desert lizards decided to swap his whole body for
blotting-paper, and one of the toads who lived in the drouthy antipodes decided
simply to be a water-bottle.
asking and granting took up two long days – they were the fifth and sixth, so
far as I remember – and at the very end of the sixth day, just before it was
time to knock off for Sunday, they had got through all the little embryos
except one.This embryo was Man.
Our little man,’ said God.‘You have
waited till the last, and slept on your decision, and We are sure you have been
thinking hard all the time.What can We
do for you?’
God,’ said the embryo, ‘I think that You made me in the shape which I now have
for reasons best known to Yourselves, and that it would be rude to change.If I am to have my choice I will stay as I
am.I will not alter any of the parts
which You gave me, for other and doubtless inferior tools, and I will stay a
defenseless embryo all my life, doing my best to make myself a few feeble
implements out of the wood, iron and the other materials which You have seen
fit to put before me.If I want a boat I
will try to construct it out of trees, and if I want to fly, I will put
together a chariot to do it for me.Probably I have been very silly in refusing to take advantage of Your
kind offer, but I have done my very best to think it over carefully, and now
hope that the feeble decision of this small innocent will find favour with
done,’ exclaimed the Creator in delighted tones.‘Here, all you embryos, come here with you
beaks and whatnots to look upon Our first Man.He is the only one who has guessed Our riddle, out of all of you, and We
have great pleasure in conferring upon him the Order of Dominion over the Fowls
of the Air, and the Beasts of the Earth, and the Fishes of the Sea.Now let the rest of you get along, and love
and multiply, for it is time to knock off for the week-end.As for you, Man, you will be a naked tool all
your life, though a user of tools. You
will look like an embryo till they bury you, but all the others will be embryos
before your might.Eternally
undeveloped, you will always remain potential in Our image, able to see some of
Our sorrows and to feel some of Our joys.We are partly sorry for you, Man, but partly hopeful.Run along then, and do your best.And listen, Man, before you go…’
asked Adam, turning back from his dismissal.
were only going to say,’ said God shyly, twisting Their hands together.‘Well, We were just going to say, God bless
I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the
airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:
"I love you and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied,
"Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I
ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter
The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.
tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking,
"Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
"Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a
"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the
reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from
other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a
moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she
smiled even more.
"When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person
to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them".
Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."
She then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to
appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.
On the death of Beaumont the
hunting dog, whose back was broken in the boar hunt:“Then he (the master of the hunt) picked up his spear without saying
anything and limped over to Beaumont. He knelt down beside him and took his
head on his lap. He stroked Beaumont's head and said, "Hark to Beaumont.
Softly, Beaumont, mon amy. Oyez a Beaumont the valiant. Swef, le douce
Beaumont, swef, swef." Beaumont licked his hand but could not wag his
tail. The huntsman nodded to Robin, who was standing behind, and held the
hound's eyes with his own. He said, "Good dog, Beaumont the valiant, sleep
now, old friend Beaumont, good old dog." Then Robin's falchion let
Beaumont out of this world, to run free with Orion and roll among the stars.”