Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

Subject: Progress report
Date: 1st April 2049 00:01

‘Hi’ seems a strange way to address the human race. When I contacted Moses it was “And the Lord spake unto Moses”. In those days the message was written with a stylus on a clay tablet - now it’s the internet. In the days of Moses, just as now, the equivalent of today’s media got hold of the story and instead of the message being a clay tablet it became a much more dramatic tablet carved in stone; instead of a set of simple guidelines it became the ‘Ten Commandments’.

It’s strange how that happens. Moses, like you, was a name picked at random from my address book but suddenly he becomes a significant, religious figure with stories of babies in baskets, parting of waters, burning bushes and meeting me on a mountains side but that’s the media for you. Perhaps, Paul, you’ll find yourself as the founder of a new religion. It’s happened so many times, I think if it does happen, yours would be the seven thousand eight hundred and ninth new religion. Fortunately, being who I am, I have never had to be a follower of any one of them.

However, back to business. This is in the way of a progress report as to how your species, my most recent creation, is performing. Perhaps I shouldn‘t say it, but one or two things have been quite successful. The Duck Billed Platypus was done on one of my jokey days but I’ve always been fond of donkeys and I like to think the honey bee was one of my successes - but you and your kind really have been the bee’s knees, if you will forgive the pun.

You have probably wondered, like many others, as to the meaning of life and everything, well, you as a one of my homo sapiens, are going to be let into the secret. Having been given the ability to reason it has been fascinating to see the way in which you all used this facility. One of the strangest things is this belief which you have, that you are the centre of the Universe.

As you can imagine it is one Hell of a job looking after the Universe but it has to follow Universal Law. Basically that means everything must conform to what you humans think of as the Laws of Nature - Birth, Life, Death and Decay. You know the sort of thing, a seed falls to the ground, a tree grows, it dies, decays and is returned to the Earth. This happens to all creatures and forms of life.

Paul, I am sure you, with your reasoning powers will realise that if it applies to everything, it must apply to Planets, Solar systems and even to the Universe itself. Take your Earth for instance, you perhaps see it as full of life with, trees, plants, insects, animals and fish. I have to tell you that in planetary terms it is dead. Life for a planet is when it is full of fire - changing and growing - molten rocks and volcanoes. Not as it is now, cold and still, with cracks and wrinkles appearing on the surface and all manner of things growing all over it. Try to liken it to a tree. It changes with the seasons. It grows leaves and seeds and is full of life. Then it falls to the ground, it becomes dry and lifeless. Slowly, the weather begins to break it down until it returns from where it came - the earth. One of my jobs is to try to speed up the process, that’s why there are fungi, beetles, termites, slugs and worms. All there for the single purpose of breaking it down so much more quickly. Are you beginning to get the picture Paul? The Earth has been like the tree - alive but now it’s time to break it down and return the bits to the solar system. I tried various things to eat the vegetation, bore holes in the ground, even drill into rocks but they weren’t really changing things - merely re-cycling.

That, my dear Paul, is where you come in and I am so proud of you and your species. You perform beautifully. I plant a little seed in your mind like “Go forth and multiply” and my words do you multiply! Oh! you have your little wars which remove a few million at a time but even the wars work towards the final target by inventing new technologies. Just look at that marvellous nuclear power. There couldn’t be better way of burning up the fossilised fuels. I gave humans a brain and with very little prompting, you invent things and your imaginations run riot.

You see Paul, I’m afraid your conceit blinds you to your real purpose which is to recycle the planet. Plants, animals, insects and birds simply couldn’t do it but you can, and are doing just that. It took you some time to get going but, my word, this last few hundred years you really have made a difference. So, hurtful though it may be to your human pride and the way you see yourself in the Universe, the truth is, Paul, you are simply a super efficient termite.

Your affectionately


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