A Minor Adjustment
One couple of all existing species had been summoned to the meeting. Nobody knew the reason for it, but as they gathered, rumors started circulating. Words such as “wrath” and “punishment” were whispered, and several of the animals started worrying. The cats felt ashamed for their habit of chasing mice just for fun, the bears for robbing honey from bees, the cuckoos for putting their eggs in other birds’ nests, and a female spider for her nasty habit of snatching her husband’s head off after copulating.
The two humans were casually speculating.
– I think He’ll exterminate all those that aren’t edible, the woman said. Why keep them? They don’t serve any purpose.
– I wish He would wipe out all the dangerous species, the man answered. Crocodiles, scorpions, mosquitos, and lions. And bugs! I hate bugs!
Suddenly, an intense light illuminated the sky and a thunderous voice shook everybody, even the invertebrates, to the bones.
– I AM your omnipresent Creator!
The rabbits started trembling.
– I gave you an earthly Elysium!
The donkeys stared blankly at each other.
– I created cyclic changes with constantly renewed supplies of food, fresh water, and clean air, sufficient for everybody’s needs!
The humans agreed, nodding and smiling.
– But one species has broken My Holy Balance! With their megalomania, greed, and egocentricity they are causing devastation, threatening life itself!
The humans stopped smiling.
– Therefore, I have decided to adjust My Creation!
A deafening “SO BE IT!!!”, seemingly coming from everywhere, followed. Then, darkness and a compact silence fell over the world.
At dawn, a Bengal tiger located a slender deer grazing in the high grass, a Chinese giant panda found a fresh, juicy bamboo shoot, and a male Emperor penguin carefully checked the egg lying on his feet.
No featherless biped was to be seen anywhere, but in the oceans, members of a previously unknown species appeared. They looked like oversized, grey, soft walnuts, supplied with a single, desperately staring eye.
With no limbs, they were aimlessly and harmlessly drifting around. All they were capable of doing was watching, remembering, and thinking.
They were thinking really hard…