skulls

Floods and droughts, droughts and floods played terrestrial tag with one another. Glaciers spread into giant hoods, then receded into skullcaps. Cinder cones burst through Earth’s skin, then lanced themselves like fiery boils. Climate, more than brains or brawn, got to choose who said "tootle-loo," and who stayed put. Pangaea suffered successive spells of growing pains that tore its landmass continuity g r a d u a l l y asunder. Ocean, ever the opportunist, made haste to inundate every breach. Species on land, having to think fast or perish, evolved via nervous ticks, theirs forever an unreliable situation, a fickle pickle occasioning adaptation in fits and starts. Sea creatures—minnows to leviathans—had an easier time of it. Afloat or submerged, they flowed with the primordial tide. Envious, a few coast dwellers returned to their salt-water roots, flying (that is to say ‘swimming’) in the face of a ship-to-shore tradition. Others simply flew, took flight, exchanged fur coats for feathers, and soared above it all, fancy-free as the eventual birds they became. Lineage, with so much eruption, corruption, and disruption, waned into obscurity; woe unto anyone taxed with compiling each New World’s Who’s Who. Family trees proliferated branches—most of which Mother Nature (without mercy) pruned.

At long, long, long last came the chicken. Or was it the egg? In either case, God and Human Beings lay on Earth and (concomitantly) hatched. Arguably present all along, Lord and Likeness brought Order to a predicament sporting anything but. For the first time on the planet, sense made sense of seeming nonsense, Chaos had interpreters, Random made Reason’s acquaintance, and, essentially, nothing changed.

Apes remained similar genetically; it was cosmetically that some quite-pronounced differences appeared. Lesser from Great were distinguishable most obviously by relative size, then by tails (or lack thereof), then by thumbs. Intelligence was divvied up pretty evenly. But Juke's descendants perpetuated their forefather’s deviant tendencies (newly labeled "evil"), while those whose ancestry traced back one step further retained unswerving allegiance to the Primitive Code. People and Simians (extremes at their respective species' ends) became the most articulate—People ‘versus’ Simians their relationship still to come.

God took sides—if one gives credence to People’s version of Divine Right Dominion. Human Beings were The Chosen, Deity's Darlings. Mankind was put in charge—according to Men, who appointed themselves adepts at deciphering Omnipotent Intentions. A curious twist of conceit, was this, when seen from the monkey’s perspective, a form of blind-spot vanity uniquely tragic in a creature endowed with split-personality brains. Of course, monkeys (Simians) likewise possessed Free Will; theirs was simply not predicated on delusions of having been singled out by some mythical "Man Upstairs." Chaos ruled their Universe. God, by comparison, was a Johnny-come-lately, a reflection of those "created in His image," and thereby indistinguishable from Earth’s most riotous Egomaniacs.

Which is not to say every theological notion of Man claimed Earth for its private, primate proving ground. Animistic concepts were much more in sync, and certainly more reverential toward the Forces of Mother Nature. Adam and Eve, if truly Primitive, might have proved resistant to the Serpent’s temptation. But Knowledge (the apple) being God-like (supra natural) persuaded the soul’s worm to turn; the couple did eat, disobeyed, grew self-conscious, their nudity giving rise to mortal shame. Expulsion was the Almighty’s sentence—Paradise got lost (a prophesy more than a punishment); Juke’s genetic influence guaranteed it never would be regained.

Yes, Juke again: Juke the crippled chromosome, Juke the degenerate gene, Juke whose predacious personality poisoned a troupe, a tribe, a population, and passed on traits a la heirlooms of deleterious luck, a hope chest sans hope, a dowry of deeds whose mischief—turned malicious—effectively cast a curse on generations ever after.

 

"I don't like you...

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