For my big brother – a wonderful Grandad.
Harry sat in the middle of a grassy lawn. He was surrounded by beautiful flowers and fantastic insects.
He frowned with concentration as he picked out the colours and shapes.
Every object had to be different, and he smiled as he placed them on the grass and watched them come to life.
Other small gods occupied the lawn, each intent on their own marvellous creations.
The Big Benevolent One smiled as he wandered past looking at their labours.
His fingertips touched Harry’s head.
Harry looked up and smiled back. He was very happy.
“Good job Harry. You can move on to something bigger now. Some animals and birds perhaps?”
Flushed with pride at such a compliment, Harry collected more materials and set to work.
He started small; a mouse and then a brightly coloured lizard.
Placed carefully on the grass, the mouse shook his whiskers and scurried off to make a home.
The lizard took his time. He stretched and let the sunshine warm his shimmering skin.
“Time for something bigger now. I shall call it Dog and it will be my friend.” Harry said to himself and was just putting together the items he needed when he heard an unfamiliar sound.
The Big Benevolent One was standing in the corner of the lawn staring down at Milo; a slightly larger god who had put together some especially clumsy-looking cactus plants.
There was an ominous rumbling.
“You can do better than this Milo. Look around you. Look at the colours and the shapes. Move on to something beautiful or you’ll have to spend time making rocks.”
Milo frowned. He hated making rocks. It was boring, hot and the other larger gods shouted at him. They had only a few more days to finish the Earth after all. and everyone was working as hard as they could.
Except Milo, who just wanted to lie under the trees and watch everyone else working.
The Big Benevolent One moved on to admire someone else’s work and Milo sulkily picked up some brown clay.
He rolled it idly between his hands, then on a piece of flat stone until it grew longer and thinner.
He started another, and another until the stone was covered with a number of long thin brown snakes of varying sizes.
Harry glanced over at the snakes; all blind and hungry and dull.
He got to his feet, picked up a handful of pieces left over from the lizard and walked over to Milo who felt that he had done enough and had fallen asleep.
The snakes were given jewel-bright eyes and long forked tongues. Harry striped their brown skin with green and white, red and blue for the big ones, and for the last he covered the brown with yellow and white stripes.
Stroking the warm skin as it came to life, Harry smiled.
“You will be a corn snake and your name will be Dave.'”
Hearing the sound of the Big Benevolent One approaching, Harry got up and returned to creating Dog.
Milo woke and looked at the fabulous snakes slithering around happily in front of him.
“Well done Milo! Take a little break now. Usually only lazy gods make snakes but you have done well. ” The Big Benevolent One patted Milo’s head but looked across at Harry and winked.
Harry was happy, especially when Dog came to life, wagged his tail and licked Harry’s face.
Milo snored in the sunshine.