The Hand

When Life was still making the original people who lived on the earth, it created a little Black Boy. He arose, still asleep, from the Great Waters, and was gently washed to shore by the waves.

As the Great Waters edged him lovingly onto the firm earth he began to wake up, and looked about him in wonder. Life had already made trees and flowers grow. There were also birds, butterflies and bees to fly among them.

There were animals on the land and in the waters. And although he didnt know it, it had been a great fish that had helped the waves push the little Black Boy to the shore.

When he awoke, the little Black Boy did not know who he was, or why he was here. He only knew that he was something wonderful, and had the gift of happiness from Life. Everything on the earth, in the sky and in the water recognised him as their youngest brother. That is, even the plants and stones loved him. For they knew that although he was the youngest, when he grew, he would be able to do all that they could do and more. He would be able to sit as still as the stone, or run like the deer, climb trees like the monkeys, fly higher than the birds, dig in the earth like the rabbit, or swim through the waters like a fish. But none of the creatures or stones or plants of the earth minded, because as he lived amongst them, he shared all his happiness and life with them.

This was because when he first came out of the waters he could speak to all things. For even stones and grass can talk. But it is only the animals who began to talk with sounds, and then people came out of the Great Water and made words. Before this, all things spoke to each other with feelings. It was the wind and rain, lightning and thunder, and the elements, not content with this, that began to make sounds just to be different. When Life brought forth the animals from the Great Waters they heard the thunder and rain, and the trees moaning in the wind, and copied them.

So as the little Black Boy walked on earth, the things of earth called out “Hallo little brother. You are one of us, because we are all the children of Life.” And the little Black Boy played among Lifes children, and grew. He would chase the rabbits, wrestle with the bears, run with the wolves, or sleep happily on the warm mud banks of the rivers. Each animal or living thing on earth told him what its pleasure was. In this way the worms said to him “Our pleasure is to dig in the ground to let the air and water in. We bring up food from deep down for the plants.” And the plants said to him “Our pleasure is to take hold of the earth with our roots. And with the power that Life has given us, we lift it up for the Sun to bless and change into living green. Love us little brother, because you have hands, and you can bend us with the power of the Hand. For we are your brothers, and are all the children of Life.”

And the animals said, “Little brother, now we must do your bidding. But be gentle with us brother, for the Hand has great powers, and will make many things that may destroy us. Let your power be as wise as the wolf when he pulls down the deer.”

Then Life, the Mother and Father of all said, “I have made you all, and now to the human I have given the Hand. But, little Black Boy, remember that these are all my children, and the power of the Hand is given you to make the Earth a place of beauty, and to help Me in my work of creation, and to help your brothers in their pleasures. For their pleasures are wise with My wisdom. In this way you will find a pleasure greater than all other things upon the earth.’

So the little Black Boy had found his pleasure in the Hand, and in using it. With its power he tore down trees and made them into a place to live. With its power he dug into the earth to discover rare stones and to shape them into beauty and usefulness. With it he found food among his brothers, taking them with the wisdom of the wolf. He made clothes, and he made fire, he made great things upon the earth, and vessels to sail across the waters, and many other things, all with the power of the Hand.

But the little Black Boy began to forget what Life had told him. He began to forget how to speak to all the things upon the earth and in the waters, and even in the sky. S o many wonderful things had he made with the power of the Hand that he became proud and began to look down on his brothers and think of them as low and stupid. So he hurt the earth and the creatures, the plants and the trees, using them for his own desires instead of for their own pleasures, or the way of Life. And in his pride and hurtfulness, he forgot that the hand had been given him by Life, and was not his own. And in forgetting, he used the power of the Hand to make for himself a life of pleasure, of riotous living, and against the ways of Life.

But the little Black Boy became unhappy. Now that he had forgotten how to talk to all things, and had only the sound of his voice, he felt lonely, and miserable.

One day, he walked by the Great Waters, crying because he was unhappy. He looked at the Hand and said “You have brought me nothing but loneliness and tears. I hate you.” And in his anger he threw the power of the hand into the Great Waters. But he felt no happier, and because there seemed nothing else he wanted to do, he threw himself also into the Great Waters.

Then the Great Waters closed over him and invaded his mouth and nose. Then they invaded his head and chest. Then they invaded his whole body. Only then did Life speak to him, saying, “You have hurt your brothers who are my children. And because you are all of one family you have hurt yourself and made yourself lonely and unhappy. Yet in your pride you have blamed your unhappiness upon the Hand.

“ Yet because I love you, you are forgiven. You still have the gift of happiness and love I gave you, and I will not take it away. But you have turned it into despair, hate, anger and loneliness through the things you have done. So now you must uncover your happiness again by undoing those things.”

Then the Great Waters rejected the body of the little Black Boy. They pushed him back upon the land, where he lived and worked to undo all the harm and hurt he had done with the power of the Hand. In fact, he is still doing it.

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