In the beginning, there was nothing. Nothing but an old man with a scruffy white beard that fell over his tattered white robe. This man was God, and he was bored. After an eternity of sitting alone in nothingness, who wouldn’t be? Another eternity passed, then another, and then it happened, the sudden realisation that as a being of infinite power, he didn’t have to be bored, or in the dark for that matter.
“Let there be light!” He bellowed, sending a roaring silence throughout the void. A bright radiance following in its wake until the entirety of the universe was coated in a blinding light. God shielded his eyes and considered the possibility that this was, perhaps, a little much. He snapped his fingers and the light retracted, becoming contained within a single fiery red sphere. God looked down at his creation and, upon seeing that it was good, spread out his arms and declared to no one in particular, “I shall call it…The moon!”
He took a few steps back to fully admire His craftsmanship and realised that, for the first time in the history of time itself, he was feeling a little parched; clearly, creating an interstellar body was thirsty work. What he needed was a being that could produce a nutritious, yet tasty, beverage on demand. He closed his eyes, and pictured such a beast. When he opened them again, there it was, floating around in front of him; a black and white creature, four legged with a tail, the world’s first cow. But something was wrong. The creature looked agitated. And then its eyes started to bleed. Its limbs flailed wildly for a few seconds before going completely limp. Moments later, the lifeless cow had begun drifting off into the blackness of space. Being one to tackle the easy problems first, God realised he somehow needed to tether the cow to a relatively small area so it couldn’t get away from him. After all, it would be a bit of a bother having to rummage through the universe every time he wanted a drink of the sweet nectar that this beast was sure to provide; dealing with the issue of explosive decompression could come later. He balled his right hand into a fist and squeezed tightly. When he opened his palm again there was a small swirling blue sphere resting on it. Slowly, but steadily, it began to grow.
Several thousand years later, the blue orb had grown to an acceptable size. Also, God noticed, the bright flaming moon had begun to circle it; he was happy they were getting along. He strode forwards and found himself on the sea floor, the pressure of the water crushing down on him. God did not notice; he was far too concerned with how wet his clothes had suddenly become. Several attempts to wring them out were met with absolutely no success. A few bubbles of exasperation flew out of God’s mouth as he pondered on a solution for a few thousand years.
“It’s no use,” he gargled to himself and began his slow swim back up; blissfully unaware of the small crevice his foot had become lodged inside. When he finally reached the surface of the water, God looked down to discover he had inadvertently dragged up a rather sizeable landmass with him. Struck by a surge of inspiration, the old man dived back into the ocean, positioned himself beneath the chunk of earth, and pushed up with but a tiny fraction of his might. Moments later the gigantic slice of earth had risen the few remaining feet and had broken through the still ocean, sending ripples across the water. Satisfied, God began to swim up once more, so that he could admire his latest achievement, but in doing so bumped his head. And of course, this was no ordinary head. A massive crack appeared in the rock, splintering through the landmass, separating it into dozens of chunks that slowly began to float away in different directions. God shrugged his shoulders; He only needed a little bit of it anyway. He clambered to the surface and for the first time realised how wonderful the Moon felt on his skin. The old, yet surprisingly athletic, man lay down and became the world’s first, and only, moonbather.
Sometime later, God opened his eyes to the sight of a lush green forest towering above him. “Must have dozed off,” he muttered to himself as he slowly got to his feet. Completely ignoring the result of millions of year’s worth of evolution, God looked down and smiled; his clothes were now crisp and dry. More importantly, he had somewhere to put his cow. Once more he closed his eyes and imagined. And just as before, when he opened them again there was, standing before him…absolutely nothing? That wasn’t right. God knew he had created the cow, he had felt it, but where was it? It was then that he heard a noise coming from beyond a cluster of trees; a deafening, roaring noise.
“Ah, mystery solved,” God said to himself happily as he began walking in the direction of the cow. When he reached it however, he couldn’t help noticing that the cow looked a little different. It was golden, hairy, with razor sharp teeth, and a murderous look in its eye. “Hello…Cow?” was all God managed before the creature leapt towards him. God did what any creature with a sense of self-preservation would do in this situation; he ran up a tree. Feeling much safer atop his leafy perch, God considered the possibility that whatever that was, it probably wasn’t a cow. His suspicion was confirmed when, after a few minutes of surveying the ground below, he found his bovine companion. Well, he found parts of it. He could only assume the rest of it was in the bellies of the many golden, razor sharp toothed creatures that were now resting in the nearby clearing. God’s heart sank, he was getting nowhere fast. Clearly, he needed to confine the cow to an even smaller area, one where he could keep an eye on it easily. He waited until nightfall when the beasts were sleeping, then climbed down the tree and began his search for a peaceful corner of the world.
Over the following months, God discovered many strange and wonderful new creatures, almost all of which tried to kill him in equally strange and wonderful new ways. At no point did God consider the fact that being a deity, he couldn’t be harmed; as it happens, fear is something we all fall victim to. Finally, on the seventh day, of the eighth month, of a calendar that wouldn’t exist for quite some time, he found it. Within a valley surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs, was a lush, green forest, completely untainted by the creatures that had begun roaming the world. At least, this is what God believed at the time. Little did he know of the hairless bipeds that spied him from behind the dense foliage. God smiled happily and for a third, and hopefully final time, imagined the cow into existence. And there it was, looking rather content. This was it, thought God, the moment he had been waiting for. He bowed down before the cow, and the cow bowed back, indicating that it was safe for God to approach. He did so, and knelt down by the side of his new friend. Almost instinctively, as if this was the entire reason for his being, God grasped two of the cow’s teats and began to squeeze them gently. God bellowed with delight as glorious milk trickled forth…all over the ground.
“Okay, don’t panic,” God sad to the cow, grateful that he finally had someone to talk to, “we just need to find something to catch the milk.” He looked left. He looked right. And then, it hit him! “Ouch!” he cried as he bent over to pick up the brown furry stone that had fallen on his head. Holding it up to the light, paused for a moment and then said, “Coconut” for no particular reason. His attention was drawn to a white liquid trickling out of the side of it, and down his arm. This ‘coconut’ had milk inside! He cracked it open on a much more ordinary looking grey, furless stone and emptied the coconut milk from one half onto the ground. Triumphantly, he wandered back over to the cow, placed the makeshift bowl beneath it and tried again. Within a few minutes, the bowl was full. He took it from the ground and held it aloft, for dramatic effect, and then took a sip of the long-awaited milk.
God did not like it.
He spat out the vile tasting liquid from his mouth with, perhaps, a little too much force. The world had gone dark. He looked up to see a dull grey sphere in the sky; he had inadvertently blown out the moon. Now the only thing casting light on God and his bovine betrayer were tiny specks of burning milk, dotting the skyline from billions of miles away.
“Those ones look like a coconut.” The cow remarked, attempting to strike up a conversation with his new comrade. All God heard was a loud and aggressive moo. He turned to the cow and began to advance, his arms waving wildly in the air.
“I created a world for you!” God cried, “I kept you safe! And what do you do? Shout at me? Try to poison me?!” He took a deep breath and composed himself. Then, in a much calmer voice he said, “I’m going to count to five, and when I turn around you’d better be gone.”
“One.” The cow stared blankly at God.
“Two.” The cow continued to stare blankly at God.
“Three.” It became bored and wandered off.
“Four.” Two of the naked bipeds climbed down from a nearby tree and crept away in the cow’s general direction.
“Five!” God turned around. He was alone. “Good,” the old man huffed, and went off in search of something, anything, that could get rid of that awful taste.
The cow, as she wandered through the forest, was trying to make sense of what had just happened. First, there had been nothing and then, suddenly, she was alive. Even before she had begun to comprehend what it meant to be a cow, a nice looking man had begun touching her in a not entirely un-pleasurable way. It was all going pretty well until the shouting started. She wasn’t going to let it get her down. She just wasn’t that sort of cow. She stopped, unable to shake the urge that someone or something was watching her. Slowly and steadily, she turned her head to see behind her. Nothing.
“Jesus Christ!” one of the bipeds whispered to the other, “She nearly saw us that time!”
“I know, I know” replied the other who, it had to be said, was far curvier than the first and softer in voice, “Let’s fall back a little to be safe. We’ll be able to smell her from a mile away anyway.”
Adam, the biped that had spoken first crouched down onto the ground and waited, allowing the beast they had been tracking to cover some more ground. He pondered the situation. Who were these two interlopers, the beast and the hairy man? How dare they enter their land? One thing was certain; they had to be punished for their crimes. A few minutes passed before the two continued the hunt, if you could call following a smelly, slow-walking mammal a hunt. When they caught site of the beast again, it had laid down the for the night. The pair knew this was the time to strike. Drawing their daggers, fashioned from stone and wood, they advanced.
On the other side of the forest, God was feeling a little guilty. It hadn’t been the cow’s fault that her milk tasted so bad. After all, it was God who technically created it in the first place, albeit indirectly. And he couldn’t be certain that ‘moo’ was anything bad; for all he knew it meant “Those ones look like a coconut.” God decided he should go and apologise. He turned around and went to find his one and only friend.
Adam and his mate, Eve, sat by a roaring fire, their grinning faces stuffed with roasted cow flesh; it was the most succulent thing they had ever tasted. “We should go look for that man later,” Eve managed to say through a mouthful, “maybe he has more of these things”.
“In the morning, dear,” Adam replied, “we’ve had a long day”. He shuffled over to Eve and put his arm around her, “There’s no rush. We have all the time in the world”.
The following morning, the two had left the clearing in search of God, shortly before God arrived there in search of the cow who, being dead, wasn’t in search of anyone. All he found was the carcass, covered in blood. He fell to his knees. This was his fault. He shouldn’t have left. He thought back to the last thing he had said to her. They were words of hatred and anger, not love. A single tear rolled down his cheek. Then another. And another. Faster and faster they fell. Water was literally pouring from his eyes, spreading out across the world in waves, crashing against mountains, filling canyons. Before long the entire planet was once again covered with ocean.
God was too upset to notice the destruction he had caused; he simply sat beneath the waves, mourning. God, it seemed, was a little bit selfish.