It’s a “F.L.E.A.s” Thing
As a boy I was fascinated by astronomy and mythology --- with the connection between the two being the most fun. It was easy for me to imagine Ancients looking to the night sky and constructing images and fabulous stories out of their connect-the-dot stars. Understandably, the stories often involved animals and hunting (Ursa Major, Orion the Hunter) and were guiding morality tales about challenging the Fates or misbegotten love. As I listened to the news this morning, with stories about the recovery from Harvey, the impending disaster of Irma, and a record setting earthquake in Mexico I wondered what myths/stories those Ancients may have concocted to explain these natural phenomena to “the people.” Our slavish devotion to science and rational explanations (like computer generated hurricane tracking) has deprived us of using our imaginations and creating stories/myths to explain the world. Despite that, I thought The Blast might be a good place to present an “alternative explanation” (like our President’s “alternative facts”) for these horrendous attacks of Nature on mankind. So, indulge me, dear reader, and imagine you are sheltered in a cave, huddled around a sputtering fire of barely dry wood, a ferocious wind whipping outside the mouth of the cave, as the wisest, oldest Shaman in our tribe begins explaining the world to us.
In the years before Time began, the God of Gods, Wilburforce, used his power to create a circle of companions. He stood at the center of the circles, the brightest and most intense of the Orbs of Creation. His eight companions took the form of people and animals, regularly circling Wilburforce and providing him with companionship and amusement.
The closest to him was the hotheaded, winged-footed Mercury, who only bore good news for the Creator. Next was his beautiful consort, Venus. Third was his “best friend” Canis --- whom others called Terra but Wilburforce dubbed “Jack.” After that was the belligerent Mars, always good for a debate/argument. In the next circle was the Creator’s “little brother,” the massive Jupiter, followed by Chronus, or Saturn, an ephemeral companion & the moodiest of Wilburforce’s creations. The penultimate companion was Ouranus, Saturn’s father, and a good counsel to the God of Gods. Finally, employing his sense of humor, Wilburforce created a Green Orb and called it Neptune, after the beautiful seas of his imagination.
Over the Time-Before-Time-Began Wilburforce thoroughly enjoyed the company of his creations, radiating his brilliance and sharing his beneficence. Over time, however, a problem developed with “Jack” (now called “Earth” by some of the other “planets”). Early on, “Jack” had complained that he was lonely when the Creator spent time with his other creations, so Wilburforce gave “Jack” the gift of tiny inhabitants, living all over his body. When “Jack” asked what the Creator called these new residents of his body he was told, “Oh, I call them ‘Those that Feel Like Everything Awesome’ but you can just refer to them as F.L.E.A.s.” “Oh, Okay,” “Jack” replied, happy to have his own companions.
Over time, however, “Jack” found that the “F.L.E.A.s” were moving everywhere and setting up deeply entrenched camps --- like little cities. As they developed more and more they began to dig into “Jack,” deeper and deeper. He complained to Wilburforce but was simply told, “Deal with it.” “Jack” began scratching and biting at himself, to no avail. Finally, after what seemed like years and years of putting up with the “F.L.E.A.s” “Jack had had enough. He stood up to his full height and shook, and shook, and shook --- saliva spewed back over his coat in copious amounts, his skin rippled as he shook, and many of the “F.L.E.A.s” were ejected, far into space, hurtling toward Venus this way and Mars that way. Some “F.L.E.A.s” held on for dear life as “Jack” shook and undulated, spit and spat, hoping to withstand the ordeal.
“And, that,” explained the Ancient Shaman,” is why we are in this cave, around this fire. ‘Jack’ is shaking as he never has before, and we are the last few 'F.L.E.A.s’ left, trying to survive.”