Omir the Storyteller

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Where Strawberries Came From


Way back in the Beginning, the Creator created the first man, and he created the first woman.

Now the story of how and why He created the first man and the first woman is a good story, and one well worth telling; but it is not the story I am going to tell today. No, I am going to tell a story of what happened afterward.

The first man and the first woman lived in a beautiful garden. Of course the world was new to them, just as they were new to the world, so they spent their days learning about the world they had come into, and they spent their nights learning about each other. And for a very long time, they got along perfectly well and never fought or disagreed.

But, you know how men are, and you know how women are. One day the first man said something he should not have, and the first woman did not like it, so she said something she should not have, and they got into an argument. The argument turned into a verbal fight, and eventually the first man said something that hurt the first woman greatly, and she turned and walked away from him.

The noise of this argument reached the Creator, and so He asked one of His angels to go down to Earth to see what the noise was all about.

The angel went to the first man, and asked him what had happened. For a long time the first man said nothing; but at last he said, through his tears, "I fear I have done a great evil. I have said things I should not have, and I have made my wife angry, and now she is gone from me."

"What would you do now?" asked the angel.

"I would apologize to her," the first man said. "I would make amends."

The angel waited for a moment to see if the first man had anything else to say.

Finally he added, "And I would never say such things to her again."

That was what the angel wanted to hear. So he went to find the first woman.

The first woman was still angry. Now perhaps you have noticed that sometimes when a woman is angry, she will begin to walk away, and she will walk very fast. This goes all the way back to the first woman, and that is exactly what the first woman was doing. She was walking away from her home, and she was walking very fast. So fast, in fact, that though the angel tried to stop her to speak to her, she would not stop, but just kept walking.

The angel returned to the first man. "She is walking away toward the east," he told the first man.

The first man got up from where he sat. "Then I must catch up with her," he said. "I must apologize, and I must tell her I love her, and that I will never do such a thing again."

"She is walking very fast," the angel said.

"Then I must go now." And the first man set off to find the first woman.

The angel saw that the first man was also walking very quickly, but he was not quite as fast as the first woman, and she showed no signs of stopping or slowing down, so the angel decided the first man could use some help. So, the angel returned to where the first woman was walking. The angel had the power to cause the plants to flower, and for those that bear fruit to do so; and that is what he did. As the first woman walked quickly along the path, flowers bloomed all around her. The magnolia, and the dogwood, and the honeysuckle and the rose and the daisy; they all bloomed around her, and the angel hoped that the first woman would stop and smell the flowers, and perhaps the edge would wear off her anger, and thus the first man could catch up to her.

But the first woman's anger was fierce, and she did not stop or slow down.

Then the angel caused the fruit trees to bloom; the pear, and the apricot, and the orange and the peach. And he hoped that the first woman would grow hungry, and stop to eat, and thus the first man would be able to catch up to her.

But still she was angry, and still she continued to walk.

Then the angel caused the berry bushes along the path to bloom; the blueberries, and the huckleberries, and the blackberries and raspberries; but still the first woman walked on.

So the angel went back to the Creator, and reported on the things he had seen and done. "I have reached the limits of what I can do," the angel said. "I have failed."

"No, you have done well," said the Creator. "I just think this situation needs something extra. Something new."

So the Creator went down to earth. Now the angel could do many remarkable things, but he could not create anything new, and the Creator felt this situation called for something new to be created in the world. So he went to the path, where the woman was still walking very quickly, and he caused a new type of berry to grow, and flower, and ripen into fruit the shape and color of a heart. Now the first woman had seen the flowers before; she had seen the fruits of the trees before, and she had seen the other berries before; but this new berry was something new, and its sweet scent reached up to her. The edge came off her anger, and she stopped, and she picked some of these new berries, and began to eat them. And soon enough the first man caught up with her, and they sat and talked, and he apologized for the harsh words he had said to her, and promised never again to be unkind to her. And together they shared this new kind of berry.

This new berry the Creator had created was of course the strawberry. The Creator made it in the shape of a heart, and He made it sweeter than the other berries, to remind us that love is the most important thing in our lives, and sweet above all else.


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