A Promethean Liver

Updated: Apr 28, 2019


With Apologies to Dr. Peterson

In a land forgotten by man, there sat perched upon a dead rock, a bird. This bird did not look regal, for its head drooped to the ground. Its neck was as wet and floppy as a noodle flung at a wall. The bird was as bald as a friar. Its creator had not bothered to give it feathers, so it could not fly. This pitiful bird was the pet of a powerful god, who cared not for it.

This god, who must not be named, sought to fling toward the earth all the creatures he could imagine. He reveled in drafting beings like the platypus duck. But in fact he had little imagination. The fish could not swim. The lions had no roar. The gazelle had no jump. And man had no thought.

Bored of his new game, the god sat down and decided to delegate his new world to his cousin—or perhaps it was his nephew—he cared not for its lineage. He cared not, not for lineage at all. He knew this being was a buffoon and his name was Epimetheus.

This subordinate tried to mould creatures of the earth, but did no better than the All-Powerful had done. His bats flew around in the daytime, diving into the mad ocean and drowning. His cows had legs that could not hold their girth. And his men were too weak to fight off cold or sickness or the wolf that could kill but not eat.

Tired, he too surrendered his job to another, his brother, who was a being of thoughtfulness and foresight.

Soon the fish swam. The horses galloped. The tigers pounced. Birds flew straight. Everything had its place, but men still did not.

“Just destroy them,” said the All-Powerful.

“Who, then, will admire your creation?” This caught the All-Powerful’s attention. He was a great artist, he always said, and great artists must have an audience.

“I command you to make man understand.” So this subordinate sat on a rock, next to a bird without feathers, and he thought. He put his chin in his hand, his elbow on his knee, bent his back and gazed at the wide wonder that he had created. He did not care that the All-powerful told every God that it was he who created this land himself. This sub-god knew.