What Happened Elsewhere
By S M Chen, posted 6-2-2016 by D Kovacs
Based on E. G. White’s Early Writings, p. 40
Written in English to facilitate understanding (dialogue may be in another language unknown to Earthlings)
Dawn is tall, perfectly proportioned, and stunning. Her hair, like a living waterfall, cascades down her shoulders, nearly concealing her ears. She needs no clothing, for light, brilliant yet soft, cloaks her body. She is a young adult in her prime.
Her mate, Seth, is similar. Manly yet comely. Light cloaks him as well.
A colorful songbird alights on her outstretched slender finger. She speaks. “I had an interesting encounter earlier.” Her voice is mellifluous, melodious, easily understandable.
“Oh?” says Seth, a monarch butterfly on his shoulder. “I have a feeling you want to tell me about it.” His voice is similar to hers, except deeper, with greater resonance. Also highly engaging and comprehensible.
“Indeed I do,” replies Dawn, as she strokes the perched small bird, which shows no sign of fear. It continues to warble. “I met someone from another place.”
“Not a frequent occurrence, to be sure. Do you know where this person was from?”
“It was a female. Like me.” She pauses. “Only not like me in some ways.” She pauses again. “Oh, she was from Earth.”
“Earth? How is that possible?”
“I don’t know, but it happened.”
“So, did you speak with her?”
“Indeed I did.”
“Did you learn anything?”
“She was puny, Seth. Much smaller than we. And (Dawn blushes) less appealing.”
Seth clears his throat. “Do I detect a hint of smugness?”
Dawn replies quickly. “No. Not at all. What I mean is I was able to see close up the consequence of transgression. What it wrought on their people.”
“What did you talk about?” Now he is curious, and fully engaged (Earth women would appreciate him).
“She asked how I happened to be so lovely.”
“You are. Nothing wrong with her eyesight.”
“Her question was direct. I answered in kind. I told her that we have been obedient. God has blessed us. I suspect she might have looked like us had it not been for the Fall.”
“Anything else?” The butterfly has left his shoulder.
“No. Our conversation was brief.”
He stands up. “Well, my dear, thank you for sharing.” He puts a hand on her shoulder. She is about half a head shorter.
“Tell me something.”
“Satan, from what we have seen, is defeated. He was able to get Earthlings to transgress, but Christ’s atonement was successful. Why doesn’t the devil just give up, rather than continue to tempt and cause misery?”
Seth pauses, gathering his thoughts. “Do you remember Aesop?”
“He wrote some fables, as I recall. From the country on Earth called Greece, no?”
“Right.” He grins. “Keep eating from the Tree of Immortality. But don’t go near the other one. Aesop wrote many fables. One was called ‘The Scorpion and the Frog.’ Do you remember it?”
“Tell me.” Dawn knows Seth’s ego likes an occasional stroke.
“A scorpion and a frog encounter each other at the bank of a stream. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog hesitates. ‘How do I know you won’t sting me?’
“The scorpion says, ‘Because if I do, I will die, too.’
“This seems logical to the frog. They set out for the opposite side. Midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the sting, which quickly induces paralysis. As he sinks, knowing they both will drown, the frog gasps, ‘But why?’
“Replies the scorpion, also about to go under, ‘It’s my nature.’”
Dawn sighs. “I get it.”
They meander to the Tree of Immortality. It is a wondrous tree with twin trunks, one on each side of a gently flowing stream of pure, clear water. Its bark is rich and devoid of insects or blight that might topple it. Seth plucks a fruit and hands it to Dawn. “Next month we’ll have different fruit,” he says.
“And the month after that, something new!”
“Yes, every month what it bears will change.”
She bites into the colorful perfect fruit, savoring its sweetness, its juice, its flavor. She wipes her chin with the back of a hand that Leonardo da Vinci might have drawn.
They continue their walk. The environs are beautiful beyond words. Flowers are in full bloom. Birds fly about and sing without cacophony. Animals of all kinds abound. There are no flies, no gnats, no mosquitoes. All is harmony.
There is another tree. It is similar to the Tree of Immortality, except it has but one trunk. It also bears fruit which is wondrous to behold. There is no inkling that this is the Forbidden Tree. Birds alight in its branches, squirrels run up and down its trunk, and sun shines on it no less than on every other thing.
As Seth and Dawn regard it from a distance, they see a sizable creature on a lower horizontal branch of the tree. Its brilliant colors are those of a peacock, and it is of similar size. But it is not a peacock; it is a dragonfly.
“Come hither,” it says, as it preens. “Don’t be afraid.” It turns its multifaceted eyes in their direction. Even from a distance, it can be clearly heard. Its voice is not unpleasant to the ear.
Dawn takes a step forward. Seth restrains her. “But we are afraid,” he says.
“Why so?” asks the flying insect.
“We were told not to eat of the fruit of this tree.”
“Really?” says the dragonfly. “Watch me.” And it plucks a fruit with a spindly leg and bites into it voraciously.
“We’ve seen enough,” says Seth to Dawn. “Let’s go.”
“I’ll be here tomorrow,” calls the dragonfly. “Maybe see you then.”
Seth turns to see the dragonfly take to air, hover briefly, then quickly disappear from view.
Nothing has changed. All is as it was. Including the light that cloaks them.
S M Chen writes from California.