HOW EVERYTHING WAS MADE – Part 2
THE PUZZLED OLD OWL
After their wonderful Second Birthday, when all the little Adams and Eves began to talk and, in this way showed that their Talking Selves had come to live in the second story on the tops of their little heads, everything went along very nicely.
As you know, it takes what seems to be an endless time for children to grow up and days and years seem endless. But one just must be patient for a little while. Very soon one will be grown up, and then time will pass so quickly that one will be old and ready to die and come back as a new baby in a new body in what will seem almost no time at all. Ask any older person, and they will tell you how time just flies for them.
When the children had grown and waited and grown and waited ever so long, they finally turned five, and they had a wonderful birthday party with cake and visitors and everything you can imagine, including presents of all kinds from Father and Mother and from the birds and beasts and even from Old Mom Whale, who had found each of them a fine pearl. Some day we must hear the story of the party and the pearls, but just now our story opens with little Adam and Eve White – the pair of babies that got bleached white, you remember when the chimp nurse poured laundry bleach into the bath water.
Father and Mother had seen that with all of the boys and girls named Adam and Eve, something would have to be done to tell them apart, so they were given last names – the very first last names ever known. This is how they went. The list starts with the ones who got all bleached out so that their skins were white and eyes blue. Their hair was almost white, but had a little yellow in it.
- Adam and Eve White. They were the white and badly bleached and freckled ones. But they were all right except that they sunburned easily.
- Adam and Eve Yellow, often called the Celestials or heavenly twins because they were to become the founders of China, which is called The Celestial Kingdom. They had straight black hair and light yellowish skins.
- Adam and Eve (light) Tan were a little darker than the Celestial Twins. Their eyes were brown and their hair almost black. They would be the Arabs and Hebrews and Egyptians in times to come.
- Adam and Eve Red had brown eyes and straight black hair. Their skins had been bleached only a little and they looked slightly sunburned and red. They were to be the Noble Red Men or American Indians.
- Adam and Eve Brown were just a little bleached and had brown eyes and black hair. They would be the people of India and of other lands where they were to go to live. They were even to be the Eskimos and live in the ice and snow lands. Others were to be the Polynesians.
- Adam and Eve Black were the only ones who had stayed just as Father and Mother had created them – a very lovely and complete black. Their hair was black, with curls all over their heads. They could stay in the hot sun for hours and not get burned at all. Their home was to be Africa.
Because they all had Talking Selves as well as animal or ape-man selves, they could talk, and Father and Mother taught them all to speak English so they could understand each other, even if they would later go to other lands and speak other languages. Because they had not outgrown the ape-self in them, they could all talk with Telepathy and so could talk to all the birds and beasts almost as well as Father and Mother. This was wonderful, and it gave them ever so much fun.
It was Saturday, and as there was no school, Adam and Eve White had asked permission of Mother to go for a walk to the end of the garden to see if they could find out what new animal or bird or other creature had taken to saying quite loudly, and almost all night long, “Who? Who? Who?”
As they started out, Father looked up from his desk and said, “Look in the trees and for a creature which may be fast asleep – for it certainly says nothing when it is daylight. And mind your nurse when she tells you not to eat berries which may be poisonous, or go near snakes or touch nettles or poison ivy. She knows about all those things and will see that you stay out of trouble if you obey properly.”
The garden was very large and very lovely, as any Garden of Eden is supposed to be. They stopped with their chimp nurse to eat some bananas and get a drink out of the little stream. They had Adam’s small black dog with them, and Eve had taken along a kitten from the litter of the very first kitten-cat which had been given to her as a marvelous present on her Second Birthday. Remember? Rover White, for that was the dog’s name, was a very fine dog. He knew ever so much and was a great help to Nurse Chimp White, who was getting a little old for a chimp, and who was not quite as spry as she once was when it came to climbing trees and doing hand springs. She was so wise that if there was something she did not know, she could guess it in three guesses, as Adam and Eve knew to their sorrow when they had done something naughty and were trying to hide it. However, she did not get too old to be able to spank, and when they had been especially bad, she whaled them until they howled. At such times she would telepath to them, “Just because you have those bad ape-men animal spirits in you is no reason why you should forget to ask your Talking Selves what is good and then do it. Father and Mother have taught you to wait while you count ten when you feel you must act the wicked-ape, then take four long, slow breaths and order the ape-self to behave itself. Now see that you stop forgetting and DO it.”
As they went through the garden the birds and squirrels and rabbits all telepathed the time of day with them. Adam kept asking them if they knew where the creature lived who kept saying “Who?” all night, and their little friends kept pointing at the far end of the garden, so they kept on. It was quite a way to walk for short legs, and it was rather hot after they got out from under the shade of Little Cloud, who was hanging over the big house and taking herself a bit of nap.
“I’m hot,” said Eve. “And we’ll both get our noses sunburned. “Let’s pick a leaf for a hat.” They looked around and saw a nice fig tree with very fine large leaves. Nurse Chimp White said the leaves were safe and the figs good to eat, so they stopped to eat a few figs, then they picked large leaves to hold over their heads for hats. [And that is how the story came to be told years later of how Adam and Eve wore fig leaves for clothing.] As a matter of fact, they were very nicely dressed with pants and shirt for Adam and a pretty dress for Eve – all made with the most even and perfect stitches by Mother and her helpers.
They were almost to the end of the garden when they saw, sitting on a low limb of a tree, a large gray bird who seemed fast asleep. As they stopped and looked up, he opened one yellow eye sleepily, and examined them, turning his head from side to side. Then he asked, “WHO?” And they knew that this bird was the creature they had come to find.
“Good-morning, Mr. Bird,” telepathed Adam, making as good a little bow as he could while looking up – for bowing while your head is up in the air is something that has to be practiced for a long time to do nicely.
“And a Good-morning to you,” telepathed the strange bird. “But wait until I awaken my wife. I want her to see you all. If I am not mistaken, you are just the creatures of which we have been hearing such strange tales, and whom we have come to find and study. He looked up to his wife who was sleeping on a limb higher up, and called to her in his own language. She opened her eyes just a crack at first, but when he pointed to their visitors her eyes popped wide open in surprise. “THEY, have found US,” telepathed Mr. Owl. “Come on down and sit beside me while we learn all about them.” Down she fluttered and took her place on the limb. She was smaller and had more gray in her feathers. Both had curved beaks.
“Now,” telepathed Mr. Owl. “Please answer my question. I asked you WHO, as you should recall. Who are you?”
“I am Adam,” introduced Adam politely. “This is Eve. This is Nurse Chimp White, and this is Rover White. The kitten has not been named yet.”
Mr. Owl blinked and waited a moment. Then he said, “That was not a very good answer. When I ask WHO, you can’t answer with names alone. Names never make sense. One can never really answer fully without also adding information as to WHAT you are, and where you live and what you eat and drink and like and dislike. One also must tell who and what the parents are and what everyone around you does and why, if he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t.”
“I don’t quite understand,” said Eve.
“Then I’ll help you,” said Mr. Owl in his kindest telepathic voice. “Now, to begin with, are you the wife of this other one? And if so, do you have any children? And, well, that is enough to start with.”
“Oh, yes,” said Eve happily. “I am Adam’s wife – or at least I will be when we grow up. Of course we do not have any children yet, but we plan on at least ten.”
Adam said, “If we have eight boys, I can make the ninth, and we can have a baseball team and play ball just like we sometimes see them do when Father lets us look through his Time Telescope.”
“Wait a moment,” said Mr. Owl. “Now I am the one who is confused. I take it that you are speaking of a game. But what is a base? And do you always have to have nine males to play it?”
“A base is just a place,” explained Adam. We play it with the Chimp Boys to fill in the teams, and the bases are on the first, second and third limbs of a big tree near out house. The team with the most chimps almost always wins because the Chimp Boys can climb faster than the Adami.”
“Than the WHO?” asked Mr. Owl? “Who are the Adami?”
“That’s what Father calls us,” explained Adam. “There are six Adams in our family. Also six Eves. It means a lot of Adams. Father and Mother made us. They took different kinds of clay and made lumps. Then they divided each lump into two pieces and made a boy out of one and a girl out of the other. Eve and I belong together because we were made out of the same lump.”
“How very strange,” said Mr. Owl. “I am beginning to think that all the tall tales I have been hearing about you and this place just might have a grain of truth in them. But tell me, didn’t your parents make you into eggs first and then hatch you?”
“They didn’t even borned us,” put in Eve. They were in a great hurry and it takes too long to hatch an egg. They just said the proper words and all the twelve clay babies came to life. Our nurse says we all began to cry and it was very exciting. We were all black when we were made, but later on the laundry bleach got into our bath shells and some of us got bleached. We were the worst. Now we can’t go to live in Africa when we grow up. “
“Mrs. Owl had dozed off. Now she awakened with a start. “Africa?” she asked. “WHO? Who? I never heard of anything by that name.”
“It is a wonderful land on the other side of the world,” said Adam. Father made a clay world for us and when we have classes, he shows us on the globe just where each Adam and Eve will go to live when they have grown up and have lots of children to take along. Father will put the lions over there and lots of other animals. Adam Black will be a great hunter and have good hunting.”
“But,” objected Mrs. Owl, “it can’t be on the other side of the world or all of your Africa would fall off.”
“Father says not,” put in Eve. “And he knows everything.”
“My husband claims that he knows everything,” said Mrs. Owl with an owlish sniff. “But I wouldn’t believe that Africa could be on the other side of the world and not fall off, even if he said so.”
“Then why,” said Eve, “does he ask us questions if he already knows everything and is so much smarter than Father?”
Mr. Owl said hurriedly, “She said that, not I. I am always keeping an open mind and learning a little bit more. You see, knowledge grows a little every day, and when I learn all there is to be known today, there will grow out a whole new lot of news and knowledge by tomorrow.”
“But,” said Adam,” “don’t you believe what Father says about the world being round?”
“Well, yes, and no.” said Mr. Owl carefully. “It may be a matter of just politics with one party claiming that the world is round and the other party claiming that it is flat. Besides, so far as I have observed, the world is entirely flat, and at this time I will not change my politics and vote your ticket. I’m a Conservative, if that means anything to you.”
Adam was about to say something impolite, but he caught himself in time and just said, “One time when we were playing baseball, Black Adam was on third, which is a pretty high limb. Adam Brown hit the ball and Adam Black tried to slide for home base – and lost his hold and fell and broke an arm. Father and Mother had to make splints to put around it so it would heal.”
Mrs. Owl opened her eyes and asked sleepily, “WHO for dinner?”
“Almost anything and anybody,“ said Eve. “Father and Mother have taught us that everything has to eat the thing next below it. When Father goes hunting to kill a deer for dinner, he asks the permission of the deer to kill and eat it. He tells it that when it is eaten by people, its spirit self will grow up that much faster toward becoming a man. Father has taught us to ask permission before we eat a potato or banana or catch a fish when we go fishing. And, we are taught to be as kind as we can and not hurt the creature more than just a moment in killing it.”
Adam said, “We looked through Father’s Time Telescope once and saw people sitting down to eat a turkey dinner with fruit and vegetables and everything. And even after many, many years, they had not forgotten to ask permission to eat all the lesser living things. But they changed the words and asked permission when they sat down to eat. They called it Saying the Blessing, and it sounded very nice. They remembered Father and talked to him.”
Eve broke in, “But they seemed to have forgotten Mother. She has just as much to do with all of Creation as Father. It was very bad of them to forget her. She is so lovely and so kind. She loves everything and is always sorry that we have to eat the seeds of plants or eggs or animals or fruit.”
“Eggs!” exclaimed Mr. Owl in horror. “No one should eat eggs! It is wicked! Eating anything else is all right, but not eggs.”
Mrs. Owl added, “Especially not owl eggs. Hen’s, if you must, but not owl’s!’
“Oh, please don’t feel bad!” cried Eve, feeling very sorry for the owls. “We will tell everyone not to eat owl eggs, and I am sure they will remember” [And almost everyone has remembered. Even today one hardly ever hears of anyone mean enough to eat owl eggs.]
Rover heard the dinner bell begin to ring back at the house, and began to bark. “It is time for lunch and our naps,” said Adam. “Perhaps we can come to see you again and talk some more another day.”
“Yes, yes. Naps.” said Mr. Owl. “Very necessary. I can hardly stay awake, now that you mention naps. Yes, come to see us any time and we will set you right on foolish ideas like that of the Earth being round. Good. day.” and he was fast asleep.
When they got home, Mother helped them to wash their hands and faces so they would not be late at table, and when they were all seated and their milk and sandwiches had begun going down red lanes, Adam could hardly wait to ask Father some questions.
“May I ask something?” he said.
“You may,” replied Father with a smile.
“Mr. Owl said he could not believe that the Earth was round because he was a Conservative. Father, what is a Conservative?”
“A Conservative,” answered Father after trading an amused glance with Mother, who sat at the far end of the long table, “is a person or owl who doesn’t want the old ways or beliefs changed. For ages it was thought that the Earth was flat, so a Conservative does not want to have to change and accept a new idea. As you grow up, you will find that men are worse than even owls. They will just hate to give up an old idea for a new and better one. It is too bad, but men are like that.”
“One more thing, said Adam. “Why is it so much worse to eat owl’s eggs than any other kind?”
“Did the owls say it was?” asked Father. “Well I suppose it is natural. And as you get older you will learn that it is wicked to do anything to your own eggs, but not to the eggs of the other fellow. It may take another million years for Man to get over some of his incorrect ways of thinking.”
Eve said, “Mr. Owl says he knows almost everything.”
“Well, said Father, “I suppose he does know almost everything. People will be like that also. But the trouble is that a large part of what they know is wrong – like just knowing that the Earth is flat when all the time it is round. But now eat your lunch. We can talk another time about your visit with the owls.”
Adam Black raised his hand to get attention. “May the rest of us go to visit the owls tomorrow? We never saw birds who could say WHO and know what the word meant. Our parrots can say lots of words, but they hardly ever know what they mean.”
Mother looked at Father, then said, “Yes, tomorrow you can all go to visit the owls. But you must remember to be polite even if they do hold fast to some ideas which you know are wrong. Nothing makes a creature more grumpy than to try to tell it that what it believes is wrong. And don’t any of you look smug. Humans are even worse about that than owls. Mules are the next worst, and owls perhaps last. In humans like yourselves, it is the animal self which can’t reason, but which, once it accepts an idea, makes its man stick to it blindly, unreasonably and stubbornly. You who are the reasoning Selves or Talking Selves of the man must always try your best to see that the animal self in you does not get wrong ideas about things, especially about religion and politics. Try always to remember this.”
A SECOND VISIT WITH THE OWLS
The next morning all six of the Adams and Eves, with their chimp nurses, dogs and assorted kittens, set out with Adam White to guide them to find the owls. They stopped to eat bananas and figs and to pick fig leaves for hats, but got to the owls’ tree in good time for a nice visit.
Mr. and Mrs. Owl were already awake and seated on the lowest limb ready to visit. Mrs. Owl made grumbling noises and said, “We heard you coming a mile away. It’s getting so a body can’t ever get one’s day of sleep.”
Adam White introduced everyone and his dog together with the Chimp Nurses and those of the kittens who had been named, then he asked, “Why do you not get your sleep at night like we do?”
“That’s a foolish question,” said Mrs. Owl. “Even baby owls would know the answer to that. We have to hunt all night, for that is when field mice come out of their holes and we can catch ourselves our three meals. Often we can catch other things for dessert, but NEVER those nasty little shrews, which taste so bad nothing can eat them.”
Mr. Owl had been looking from one child to another, most interestedly. Now he asked, “What color are your father and mother – all several colors in spots, I suppose. You,” he pointed to Adam White. “Let me hear your answer.”
“Why,” answered Adam, greatly puzzled. “Father and Mother are white, just like I am. And they do not have spots.”
Adam Black looked perfectly amazed. “Why do you say that?” he demanded. “They are black, just like I am. Everyone knows that!”
Adam Red broke in. “What’s the matter with you fellows. Are you trying to play a joke on Mr. Owl? Father and Mother are red, just like I am!”
“Peace, peace!” commanded Mr. Owl as Adam Brown and Adam Yellow were about to begin shouting. “I am not called the Wise Old Owl for nothing. This odd problem of color is something, the like of which I specialize upon. I am noted as a philosopher, even if I do say so,” Mrs. Owl sniffed meaningfully.
Adam Tan shouted, “They are tan color, just like me! I see them every day, and my eyes are as good as anyone’s!”
“Quiet, please,” said Mr. Owl. He looked them over in the very best owlish manner, then said with an air of vast wisdom, “It was once said by the King of Owls, who knew at least twice as much as there is to know, that man makes his god in his own image and here we have a perfect example of the truth of this wonderful piece of wisdom. Each of you, when you look at your father and mother, sees them made just like he or she is made. And, because they created you out of lumps of clay, we can be certain that they are GODS.”
Adam White said hurriedly, “I don’t believe it! I am going home this instant and ask Father what color he and Mother actually are.”
“Oh, please don’t!” begged Mr. Owl, wringing his wing tips together in his distress. “I promised the Owl King never to breathe a word of that wonderful SECRET, and I forgot myself – just this once. If word should get back to him in his heaven, he would punish me in some terrible way. Please, I beg of you all, never mention a single word about the secret I have shared with you, not as long as you live. And never let your children mention a word about it. If you do, be warned, you will be punished even more severely than I by the Owl King. Promise! Promise! Oh promise, and cross your hearts, I beg of you!”
“It won’t really make any difference, as long as they really stay black,” said Adam Black thoughtfully. “Will they always stay black if I promise to keep still?”
“Always and forever black to you,” promised Mr. Owl. “For each of you they will ALWAYS remain just exactly the color you are. AND, if you will cross your hearts twice, I will do something wonderful for you. I will see to it that Santa Clause will always be exactly the same color as you are!”
“That’s not so much,” said Adam Black. “Santa is just naturally black, like I am. He came to give us presents last year and I sat on his knee.”
“EXACTLY!” cried Mr. Owl. BUT, if you promise, I will keep it that way, and each of you can always have Santa in your very own color.”
“Even when I go to Africa to live and hunt lions?” asked Adam Black.
“Even, and especially and particularly, will he be black when you go to live in Africa. I give you an owl’s word of honor, and that is never broken.” Mrs. Owl sniffed again.
“Well,” said Adam Brown,”if everything is to stay just as it is and has always been – with nothing changed, I can’t see any harm in making Mr. Owl feel happy by promising. What do you say? Shall we all line up and make our promise and cross our hearts twice?”
“Why not?” said Adam Tan, only where is my heart and how do I cross it?”
“There on your left side,” said Mr. Owl. And you make a cross over it with your right hand.”
“Like this,” asked Adam Tan, crossing his heart nicely.
“Exactly,” praised Mr. Owl. “Now straighten your line, and say after me, “I promise. I promise. I promise.”
They all repeated after Mr. Owl, “I promise. I promise. I promise.” For all promises and even prayers are much better if repeated in the exact words three times over.
“Cross your hearts twice,” commanded Mr. Owl, and when they had all done so, he said as loudly as he could telepath, “Now your lips are forever sealed! You will never speak or telepath a word of the vast and wonderful SECRET!”
[And so it came about that by never breaking their promises, the children were able forever after to see Father and Mother in the right color, exactly as they had always seen them. And many, many years later, even today, you will see, when you go to visit India, that the children of Adam and Eve Brown, who went there to live, paint pictures and make statues of Father and Mother and they are always Brown. In China they have now forgotten Father, but worship Mother as Quan Yin, and she is exactly the color of all Chinese. In Africa God is Black when black people worship him. But in America, the Red Men worship Father and Mother as The Great Spirit, putting them both together, and saying that no one can see them, so, they do not know the color, but if they DID, it would undoubtedly be red to match the children of Adam and Eve Red.]
Mr. Owl seemed to be worried about something. He held up a wing and talked behind it to Mrs. Owl, using whispers and the owl language so the children would not hear or understand. Mrs. Owl listened, then nodded her head. Mr. Owl flew away toward the house, and his wife turned to the children and began to ask them more questions.
“You, little yellow girl,” she said, pointing with the tip of one wing. “Tell me, have you learned to make a proper nest? One large enough for a large creature like yourself?”
Celestial Eve said, “Oh, YES! We will hunt for nice large caves when we go to live in China, and will clean them out and make them nice to live in. And later on, we will build houses, just like the one we live in at the end of the garden.”
Eve Red, after holding up her hand eagerly, said, “Or we can put poles together and cover them with animal skins or bark to make teepees which we can take down and carry to the mountains for the summer hunting.”
Eve Black said, “Or we can make a frame of poles and cover it with long grass thatching. It is just like making skirts of grass. Little Milkmaid and Mother can make wonderful things out of long grass.”
Mr. Owl came flying back and settled in his place on the limb. “Excuse us for a moment,” he said, and once more whispered behind his wing to Mrs. Owl. He said, “The Father and Mother were sitting out in the veranda in front of the house. I had a good look at them. They were just the color I thought they must be. Gray just like you and I.”
“Are you sure?” asked Mrs. Owl suspiciously. “You are always getting things mixed up. It seems to me gray is not the right color. They should be black. Go and have a look so we can get the straight of the matter.” With that, away she flew.
Eve White began to be as worried as Mr. Owl looked. “I’m afraid something is wrong at home,” she said anxiously. I think we had better go back.”
“Yes,” said Adam Tan. “Say goodbye and let’s go.”
They said a hasty goodbye after thanking Mr. Owl, and set off hurriedly down the path. As they went, they passed Mrs. Owl flying back to her tree, a very smug look on her face.
Mrs. Owl settled down beside her husband and sniffed loudly and meaningfully.
“At least they were Gray, like us, weren’t they?” asked Mr. Owl uncertainly.
“I don’t know what’s come over you,” scolded Mrs. Owl. “You must be getting color blind. There were no creatures on the veranda looking anything at all like the children. What you must have seen were two large birds sitting on perches.”
“Two large Gray birds?” asked Mr. Owl hopefully.
“Naturally NOT,” said Mrs. Owl with a very loud sniff. “One was green and red. The other was blue and yellow. Both had yellow eyes. One must have been the Mother, because, as I flew past, she cried loudly, Polly wants a cracker.”
Mr. Owl hunched down low in his feathers and looked very discouraged.
“Well?” demanded Mrs. Owl.
“I didn’t say anything,” replied Mr. Owl meekly. “You are usually right. Drop the matter if you will. Besides, we’d better get some sleep or tonight we’ll go hungry because we can’t wake up.”
Mrs. Owl sniffed loudly three times. Then she said in her most tired voice, “If you’d only listen more to ME. But never mind. We DO have to have sleep.”
Father and Mother, who, of course, hear all, see all and know all, had been listening to what had gone on between the owls and the children, and when Mrs. Owl had made Mr. Owl feel so discouraged, Mother said to Father, “Let’s go down and have a little visit ourselves with the owls.”
“A very good idea,” agreed Father, and they set off from the house down the path.
But hardly had they started when they met the children and their nurses and dogs coming home. Eve Black reached them first, and clung to Father’s hand while she looked anxiously up into his face. Then all the troubles faded from her eyes and she said softly, “I knew they were all wrong. You are just the most beautiful Father there ever was.”
Eve White had run to Mother and held to her skirt while looking up into her face. “Oh!” she cried, almost in tears, “You are white and beautiful! I just knew it.”
All the children looked and looked, and they were so happy to see that Father and Mother were just like they had always been.
Father said, “Yes, it is true, what wise Mr. Owl told you as a wonderful secret. We ARE all things to all men. But run along now and get into your swim togs and go the nice pool we made by damming the creek last week. Little Milkmaid will be waiting there to give you your first swimming lesson. There is nice soft sand on the bottom of the pool and it is just deep enough to swim in.”
The children, all feeling safe and happy again, ran with delighted shouts on along the path, while Father and Mother continued on their way and soon came to the Owls.
“Ahem,” said Father as they looked up at the owls.
Mr. Owl had not been able to sleep because he had become so upset. His eyes popped wide open, and after he had stared for a moment, he nudged Mrs. Owl so hard that she almost fell off the limb. “Look! He cried. “Now tell me who is color blind! Here are the children’s parents just as I saw them, and they are the most beautiful GRAY you ever saw on any owl in your life.” He paused, and remembered his manners. “How do you do, and excuse me,” he said in the owl language, then started to repeat himself in Telepathy.
But Mother said. “That is quite all right. We also speak Owl. You see, we created you, and when Father invented owls, he also had to invent a language for them, so it is natural that we speak Owl with ease.”
“Mrs. Owl,” said Father, “please do not take this so hard. It just happened that when you flew past the house we had stepped inside for a moment to get a gourd of cold water. The mistake you made was one that any owl might have made, and those brightly colored birds you saw were two of the children’s pet parrots. They also can talk with words.”
“I was never so embarrassed in my life,” said Mrs. Owl. “I feel like hiding my head under my wing and keeping it there for the whole day. After this I will be more careful when my husband says something and I think he is wrong. This teaches me that I may be the one who is wrong.”
“An excellent lesson, indeed,” said Mother. “Now let me tell YOU a secret known mostly to females. You’ll find that you make yourself much more loved and better cared for if you just keep you bill shut until you are entirely sure that your husband is mistaken about something. It is much more important to be loved by one’s husband than it is to set him right on every little point.”
“Thank you,” said Mrs. Owl meekly.
Mr. Owl was standing up high and straight on the limb. He already looked years younger. “And I thank you,” he said gratefully. But may I ask a very personal question? It is in line, of course, with my line of duty. I have to try my best to be a Wise Old Owl, you know.”
“I will do my best to answer you,” promised Father.
“Then this is my question. What do you and Mother REALLY look like? What color are you if not the ones we see you?”
Father laughed heartily. “That was such a question as only a VERY wise old owl could have asked. The truth is that Mother and I are made of pure CONSCIOUSNESS and mana, or vital force, and of shadowy body materials – none of which can be seen. You might say that we are transparent, and that everyone would look right through us. But we have become like mirrors, so that our creatures can look at us and see their own colors and images reflected. In this way they can have faith that we really exist and are here, loving and helping and looking after them.”
Mr. Owl blinked several times. Which is a good thing to do when you don’t know what to say. But one cannot just keep on blinking, and one must not do it too often because one might get the habit and be nicknamed, Old Blinkey.
“I will make a mental note of your answer,” said Mr. Owl, when he could find his voice again. “Yes! That’s it! I’ll make a whole head full of mental notes to preserve the answer to such an important question as that.”
“Well said,” praised Father. “You make me proud of having created such a fine creature.”
Mother felt sorry for Mrs. Owl. She looked so sad and beaten. “Why don’t you two peck and make up?” she suggested. “You know that you really and truly love each other very dearly.”
Mr. Owl reached over and gave his wife a nice peck on the head, and she was so glad to be forgiven that she gave him a whole batch of pecks in return.
“Now,” said Father, “we must be going. We thank you. Get back to your sleep before the sun gets higher.”
The owls closed their eyes obediently, and made grateful little owl noises as they dropped off to sleep and Father and Mother turned and walked away on tiptoe in order not to disturb them. But they had hardly gone ten steps when Mr. Owl roused up and cried, “WHO? Who? Who is that big light I see now around you?”
They went back, and Father said, “That is how we look to ourselves. LIGHT is what some people see when they can look beyond the outer mirror in which they see themselves reflected.”
“Then,” said Mr. Owl, “those little balls of light tied to the children by a cord and floating like balls of light above them must be because they are your children.”
“That is right,” said Father. “We have given each of them a Third Grade Self which is wise and strong and which will watch over them and comfort them when they need comforting.”
“May we have balls of light also?” asked Mr. Owl hopefully.
“Yes, you may when you have lived enough lives to be born again as a human being. Just be patient, and try to be the best possible owl while you are an owl. That will make the time come that much quicker. But we shall give you a nice reward to make you happy for the present time. We give you the official title of Wise Old Owl to the Adams and their children. And you and your children will be looked up to as the wisest of all creatures for centuries and centuries. Now get back to sleep.”
This time the Owls went entirely to sleep and slept the sleep of the wise which, as you know, is the very finest kind of sleep there is and that only comes to the good students who study their lessons carefully and do every bit of their home work every day.
When Father and Mother came to the new swimming pool which had been made by damming the creek that ran through the Garden, they found the children in their trunks standing in a long row in the water facing Old Beaver and his wife, Old Mrs. Beaver. They had helped build the dam and had built themselves a house at the deeper end. Little Milkmaid, in a grass swim suit, was sitting on the sandy shore of the pool with the good chimp nurses, each holding one of the kittens or holding back a dog so that it would not plunge into the pool and upset things.
Little Milkmaid said, “The beavers took over the job of teaching the children to swim. I’m not much good at it without my tail.”
“You are tired, my dear,” said Mother gently. “You’ve worked so hard helping us to bring up the children this far. Just sit and rest.”
MR. BEAVER TEACHES SWIMMING
When the children were all standing in the water about up to their waists and had made a line with room between to spare, Old Mr. Beaver sat up on his big flat tail and started giving the lesson.
“First,” he said, “You need to get acquainted with the water so you will not be afraid of it. As a rule, what you know won’t hurt you. It is when you do not know water that you are afraid of it. Now to start with, remember that water only hurts when you breathe it in through your nose or mouth. So shut your mouths and hold your nose with your left hand fingers to keep it closed. You can shut your eyes or keep them open, but better shut them at first as fresh water stings a little at first.”
All the children closed their mouths and held their noses, but right away had to open their mouths again to breathe.
Old Mr. Beaver said, “That is good. Next you must learn to hold your breath for a little while so that when you put your heads under the water, you can have breath enough to last you for as long as you can count ten. Now open your mouths and let go of your noses. Breathe five long deep breaths, then shut your mouths, hold your noses and put your heads under the water to see if your breath will last ten counts. Then pull your heads out of the water and breathe again. Ready? Go!”
The children all breathed deeply to get a good lot of air, then closed their mouths and noses and held their heads under the water, some for only a few counts, some for as long as eleven counts. Eve Brown was the only one who didn’t put her head under the water. She started to cry.
“I’m too scared!” she wailed.
“Don’t tell me you are a scaredy Cat,” scolded their teacher. “Water won’t hurt you. Now take some long breaths and try.”
Little Eve obediently took five long breaths and then closed her mouth and held her nose, but she began to tremble and suddenly started to wail again.
Father, who had waved his hand and changed like magic into his bathing trunks, waded into the pool. “Wait a minute,” he said. He picked up the little Eve and held her in the crook of one of his strong arms. “Look, my dear,” he said quietly, “you have forgotten what we have been teaching you about calling to your Comforter to come to help you when you are frightened or in trouble. Can you take five long breaths and call in your mind to your very own Comforter to come?”
Eve’s lips trembled, but she took five slow breaths and closed her eyes and telepathed her call so loudly that everyone could hear, and instantly there began to glow a soft circle of light like a halo above her head. Her lips stopped trembling and she smiled. Father kissed her dark hair lightly and set her down into the water, knowing that she was no longer afraid. Turning to the children he said, “Never forget to call for your Comforter to come when you are in trouble. It is just like Mother and me – a mother and father older spirit joined to make one Self and living in the ball of light which is fastened to you by that little cord that is hard to see. Some day when you are grown up and go to take your places in different parts of the world, Mother and I will no longer be able to spare time to come to look after you, but you will have us in a smaller way in your Comforter. And you had better remember to call to them every morning and ask them to help you all day long. For, you know, they can only help you if you remember to ask them to do so. That is the rule. Now let me show you how to do what good Mr. Beaver has taught you.”
With that, Father took five deep breaths and held his nose and lay down in the clear water. He rolled around and stayed under for far longer than ten counts. When he stood up, Mr. Beaver clapped hands by spatting his broad tail on the ground and he cheered by making the kind of noises his people make when they cheer, which are a little bit strange at best.
He said, “Excellent, Mr. Father. I can’t remember having so smart a pupil. You have learned the first step in very passable time. Now, suppose you try going under the water and moving around without holding your nose. The water will not go into your nose very far if you are holding your breath. And if it should, you have only to blow a little bit and blow it right out. Now see if you can show the children how the second step is to be taken!”
Father said, “Thank you Mr. Beaver for those words of praise. I will do my best.” And with that he dropped down on his face in the water and rolled around and even took a few strokes with his hands before coming up to the air.
“Excellent. Excellent!” said Mr. Beaver. “For a creature without a tail to use in swimming, you do surprisingly well.” He turned to the children. “Did you see? Now take your deep breaths, hold your breaths, and just drop down into the nice water and play around until you run out of breath and have to stand up again.”
The children all took in the extra supply of air, held their breaths and dropped face down into the water – little Eve Brown being almost the first in and the last to come up. Above her, her halo of light glowed brightly as her Aumakua helped her. When they saw how easy it was, they kept on doing it, having a wonderful time.
After a bit, Mr. Beaver called his class to attention and said, “Now that you have learned how easy it is to swim around – or at least pretend to swim around under water, it is time for you to learn to paddle and learn to go places.” He pointed with his fore-paw at Father and said, “Will you, my favorite and brightest pupil, pay attention to the next order, then show the children how well you can follow the order. You will hold your breath as before, but jump forward as you go down into the water. Keep your face down, and paddle with your hands and feet to make yourself go forward as far through the water as you can before you have to come up for more breath. Please try.”
Father smiled and backed off to the deeper end of the pool. There he dived in and swam rapidly under water the full length of the pool, coming up for air just before he came to the place where the little stream ran into the pond. The children all clapped loudly and Mr. Beaver whistled loudly four times as Father came back to the group.
“I never saw such an apt and smart pupil in my life,” said Mr. Beaver. It is almost as if you had been an expert swimmer all your life!”
Adam White spoke up, “He should be smart about swimming.” he said, but Father placed a hand over his mouth laughingly. “Don’t tell him,” he whispered. “Be a little diplomat and let him enjoy being the world’s best swimming teacher.” Adam White chuckled and nodded. Everyone grinned. But Mr. Beaver became suspicious.
“Is it a joke?” he asked. “Don’t tell me, Mr. Father, that you already knew how to swim?”
Father said, “I must confess that I had already learned. But that makes no difference. Your method of teaching swimming is the finest I have ever seen, and you are a splendid teacher. Please go on with your instruction. Perhaps the children will want to try swimming under water, just as you ordered and just as I showed how to do. But they will not be expected to swim very far before coming up for air at the end of each dive.”
“Yes,” said Mr. Beaver proudly, “my method is the best there is. Now all of you stand in a line again and get ready. Now dive and paddle hard!”
In dived all the children, some doing it well and some not, but they loved it and tried over and over, soon getting so that they could swim under water quite well. After that they were taught to swim with their faces turned to one side out of the water so they could breathe. They did not learn how to float on their backs. But by that time it was almost noon and time for lunch and naps, so everyone thanked Mr. Beaver most warmly, and set off for the showers. The happiest of them all was Eve Brown. The halo had gone away from above her head, but she knew that she never need fear the lovely water again.
When they reached the row of showers behind the house, it was found that the Chimp Boys had forgotten to pump water up into the shower tank. As a matter of fact, they had all been up in trees watching the swimming lesson. But Mother knew what to do. She called to Little Cloud, who had also been watching the fun, and who was making shade for the house.
“Little Cloud,” called Mother, using her loudest Teley, “could you help out with a nice little rain on the children? The shower tank is empty.”
Little Cloud moved over just a little, and then, being ever so careful not to make thunder or lightning, she rained a fine shower and when she had finished, not a single child had a spot of mud left on a single foot.
“Good!” said Mother. “Little Cloud, you may wear your rainbow up-side-down as a necklace until tea time as your reward.”
THE SECOND SWIMMING LESSON
The children were so excited over being able to swim, even if just a very little, that the next morning classes were no sooner over than they all asked to be given another swimming lesson. Old Mr. Beaver was busy, but when they telepathed around to their friends in the Garden, three volunteers were found, each more than willing to teach.
The first teacher was Quackey the duck. She stood the children in a line while the chimp nurses sat on the shore and held the dogs and kittens. In the trees were the Chimp Boys, who this time had pumped plenty of water into the tank for use in the showers, also birds of all kinds, using their season tickets and allowed to come to see anything that even looked a tiny bit like it might be a show or party. Seated on a limb above the lower part of the pool was Old Kingfisher. He was greatly interested in the lessons.
Quackey rose on her toes and shook out her feathers to start with, then said in the best duck Teley, “You made too hard work of it yesterday. I did not see you, but later I heard all about it. To my way of thinking the most important thing to learn is to float. This is very easy, but as you children need to keep your mouths and noses out of the water so you can breathe, I think you had better learn to float on your backs. First get a good lot of air and hold your breaths like you did yesterday, then let yourselves fall gently backward into the water. You will go under a little at first, but you will come right up again and float so you can lie still and hold your face above water. Now try.”
The children tried, some of them doing well at first try, some having to try several times, but with the duck quacking encouragement loudly, they were soon able to float and breathe as they floated. Getting back on their feet was not too easy, and they sometimes got water up their noses in coming back to a standing position.
“Next,” said Quackey,” you must learn to paddle while you float. As you are put together wrong, you won’t be able to paddle like a duck, but try using your hands and feet to push on the water and make you go along. Try.”
They all tried, but soon Quackey called them to attention and said, “I see that in order to swim like a duck, you need to be made like a duck. Your bodies are too heavy to float without lots of oily feathers, and you do not have webs on your hands or feet and without a good long bill to use to catch a snail on the bottom of the pond, I can’t see much reason for trying to swim.”
Old Frog had been waiting his turn. Now he croaked loudly to call attention to himself as he hopped to sit where Quackey had been standing. “Only frogs really know how to swim,” he said proudly. “And if you will make a circle, I will show you instead of telling you how best to swim. I am a frog of few words. Circle up close to the bank so you can watch.”
The children waved a polite goodbye to Quackey and made a half-circle around their new teacher. Without another word he took a long leap into the water and before one could say, pollywog, was swimming back and forth using a wonderful stroke in which his front and back legs worked perfectly. He dived and did some turn-overs and then hopped back on the shore.
“Now! Let me see you do likewise and use the famous frog stroke,” he commanded.
They all tried, and, to tell the truth, except for having to turn on one side to breathe in air rather often, they were soon doing passably well. Father and Mother, who were lying on the bank of the pond watching, clapped loudly. Little Milkmaid clapped just a little, and said, “If only the poor darlings had tails they would not make such hard work of it.” The Chimp Boys in the trees clapped loudly, but the chimp nurses had their hands full holding kittens, or, especially the boys’ dogs, who wanted badly to get into the pool with their masters.
Old Frog thought that all the clapping was for him. He took several bows, and without a word hopped off upstream go about his usual frog business.
Nicky, the water snake, telepathed, “Now it’s my turn. I’ll really teach you! Don’t believe anything the others have told you. Either they do not know, or they have tried to fool you. You do not need hands or feet or anything to push you fast through the water. Just watch me, and become enlightened. With that he wiggled off the bank into the water, and holding his head straight up enough to get breath, swam like a streak back and forth, wiggling his body and fairly flying through the water. When he had finished, he wiggled back up to his place on the bank and said, “See? Didn’t I tell you the truth? If you would just listen to the wisdom of the serpent when you want to know the truth of things, you would save yourselves lots of time and trouble. And that goes for other things as well as swimming. A good liar can wiggle out of almost anything. Now see what you can do. Get a wiggle on you – all of you.”
Little Eve Brown obediently tried to swim with a wiggle, but the other children stood looking down their noses suspiciously at Old Nick. Eve said to her Adam, “I can’t seem to do it. You try and then you can show me how.” Her Adam tried, while the other children watched disapprovingly. He also failed to be able to swim by wiggling. Meantime, the Serpent saw that he was not making many friends, so he wiggled up the bank and hurried to get lost in the grass.
Adam Black said, “That Old Nick is wicked! Father has taught us never to lie! And what he said about swimming and wiggling out of things is wrong. If we did like he says to do, we would all be thrown out of the Garden and have to go live in that thorn patch beyond the hill.” The other children all agreed, and Eve Brown said she was very sorry to have been taken in and for getting her Adam taken in.
Father laughed, and said to Mother, “Years from now they will tell the story of how the Serpent tempted Eve and got them thrown out of the Garden – actually out.”
Mother called, “Take one or two more swims, then it will be time to get cleaned up and dressed for lunch. She and Father rose and started for the house, feeling sure that the children could now take care of themselves.
But Eve Brown said, “How was I to know that Old Nick was trying to fool us?” Eve Black said, “You are too trusting.”
“I’m not!” cried Eve Brown beginning to cry, and she gave Eve Black a big push, making her fall into the water.
“Don’t you do that!” shouted Adam Black and he helped his Eve get to her feet, but she was also angry. “No one shoves me around,” she said, and gave Eve Brown a very hard shove, knocking down Eve Tan and Adam White. Suddenly everyone was angry. Everyone pushed everyone, then the boys started hitting and the girls pulling hair and scratching. The dogs jerked away from the Chimp Nurses and rushed to the aid of their masters, swimming and barking and beginning to fight each other.
Father and Mother heard the unexpected trouble and ran back, wading in quickly and pulling boys and girls apart and fishing some out of the pond who were about to get full of water. Old Beaver happened to return just then from where he had been cutting down trees in the woods, and in a moment he was into the pond using his big paddle tail with whacks that sent the dogs howling for the shore. In a moment or two order was restored, but the children were still angry, and some were crying and still wanted to fight.
Father and Mother spoke to Old Beaver, and began picking up the children and holding them, bottoms up. “SPAT” went Old Beaver’s flat tail, and the spatted ones forgot that they were angry or that they wanted to fight.
Mother brushed wet hair from the foreheads of the little Eves and pushed them into line. “Hush up,” she said. “And listen well to what Father is going to say to you. This is a very important lesson to learn. Now hush.”
Father laughed, and everyone felt greatly relieved. They just knew that things were not going to be really and terribly bad if Father was amused. “Children,” he said when they had hushed up and were eagerly listening, he had to stop and see what was wrong with Adam the Celestial, who seemed to be in great trouble. In a moment he said, “Never mind. Even if you did get a tooth kicked out, it would have fallen out pretty soon anyway. Just stop looking for it and pay attention. That’s a good fellow.”
“Children,” he said, beginning again, “you have learned a big lesson, even by the HARD way, and some of you have scratches, some black eyes, some sore heads where hair has been pulled out, and even Celestial Adam has had a front tooth kicked out. You will all heal up soon, but the thing you must learn from this big upset is that you have THREE SELVES in you, and that, although you do not feel him inside you running your body for you, your APE MAN self, which you inherited from the Ape men, is neither wise nor very smart. It is unable to reason like you, the Talking or auhanes do, and it gets angry and wants to fight and will get you into trouble all your life long if you do not watch it. It is your job as the Talking Self to watch over the aunihipili or Ape man in you and see that it does not run away with you with its sudden anger and eagerness to fight without reason. I have been trying to teach you to watch to see that the ape self in you does not get out of hand and suddenly make you get into senseless fights and rows. Now, this is nothing that will harm us for long. We will get over it by lunch time and be even better friends than ever. But try to remember what we are trying to teach you – that whenever you suddenly are angry and want to push or kick or pull hair, or even kick and hit, it is your ape selves in you, and that you MUST keep it in control while you count to ten and let your Talking self reason things out. Now. Are we all back to being our reasoning selves again? Are we all sorry? And are we all good friends again – loving brothers and sisters’?”
“Yes, Father,” they all cried happily. “
“Remember,” said Father very firmly, “that LOVE is the most wonderful thing in the world. I command you that you love one another, and help one another to the very best of your strength.” He paused a moment, then added, “Never forget that Mother and I love each of you very much, and that you must love us, no matter what else you may do. LOVE lifts you closer to the LIGHT, which is what we are. Hate hurts you and all around you, and pulls you back into the ape man world. Never, never let yourselves or your children forget that lesson.”
On the way to the showers, Eve Brown put her arm around Eve Black and said, “I’m very sorry. You are the best friend I have, and I love you very much.”
“Don’t you say another word, Honey,” said Eve Black, smiling so that all her beautiful white teeth showed. “I knew you didn’t really mean it. It was all the fault of that wicked old serpent, Nick. Let’s never speak to him again.” And they never did.
THE DIVING LESSONS
When all the children had learned to swim face up with the backstroke, and face down with the frog stroke and crawl, also to dive along in the shallow water of the pond, Old Kingfisher, who had watched with more and more interest each day, called out to say, “If you can make a good deep place in the pond, so that you can dive from a high place, I will teach you how to dive. I am the best diver in the whole Garden, and I could show you ways to have no end of fun.”
Old Beaver had been listening. He said, “I have been thinking about making the pond larger and deeper. I have plenty of trees cut down and if I can get some help to drag them to add to our dam, we should have some deep water for diving close to the dam and near my house.”
The children all cried, “We’ll help!” and when they had asked permission, they went with Old Beaver a little way back into the woods from the pond and found that with his sharp teeth he had cut down small trees leaving the ends as round and sharp and neat as if they had been put through a big pencil sharpener. One tree, even when it is not very large, is very heavy for just one beaver to pull, and one child of five, going on six, could not pull it an inch. BUT, all together they could drag even the largest trees. “This large one first,” said Old Beaver, taking hold of the large end with his teeth and pulling backward toward the pond. All the children took hold of the branches, and away they went!
At the dam, Old Beaver nipped off side branches and especially bottom ones so the tree could be laid right along the top of the old dam. Other trees were brought, and then came time to add grass and twigs and clay to cover the strong framework made by the trees. There was a fine bank of clay below the pond, and everyone dug into it with sticks, sometimes having to add water, then knead like dough to get the clay into large balls to carry to the dam. This the children could do nicely, for they were already expert at making mud pies.
Old Beaver stood on the dam and took the clay balls between his front paws, placing them just right and pushing the clay down to cover the grass and twigs and make a fine mass held by the larger branches and tree trunks. The clay was pushed down and patted by the children as best they could manage, but Old Beaver had always to come with his big paddle tail and pound the clay down hard and firm. It was a large job, but little by little the dam grew, and every day it became higher.
On the last day of the week, when the dam was so fine and high that the house of Old Beaver had become covered three feet with water and had to be put up on tree trunks for stilts, everyone was working very hard to try to get the dam finished and ready for use on Sunday afternoon. Everything was going well when Adam Tan and his Eve, who had found the softest place in the clay bed to dig for clay and make balls, objected to Adam Red digging in their spot.
“This is our spot,” they said. “You go and find a soft spot of clay of your own.”
Adam Red said, “But we can’t find a good place. The clay is too soft over there, and to very hard over beyond where Adam White and his Eve are digging. The dam is almost finished, please can’t you let us share your place where the clay is just right?”
“No!” said Adam Tan. “This is our spot. If we let everyone dig clay here, there would soon be none left.” He stood up and was about to push Adam Red away, when he looked up and saw Father and Mother standing at the top of the bank looking down at them. No one said a word. Adam Tan thought hard. Suddenly he remembered what Father had told them about LOVE, and the more he thought about it, the more ashamed he became. “Go ahead and dig,” he said to Adam Red. “I am sure my ape self was making me be selfish and, after all, we are all building the dam together, and what helps one of us helps us all. Go ahead and dig.”
“Good boy!” exclaimed Father. “If you have learned that lesson of love and help for the other fellow, you are many times stronger than you are alone. It is like dragging a tree to the dam. If everyone works together for the common good, everyone is as if a dozen times stronger. And, by sharing with your fellows, you get them to share with you when you need help. I am very happy to have you come to see that the ape man self inside you may be good for apes, but is very bad if allowed to make you do selfish things when you have your Talking Self and have become a man.”
By Sunday afternoon, the dam was all finished and a proper place was made with branches so that the water could runout of the big pond without washing a hole in the dam. And what a fine pool it was! It was twice as wide and four times as long. And at the end by the dam and the Beaver house, it was as deep as a small tree is high. Father and the carpenter bees had made a fine spring board and fastened it by one end on the bank beside the deep water – right under the limb of the tree where Old Kingfisher liked to perch.
As usual, there were many guests to see the diving lessons begin. Quackey, the duck, had come with some of her duck friends, and they lined up on the dam to have the best possible view. The Chimp Nurses with the dogs and kittens had to sit much farther back and up higher on the bank, for the pool had covered the place where they had sat earlier. Father and Mother, in their swim suits, were sitting close to the diving board to be able to help if any of the children got into trouble.
Old Kingfisher was dressed in his very finest blue and green feathers. His long sharp bill was polished and sharpened at the point, and his head feathers stood up like a bright comb, very blue and almost glittering in the sun.
“Creatures, animals, beasts, birds, frogs, insects, and whoever you may be,” he said importantly with bows to all the more important guests after bowing very low to Father, Mother, the children and Old Beaver. “As the foremost teacher of diving in the Garden, I welcome you all to this showing of my amazing skill and teaching ability. Now, with your permission, I will exhibit my personal skill. Will you please note the speed with which I dive, and the fact that I make hardly a bit of splash when I enter the water. If there ever seems to be splashing when you see me fishing up and down the stream, it is because I have caught a little fish and it is splashing in my bill before it does down.” He strutted up and down on his limb and shook out his feathers to show what a fine bird he was, then said, “Now watch. I shall fly up the stream and then come back at a speed no other bird could match. Just as I come to the end of the pool and the deep water, I will make my famous instant dive.”
Everyone clapped or cheered politely. He took several bows, then flew up the stream out of sight. But in a moment he came flying back trying to break all records. And just as he got to the end of the pool there was a great clap of noise which banged twice like thunder. His feathers flew in all directions and he hit the side of the dam so hard that it bent the end of his bill, put a very bad crick in his neck and made him so lame in the right wing that he could hardly lift it.
“What happened?” he said when he could get his breath back and had managed to stand up on the dam beside Quackey. Quackey steadied him with a foot and wing and made soft little sympathy noises.
No one seemed to know. Overhead, Little Cloud was as puzzled as anyone. She shook her head to show that she was not the one who had made the bang and thunder noises. The Wise Old Owl, who had been to the kitchen for a cup of coffee to keep him awake so he could see the big show, blinked and blinked, but he could not find a single word to use to tell what had gone wrong. The animals and birds whispered anxiously together, but not one had ever seen anything like that happen. It was Father who found the answer after thinking over the problem.
“You flew too fast,” he told Old Kingfisher. “You broke the sound barrier and that caused the big BOOM. Sound and air dislike having anyone go faster than sound, and boom at anyone who does.” He turned to the Wise Owl and said, “Will you pass the word around to all the birds and tell them NOT to fly faster than sound travels. It will keep them from having a very painful experience such as we have seen in the case of poor Old Kingfisher.”
“I will make several mental notes on the matter,” promised Mr. Owl, “and pass the word.”
Father added, “Tell the geese that when they fly south for the winter and are in a great hurry, the leader of each flock should cry Honk now and then, and if he can hear himself, he is not flying dangerously fast. But if he is going so fast that his honk is left behind and he cannot hear it, he must slow down before he breaks the sound barrier and blows up the flock.” And Mr. Owl faithfully passed the word, and to this day, when you see flocks of geese flying south for the winter, you will hear the leader crying, Honk and then stopping a moment to listen to see if he can hear himself. It is nice to know that almost never do birds of any kind forget the instructions and get into trouble with sound booms. Of course, airplanes are not so careful these days, and they make booms that sometimes even break store windows down on the ground. It is too bad that they do not Honk and listen so that they can slow down when they get to flying too fast.
Mother went to pick up Old Kingfisher with gentle care. “I’ll take you over to our house and make a nest for you to rest in until you are able to fly again. We will see that you get a small fish to eat as often as needed.”
“Oh, thank you so much!” said Old Kingfisher. “I must admit that I am rather badly banged up. If you will send word to my wife, she will feed me and nurse me. She went to visit our daughter this afternoon but should be back well before sundown to feed me and help me get the kink out of my neck. Perhaps Father will teach the diving lessons. He seems to know everything and so must be a good diver. “
FATHER TEACHES DIVING
When Old Kingfisher had been cared for by Mother, the diving lessons were once more begun, this time with Father for the teacher, and as he had invented all kinds of diving, he knew just how to get the children started.
He explained that when one dived into the water one must bend a little backwards and swim to the top of the water, otherwise, one would swim to the bottom, and no one wanted to go there until they had learned to dive well and could hold the breath a long time.
Adam White held up his hand and asked, “Why should anyone ever want to go to the bottom of the pond anyway?”
“Just for fun,” said Father. “When you get to be a good diver, we will find a round, white stone and throw it into the pond, then take turns seeing who can dive down, find it and bring it up.”
Father said, “You start the lessons. Come out here with me on the diving board and I will help you make your first dive.”
Adam White ran happily out on the board, and Father showed him just how to jump up in the air, turn over to be head down, and hit the water with hands held high above the head. He held his breath and made a good high leap, but did not turn over quite far enough, landing flat on his stomach in the water. Everyone clapped and laughed. “It stings your tummy,” said Adam. “Let me try again, and this time I will get all the way over.”
He tried, and the next time did much better. They all took their turns one after another and were having a great lot of fun, when Father noticed that Adam Black was not taking part. He sent Eve Black to bring him, and when he came, he stood hanging his head.
Father asked, “Is something wrong Adam Black? Don’t you want to learn to dive?”
“Sure, Father, I want to learn,” answered Adam, still hanging his head. “But I’m too scared. Everything inside me turns over when I think of jumping off on my head into the water.”
Father thought for a moment, then remembered something. “Think back,” he said. “Try to remember how you felt when you were playing baseball and fell from the high limb of third base and broke your arm. Were you frightened then?”
“Oh, YES!” cried Adam. “1 was falling right on my head and I couldn’t catch hold of a branch or anything. Then I hit the ground and lost my breath and hurt all over – most of all in my arm that got broken.”
“That explains why you are afraid of diving off on your head into the water,” said Father. “The ape-man self inside you cannot reason well, like your reasoning Talking Self. All it can remember is that it fell on its head and that it hurt. It is the part of you that makes you afraid. But we can fix that. We can go into the dive very slowly and carefully at first, and when your ape-man self sees that it does not hurt to dive into water, you will stop being afraid. Now come out on the diving board with me and I will hold you by the feet and let you drop very slowly into the water. Come on. Call to your Comforter to come to help you, and then try. One must ask for help and then have faith that it will be given.”
Adam shuddered, but obediently took five long breaths, closed his eyes and sent his telepathic call to his Aumakua for help. All the other children had become silent and paddled quietly in the water while they watched. In a moment a small ball of light began to glow over Adam’s head. He opened his eyes and smiled. “I got over being scared,” he said bravely. “Let me try to dive by myself.”
“Stout fellow,” praised Father, slipping off the board into the water to give Adam free play. Adam walked to the end of the board and shuddered when he looked down at the water. But he closed his eyes and said, “I’m NOT afraid! I’m NOT afraid! I can dive better than anybody!” And, with his eyes still shut, he drew in a big breath, jumped high into the air and came down into the water in an almost perfect dive. The circle of light went right along into the water with him, and was first to come to the surface when he came to the top.
Everyone clapped and cheered, and his Eve forgot to paddle to keep up in the water and went under, getting her mouth filled. But she didn’t care. She was so proud of her Adam that she was like to burst. “He’s terrible brave!” she said happily. “And he dived better than anyone for his first try.”
Father helped Adam back up on the board. “Dive three or four times more, and let your aunihipili make certain that diving will not hurt it,” he said.
Adam did as he was instructed. He was just a little uncertain on his second dive, but by his third he was doing well, and when it came to his fourth, his Light faded out and he was able to make a very fine dive all by himself.
Later on, when the diving lesson had been finished and everyone had dressed and had lunch, the children and their nurses went off to take their naps, while Father and Mother settled down on their lounge chairs in the veranda for a few minutes of relaxation.
After while Mother broke the silence by whispering, “Isn’t it delightful to see the love and loyalty of the little Adams and Eves? Little Eve Black, today, was so proud of her Adam when he found his courage that she was almost in tears.”
Father reached over to take her hand and give it a squeeze. “Every Adam does so need a loving and loyal Eve,” he said softly. “And so far everything is working out according to plan.”
After a long silence, Mother said, “I was just thinking of Little Milkmaid. She did not come to watch the diving lesson today. When she came in to lunch, I asked where she had been, and she said out with her beloved goats. I am afraid she becomes lonely at times, but, being what she is, I can’t think what we could do for her. Too bad there are no Mermen and that Mermaids are immortals.”
Father thought for a long time. Finally he sighed and shook his head. “For the moment I can’t think what to do. But perhaps, later on.”
“Yes, “said Mother, “I do hope so. She is such a darling, and so deserving.”
Just before nap time was over, a big shadow fell over the house, and from above came a sound like the whistle of a steamship. Little Cloud, who had been fast asleep, roused up in fright and let out a fork of lightning and a crash of thunder that shook the big house. The children, half awake, came tumbling out to see what was happening, and in the Garden all the animals made their loudest warning noises.
“It’s all right!” shouted Father as he rose to go outside. “Everyone quiet down. It is just that we have visitors. Children, get into your play suits and come along to greet them. And remember your best manners!”
“Admiral Gabriel must have made better time than he had expected,” said Father as they went outside and stopped to look up into the sky where there floated a very large and silvery spaceship from which was being let down a small silver saucer to bring someone to land. From the Mother Ship signal lights flashed a message in green, red, yellow and purple. Father held up his right hand and from it flashed a welcoming beam of wonderful white light, this being his sign.
The saucer came gently down and landed in the yard in front of the house. A set of three legs had appeared for it to stand on, and a door opened in the lower side of the saucer letting a set of steps drop to the ground.
Father and Mother went up to it, holding out their hands in welcome. The children, hurrying to button up their play suits, watched with wide eyes from the veranda, but could see no one to welcome.
Father said, “Glad you are here Gabriel! But you’d better let me think you into a body like ours so the children can see you and talk with you. He and Mother joined hands and said the right words, and before them appeared a very kindly gentleman in a silvery costume. He had a short gray beard and rather long hair. Father clapped him on the back and Mother planted a light kiss on his cheek. The children could see that they were old and dear friends.
“Did I awaken you from your sleep with my horn?” asked Gabriel? I had it tuned for the thin air higher up and it made far more noise than I had intended.”
“Noise enough to raise the dead,” laughed Father.
[And Mr. Owl, who had arrived by then and was making mental notes of everything that was said, got things mixed so that many years later people came to say that when the end of the world had come, Gabriel would blow his big horn and the dead would all arise from their graves.]
They turned and went into the veranda. When they were seated, Father called the children to them and introduced them one by one. “This is Uncle Gabriel,” he said. “He is the Admiral of the Space Ship Fleet and my right hand man. He has been looking here and there all over the world to see how the creatures are getting along in far places and to find the best places for you children to live when you grow up.”
The children all politely shook hands and Uncle Gabriel picked up Adam Black and placed him on his knee. “What a fine solid and warm little humanoid you are!” he said admiringly.
“May I ask a question?” asked Adam eagerly.
Gabriel looked at Father, who nodded, then said, “What would you like to know?”
“Did you see the place on the other side of the world where my Eve and I and our children are going to live?”
“I certainly did!” said Gabriel. “In fact, I was there less than an hour ago by your Earth time. It is a very fine place with forests and plains and mountains. There are animals all over the place, so you will have good hunting, and below the forests there is fine soil where you can plant seeds and grow good things to eat.”
“Please, like what?” asked Adam.
Like melons and sweet sugar cane and fruit of several kinds. Also you can plant wheat and oats and barley, or corn. There are springs and streams and you will have plenty of water for your gardens or fields.”
“Did you see any of those ape men?” asked Adam.
“Yes, quite a number of them, and they seemed to make a living by hunting. I landed in a saucer to try to get to telepath to them, but the nasty little beasts would not listen to reason and threw thing at me and the saucer.”
“What did you do?” asked Adam. “Father told us that when he and Mother went to see them before we children were made, they threw things, and Little Cloud had to make a cloudburst on them and chase them with thunder and lightning. Was Little Cloud there to do that for you?”
“No,” answered Uncle Gabriel with a smile, “I was all alone with Peter. He stayed by the saucer, as he always does, to open and close the gate or door. But I ran faster than the ape men and leaped into the saucer. Captain Peter slammed the door right on their noses, and away we shot into the heavens.”
[Old Owl made hurried notes of this, but they were not too good, for centuries later it came to be said that Peter stood guard at the gates of heaven and kept out all who were not good enough to be allowed to go in.]
“Will you blow your horn for us and take us for a ride in your Space Ship?” asked Adam.
“I’d better not blow my horn again,” said Gabriel. “It makes too much fuss down here. But you will all go riding with me when Father says it is time. In fact, that is the way you will go to Africa when you grow up and are ready.”
Old Kingfisher’s nest was nearby and he had been listening. Now he teleyed a question to Adam to ask. Adam said, “Old Kingfisher wants to know if you ever make the mistake like he did and fly fast enough to break the sound barrier. And if you passed any geese flying north or south, did they obey instructions and cry Honk! all the time and wait to see if they could hear themselves, that is to be sure they are not flying faster than sound.”
Uncle Gabriel shook his head wonderingly. He looked at Father and said, “What intelligent beings you have created!” He turned to Adam and said, “Yes, we sailed in alongside a flock of geese just as we were slowing down to land here, and our navigator, Azrael, called my attention to the strange honking the geese were making. Now about breaking the sound barrier with saucers or space ships, that is something we try never to do. You may not understand this, but we have a way of changing the ships and ourselves into thought-stuff before we pick up speed, and that way we make no impression on the air or sound barrier.”
“Do you keep saying honk to make sure?”
“No, we have gadgets that go Beep, beep to tell us our speed.”
Old. Kingfisher wanted to know something more, and Adam asked, “How fast can you fly when you have changed to thought-stuff and do not have to watch out not to break the sound barrier and get your feathers blown off?”
“As fast as thought,” said Uncle Gabriel. And I can tell you that going that fast is really NOT for the birds. We can go from here to Africa in almost no time at all, but because it takes some minutes to get up full speed and then to slow down, we allow about an hour for the trip.”
Old Kingfisher shook his head in wonderment, and remarked in Teley, “That’s entirely too fast for me. When my wing gets well and my bill heals, I’m going to stay well under the speed limit all the time.”
Uncle Gabriel put Adam down and picked up Eve White. “If Father approves,” he told her, “we will give you a nice present we brought for you from an island where we landed to look at the shamrocks that grew there.” He turned to Father and telepathed two names which the children had never heard before.
“Why of course!” said Father. “A delightful gift. How did you come to get them aboard the ship?”
“Curiosity,” laughed Uncle Gabriel. While we were materialized and getting a sample of peat bog, we left the saucer door open. There did not seem to be anyone around. It was only when we were back in the Mother Ship and well on our way that we found them. They had crept into the saucer to look around and had not been noticed.”
Mother laughed joyously and said, “Some little elves and fairies will be just the thing to make our garden complete. And the children will adore them. Have Peter run up and bring them down right away. They shall be our special guests for tea. Just think! Real elves and fairies for playmates, Children!”
THE LOST FAIRIES
Admiral Gabriel telepathed an order to Captain Peter, and the lower hatch or gate to the saucer slammed shut, the legs began to draw in, and away went the saucer in a flash to the Mother Ship.
Eve White asked, “Uncle Gabriel, what are fairies and elves? Are they boys and girls for us to play with?”
“Not at all,” answered. Uncle Gabriel. “They are part of the Little People. They never will be human, and they are very small. Also they can mat and de-mat at will – that means they can make themselves into think-stuff so you can’t see them, or can materialize or put on solid stuff to make bodies a little like you have to live in. They are very happy little people and the women are very, very kind and beautiful. The boys are called Elves and are good and kind, but love to play little pranks. They all have transparent wings like dragonflies. The elves wear little caps, usually green, but the fairies wear their hair long and appear in flowing white or colored robes. Our group has a fairy queen at their head, and she has a magic wand with which she can do the most surprising things.”
There was a sudden flashing message being telepathed in from the space ship. It was in a language the children had never heard, not the Earth language that everyone they knew could use.
“Heavenly day!” exclaimed Uncle Gabriel, setting Eve down and hurrying to look up at the space ship and then all around the garden. “When they went to load the fairies and elves into the saucer to bring them to land, Peter says they got one look at the beautiful Garden below and before he could stop them, had all gone de-mat and vanished into thin air. He called but got no answer. It looks as if we have lost them in your Garden. I am so very sorry.”
“Don’t feel too badly about it,” said Mother. “I was just thinking that when they got here and saw all the humans and the animals, they might take fright and run away. They are very timid little people.”
“Won’t we ever be able to see them?” asked Eve White, almost ready to cry.
“Of course we will,” said Mother, smoothing Eve’s yellow hair. “They will find a place in the garden to live, and later on I will teach you just how to go about getting acquainted with them. It may take time and practice, but I am sure it can be done. Now don’t fret or worry about it. That would make it all the harder to learn to get acquainted with them.”
Adam Brown put a hand up to take hold of Uncle Gabriel’s big hand and walked back into the veranda with him. When Uncle was seated he lifted Adam to his knee and asked, “Do you have any questions to ask?”
“Just one big one,” said Adam. “It is about breaking the sound barrier when you change your space ship to thought-stuff and go so very, very fast from star to star. Do you make a thinking noise with your mind like Beep-beep, then listen to hear whether you can hear it or see if you are going so fast you are about to break the think speed barrier?”
“A good question,” said Uncle Gabriel with an amused smile. “No, we just guess at our speed more or less.”
“Don’t you ever break the barrier?” asked Adam. “Sometimes when we make too much noise, Mother says, “Hush. I can’t hear myself think!’ And if you couldn’t hear yourself think and went through the think barrier, would it hurt you like it did Old Kingfisher when he broke the sound barrier?”
Uncle scratched his head thoughtfully. “I’ve never broken the thought barrier, and I’ve not always been able to hear myself think, but my guess is that if I DID I might get into a lot of trouble.” He turned to Father and asked, “Did you make anything to go on the other side of the thought barrier?”
Father shook his head gravely. “When you go past thought and energy, you have nothing left. If you could think hard enough to cause your speed to break the thought-speed barrier, you would simply land in NOTHING – you would simply not be – just vanish into nothingness. Better never to try it.”
“My!” exclaimed Adam. “I guess that everyone had better slow down a little. But please tell me, how fast do you usually travel when you go from here to some distant star? How many parsecs a minute?”
“You know about parsecs?” asked Uncle Gabriel in surprise.
“Oh, yes! Father teaches us about stars and distances. A parsec is as far as light can travel in three Earth years. It is a very long way off if you are even only ten parsecs away from a star – from one of the closer ones.”
Uncle Gabriel thought for a moment while he looked up at Old Owl, who stood on one foot, the other foot raised, as he made ready to scratch a fresh mental note into his crowded head.
“Let us take for example a voyage from this side of your Milky Way galaxy where Earth lies well at one side. It is about 300 parsecs across, and by the time we got up speed and allowed more time to slow down, it might take half an hour. Once we get started, we go almost as fast as you can imagine yourself going. But the other day we had to go far out of the way on a voyage to visit a star in the M33 Galaxy in Triangulum. Some foolish thought-men on a planet on our way had declared war. One tribe disliked the politics and religion of another, and they accidentally set off their whole stock of Thought Bombs and blew their planet sky high, sky low and sky sidewise. Thought Bombs are far stronger than hydrogen bombs, and besides, they were living on a thought-stuff planet that was in itself explosive. We had to change course and go several parsecs out of our way.”
Father asked, “Were there any survivors?”
“Not a thought-form left that resembled anything – not even thought-dust,” answered Gabriel. “But at least we won’t have to be worried about that bunch anymore.”
Adam asked wonderingly, “Did it make a terrible bang when they blew up their planet?”
“No,” said Uncle Gabriel, “I can’t say that it did. They had no air on their planet, and it takes air to carry sound. But the push away from the center of the explosion was felt many parsecs distance away.”
Adam said, “Father tells us that the farthest away stars are traveling away from us so fast that it takes their light much longer to get to us than if they were standing still. What happens when they get so far away their light can’t go fast enough to ever reach us?”
Father spoke up. “Don’t bother your Uncle Gabriel with such questions now. We will have plenty of time later to talk about such things.”
Old Owl looked very worried. He couldn’t bear having a mental note of a good question and no answer to match it. “WHO?” he cried loudly.
“Oh, very well,” said Father. “Just say that when a galaxy out there gets going a little bit faster than light and then faster than thought, it just vanishes. It will be a long time before anyone will demand of you a better answer – or understand even half of this one.” He rose and politely gave Mother a hand to rise, although she certainly did not need it. “Perhaps we can all go out to the space ship for a look inside it before tea time. How about it?” Linking arms with Uncle Gabriel and Mother he led the way out to the saucer.
Peter stood at the gangway to help them up through the hatch in the bottom of the silvery saucer. He had materialized a body and costume for himself, and looked much like Gabriel, only much smaller. His beard was black and he had eyes that were dark and twinkling.
“This is your Uncle Peter,” introduced Father. “How are you Peter? He will show you how to sail a saucer. Now take your time and don’t trip on the steps as he helps you in.”
Eve Tan drew back, and her small face screwed up with fear. Mother bent over her and whispered something in her ear, and she began to take five deep breaths and Teley a call, and almost at once her light began to glow above her head. She laughed, and hurried to climb the steps without the least fear showing.
Peter looked on with surprise, “Where did that light come from?” he asked. “I never saw anything like that before.”
Father said, “This experiment in creating people is slightly different. This time each person has three selves, one of which lives in the ball of light. It will always come if the person is in trouble and calls for it. When it comes it can take away all fear and anger and give whatever help is needed. It is an older and much wiser self.”
“Well, slam my gates!” exclaimed Peter as he watched the ball of light fade away from Eve Tan. “And what, may I ask, is the second self like? I only know the one self such as you put into the apes and animals.”
“It is what we call a Talking Self’, explained Father. “The first or ape self lives in the body and cares for it, and the Talking Self lives in the upper part of the head where room has been made for it. It can reason and can talk.”
Peter shook his head in wonderment, “What won’t you think of next, Father! Well, with three selves aboard each person in this experiment, it looks to me as if you would have the best chance yet of getting men who are worth all the fuss and bother.”
“We have high hopes, of these,” said Father. “Our main problem will be to train the Talking Selves to keep control of the ape-men selves we had to use in order to get a solid body to use. But, give us time. Mother and I have high hopes this time.”
Old Owl, who had come as close as he dared, spoke up. “Who? Captain Peter may I ask what kind of selves YOU have?”
“I?” said Peter wonderingly. “I’m an angel. I don’t have to have even one self. All I have to do is be ME, just like Father created me.”
Old Owl moved a flap or two closer, but couldn’t see how Peter was any different from Father. He asked, “How are angels different?”
“Well, for one thing,” said Peter, we can fly and we live mostly in the sky or vast heavens of the Universe.”
“Thank you,” said Old Owl, and he flew off to make a number of mental notes. [One was that angels can fly, and much later, when people tried to remember what had been written, they came to believe that angels had feather wings and lived in a heaven that was large enough to hold all the people who have ever died and who have been good enough to be allowed by Peter to come to live there. They invented the idea of streets paved with gold themselves. We know this because we can be quite sure that Old Owl knew nothing about gold.]
Once inside the saucer, and with the ladder pulled up and the door closed, the children found that there was a bench running most of the way around the inside, and at every place to sit was a seat belt. Peter had them all sit down and fasten their seat belts. He sat opposite Uncle Gabriel, and Father opposite Mother so that the saucer would be almost in balance. Before Peter was a wheel and a little television set that showed everything outside when the right button was pushed down. There were several buttons, each a different color, and there were five little handles that could be turned.
Peter said, “First I will turn on the gravity changing machine. It stops the gravity from pulling us down, and then we can float in the air – just like a stick can float in water. Now sit tight while I de-grav us just enough and get the saucer legs pulled aboard.”
He pressed two buttons and they could hear a little buzzing sound. A red light went on in the top of the saucer inside the ring of white lights. The legs began to come aboard, and the saucer teetered and was too low on the side where Peter sat, so he pressed slightly on another button and made the saucer come into a perfect balance. It felt very odd to be floating like that, and was fun.
Adam Black asked, “We won’t fall down, will we, Uncle Peter?”
“No, indeed,” answered Peter. “With the de-grav instrument turned on, you can’t possibly fall down. Instead, if anything should go wrong, you would fall UP, and when you fall up, there is nothing to land on and bump you. You’ll never find a wrecked saucer on Earth, for the simple reason that if one were to be wrecked it and everything in it would fall UP and never be seen again.”
Adam Brown spoke up and asked, “Wouldn’t anyone ever find the pieces?”
“Oh, yes,” said Peter. “We have our salvage crews to pick up the pieces. But saucers and space ships almost never get wrecked. I only know of two that were hit by a piece of meteor and wrecked.” He turned the wheel a little and the saucer turned so that the Mother Ship appeared on the Television screen. He then set a pointer on the screen to point exactly at the big space ship, and reached for a blue button. “We are set on our course,” he explained. “Now we will use the ray pusher and float up while we sail north by east.” He pressed down just a little on the blue button and they could feel themselves rise and move. The Big Ship came closer and closer on the TV screen and in a moment they were going in under it and then came to a stop.
“They will take us aboard,” said Peter. “Sit tight for a minute.”
They felt the saucer being lifted, and then the red light above went out. Peter pressed the right lever and the hatch opened in the floor and the ladder went down. “Well, here we are,” said Father. “Everyone out, but don’t hurry and try not to fall down the steps. The de-grav machine is only slightly on now, and you could bump yourselves a little.”
The children all unfastened their seat belts and formed a line. Peter went out first and helped them down to stand on the smooth silvery deck. It was very light inside the space ship, and cool and comfortable, and there was a nice smell of spice because they had a sample of most of the spices on board for testing. No one was to be seen, but doors opened and closed and there was much telepathing back and forth to the elders in the strange universal language which the children could not understand. On all sides were strange instruments and buttons and levers. Five saucers were fastened into places on the sides, and everything was ever so neat and clean. Father and Mother and Uncle Gabriel were busy greeting people who could not be seen, and Peter was telepathing orders because he was the captain of the ship. He led the children to a big table and they all sat down. Peter gave an order, and right through the air sailed the most luscious big double-dip ice cream cones to be imagined. They had never seen or imagined anything so good. They each said a bit of thanks and tucked the napkins that had sailed to them, well around their necks, and began to eat. Celestial Adam said, between sucks and bites, “I think I would like to live in a big space ship and sail around. Go places!”
Adam White said, “I could eat five of these things!” His Eve said, “Hush up, Adam. That your ape-man self talking, not you. We must not be gluttons or eat too much and get sick.”
Mother was talking with Peter in the strange language, then she noticed the children watching with puzzled faces, and said so they could hear, “If you really do not need that sample piece of peat bog and it is not too much trouble to find, I’d love to have it.”
“Nothing is too much trouble for you,” said Peter. “I’ll have the men break out the piece and put it on the saucer at once.” He sent out a stream of Teley orders, and very soon there came sailing through the air a big tray on which was a large square of earth with green things still growing on the top. The tray stopped before Mother and she examined it carefully. “Have a little water poured on it,” she said, “the plants are wilted, but not dead. I think it is just what I need.”
Eve Black called, “What do you want with that piece of dirt, Mother? We have nicer dirt at home.”
Mother smiled mysteriously. “But not dirt quite like this,” she said. “Just wait. Later on you will see why this particular piece of earth is so important.” She watched while a sprinkling can came sailing along and sprinkled water over the peat tray – then sailed back to another part of the ship. Mother said, “Now that you have had your ice cream cones for tea, it is time we got back home. Your chimp nurses and dogs and cats will be missing you, to say nothing of Little Milkmaid – who was invited, but who didn’t want to come. “
They all wiped their mouths and folded their napkins carefully. Captain Peter came and waved to have the tray of peat taken into the saucer. He followed and stood at the bottom of the steps while the children began to climb in. They were all on the ladder or just inside the saucer, when there was buzzing, the red light went on, and the saucer pulled hard on its three legs which were fastened to the floor. Suddenly all the children floated right up through the hatch, and once inside, floated right up to the ceiling, all squealing excitedly.
Captain Peter zoomed up into the saucer and held himself down from floating with one hand while he worked his way over to the control board beside the steering wheel, and the tray of peat bog which had been placed on the floor. He looked at the buttons and said, “What on Earth! Someone has pressed the de-grav button! He looked around and made a sudden reach, catching a tiny little brown man in a leather suit with pointed cap and shoes.
“So it’s YOU again!” he said. “And you promised faithfully that you would never touch anything again after the last time you stopped the machinery! Now what is your excuse?” He held the little man up by the back of his coat before him.
“Begora, Captain,” said the little man, “I just came along with the bit of the Old Sod from me home land – for the love of it and meaning not a tiny bit of harm. And when I saw that blue button it so reminded me of the wind bells that grow on the bog that I had to stroke it. Just a wee stroke, you know. But me tired old hand was just a mite heavy, and, well, I am sorry and more than sorry.”
Peter let him go and he floated up to the ceiling with the children. But when another button was slowly pressed, they all came floating down.
Eve Black was close to the little man when she sat down. He looked up at her and grinned. She shook her finger at him and said, “You were naughty. You should be spanked.”
Peter said, “Why don’t you spank him? You know how, don’t you?”
“I should know,” said Eve and she took hold of the little man and laid him across her knee, even though he struggled and yelled, “I’ll be good! I’ll be good!”
Holding him firmly, she raised her hand to spank him properly, but suddenly he was gone. Eve looked and looked, but he was no place to be seen.
Uncle Peter laughed and said, “Do you see why you can’t make this little old Gremlin behave himself? Every time I have tried to spank him, he simply goes de-mat on me and can’t be found. Nothing is seen or heard of him until the next time something goes wrong and he turns up with all his blarney and good excuses. I don’t quite know what to do with him, and it begins to look as if he was planning to go along with the sample piece of peat bog and live in your garden.”
Father and Mother had come into the saucer with Uncle Gabriel and saw what was going on. Father said, “I suppose we will have to put up with the little rascal if he goes with the peat sample and starts to live in the garden.”
“The fairies and elves tried to make him behave,” said Peter, “and they tried to beat him, but he is tough and only laughed and said the blows were love taps.”
Father said thoughtfully, “Mother and I created some nice little islands in the Pacific Ocean for some of Adam Brown’s children to live in, and I seem to remember that there developed some very nice little people there who built fine fish ponds and helped everyone. They were called Menehunes, and they help build canoes. I saw them through my Time Telescope helping the Hawaiians, who seemed very fond of them.” He turned to Gabriel and asked, “Do you suppose that you could run down there and find some of these little people and bring us a family of them to live in the Garden and make the Gremlin behave himself?”
“I’ll do my best,” promised Gabriel. “Any bait you can suggest for our use?”
“Not for Menehunes,” said Father. “Wait for them in the moonlight near one of their fish ponds and ask to talk to their king or queen. Then explain how greatly we need a family of them to come over here to help us. I am sure that some will be glad to come. They are very fine little people. You might say that we have very fine flowers to use to make leis to hang around their necks, and the best of grass for grass skirts. I even saw some paper mulberry trees from which they could take bark and pound it into paper cloth for their capes or to wear if the nights grew cool. Tell them we have bananas and fish and almost anything they could possibly want.”
“Will do,” said Admiral Gabriel. He turned to Peter, “Plan to sail at dawn tomorrow, Captain.”
Peter had been listening while he stowed several packages under his control board. “Seeds,” he explained. “Melons from all parts of the Earth, and seeds of fruit and nuts and beautiful trees and flowers. Especially some seed potatoes from high up in South America. If you can get them to grow, you can almost live on them. And there are sweet potatoes and yams to try out, all very fine. They make me almost wish I had a solid body for daily use and could eat such things.”
Adam White spoke up, “Don’t you have anything at all to eat?”
“Only energy – we call it mana. You see, we live mostly in bodies made of thought-stuff and shadowy body-stuff. And, not having solid bodies, we do not have a place to put food and digest it.”
“Then where did the ice cream cones come from that we had for tea?” asked Adam.
Peter smiled. “You might say the cones were a gift from the naughty little Gremlin. Yesterday he slipped into the control room and pressed some yellow buttons that upset the machinery badly. Everything started to happen, and when we got things straightened out, we found that he had turned up time and managed to grab a whole refrigerator filled with those ice cream cones. They had been made ready for a party and in a few minutes more would have been served to the children, but we had no way of getting the refrigerator or cones and ice cream back to their owner. She will probably still be wondering what could have happened.”
“Did the Gremlin get some?” asked Adam.
“He certainly did! When I found him hiding behind the refrigerator, he was gobbling a cone, and I didn’t have the heart to take it away from him. For his size he certainly can hold a lot of ice cream. Later this afternoon I will take the refrigerator down to your house. Mother thinks she might be able to make ice cream now and then for you.”
The children all clapped and shouted, “Goodie! Goodie!” and by then the hatch was being closed and the saucer legs pulled up. The saucer was lowered. Captain Peter pressed the right buttons, and before you could say, Heavenly Day! or What on Earth! they were back on land and unloading. It had been a most wonderful trip.
Peter said to Father, “Not a trace of the Gremlin, but I am fairly sure that he came out in de-mat form with the tray of peat bog. You might watch for him there or around the kitchen. He loves to eat. If Mother can find a way to get in touch with the fairies and elves, they will always be able to find the Gremlin for you when wanted.” Peter chuckled. “And you’ll often be wanting him. He can think of more ways to stop things from working than you can shake a stick at in an hour.”
“Does he always mat up into a body which can be seen in order to tamper with things?” asked Father.
“Yes. He seems not to be able to move anything while he is de-mat. I have always been able to find him and he has always had a wonderful excuse for doing what he has just done. But if he sees you are not going to accept his excuse, he will de-mat on you in a second and be gone.”
“We’ll try to get along with him,” said Father. “The Menehunes will probably be here late tomorrow or the next day, and I am sure they will know how to handle the rascal. Perhaps put him to work doing something useful for the first time in his life.”
It was two days before the Menehunes arrived and in the meantime the Gremlin had broken dishes, stopped clocks, let the water run out of the shower tank and done all kinds of bad things.
After the saucer came down with the Menehunes and landed, Gabriel teleyed to say that they were very timid little people and that while they were all mat so one could see them, he thought just Father and Mother should come out to greet them and help them find a place to live. The children would do well to stay back in the veranda and just look on. Later on, when everyone became acquainted, things would be different. Four families and a chief had come, so it was quite a large group which came out of the saucer and bowed gravely and talked to Father and Mother. The children could not understand a word of what was being said, but that was no wonder. They were talking Hawaiian – which Father had invented, and so could speak very nicely. He soon made them feel right at home and before night came, they had found places to live and everything was settled – even to having two of the men hunt up the Gremlin and lock him up in a badger hole with a magic lock until they had time to teach him manners. Needless to say, it was a sad day for the Gremlin. He had at last met his match.
After such a day of excitement, everyone was glad enough to go to sleep, but in the middle of the night the clock began to strike and strike and strike – every hour of a day. Father went to see what was causing the big clock to strike so wildly. “I might have guessed,” he said to himself when he saw nothing to cause the trouble, and also found that the lights would not turn on. There was a timid knocking at the front door, and when he went to see who was there, he found four of the Menehunes standing there with heads hung dejectedly.
“Did the gremlin escape?” asked Father. They nodded dismally, and the Chief said in Hawaiian, pakele loa.
“How did it happen?” asked Father, and the Chief explained that the gremlin had followed the badger hole and found at the other end a place where there was another opening. The magic lock was good for just one opening, and so he got away. He couldn’t de-mat behind the magic lock, but once out of the hole, he could if he wished, and they supposed that after making the big clock strike and awakening everyone, he had caused himself to de-mat and get out of sight.
“Don’t worry,” said Father. “Go home and get some sleep. Tomorrow we will decide what is to be done. Perhaps I will announce a GREMLIN HUNT, and invite all the animals, far and wide to take part.”
THE GREAT GREMLIN HUNT
By daylight the gremlin had the whole Garden in an uproar. He had taken a big stick and punched a hole in the dam of Old Beaver so that the water spurted out and soon washed a bad hole in the dam. Old Beaver had awakened to find his house, instead of being partly under water, was high and dry on stilts, and was he furious!
The Owls had flown in and were making a great outcry. The gremlin had slipped in while they were out hunting and had broken every one of their five eggs.
Mrs. Elephant arrived in high dudgeon, bringing the baby elephant to Father to get help for him. The gremlin had tied such a tight knot in his small trunk while he was asleep that help was needed to untie it.
Father said, as he worked carefully to get the knot untied from the little elephant’s trunk, “I never saw anything like it. One dare not turn one’s back a minute. He does one bad thing right on top of another. He looked up at the Owls, who were so sad they could only sit in the tree near the house and moan. “It will do no good to moan,” he told them. “Get to work and spread the word that we are forming a group to hunt down this gremlin and stop his mischief.”
“I’ll spread the word,” said Old Owl. “I sure will!” He braced up and began telepathing to other owls all around that part of the country, telling them to spread the word and they must have done so, for soon birds came flying in to join the hunt, and then began to arrive animals, a good dozen dogs of various sizes, and soon Mr. and Mrs. Lion with the black panther and Old Sabertooth, who looked pretty badly mussed and mauled, and who, undoubtedly had refused to come until Mr. Lion had reasoned with him. The black panther must have been slapped in advance, for he was carefully remembering his manners and not threatening to eat anyone.
When the birds and beasts were all there, Father had them form a big circle around the Garden and then close in toward the center, looking into every hole or hollow tree or bush to try to find the bad gremlin. But when they had all reached the center, no sight had been had of the culprit. It was evident that he had taken fright and had de-materialized.
After the animals and birds had been given brunch and had been warmly thanked, even if the hunt had been a failure, they all set off for home to take care of their daily chores.
When they were gone, Father sat down on the veranda to think, and the children all played as quietly as they could, knowing that when Father was thinking, they must not make so much noise that he could not hear himself think. They were very anxious not to have him begin to think too fast and break the thought-barrier or something that might cause him to vanish.
After a few minutes Father got up and went to get his plans. As he started to thumb through the tall pile, he said to Mother, “I must have invented some way to keep gremlins under control when I invented them, but I can’t seem to remember what it was. I am sure that in the country from which he has just come, they must have a way of making bad gremlins behave themselves.”
There was a flapping of wings just outside the veranda, and Mother went to see what the trouble might now be. It was Mrs. Woodpecker and she was very excited. “That gremlin has placed five owl eggs in my nest with my two eggs!” she chirped. “If you and Father will give your permission, we will peck a hole in him the moment we see him! Please!”
Mrs. Owl, although sound asleep, heard her name being spoken and came as fast as she could fly. She perched on a limb and wrung the tips of her wings in anxiety. “My eggs! My eggs!” she screamed. “They are not broken! Oh, tell me they are safe and that I can rescue them! Please, Please!”
All the children had come running to hear what the noise was about, for the birds were mixing Teley with chirps and chirp-screams and making it quite impossible even for Father to pay attention to his search in his record plans.
Mother, who was never excited, even when the worst possible things happened, said, “Adam White, you get a little basket from the kitchen, and take your nurse with you. Let Mrs. Woodpecker show you where her nest is in the hole in the tree and Mrs. Owl show you where her nest is. Then climb up and get the owl eggs from one nest and take them with great care to the other nest. Do you understand? This is very important, and it must be done just right.”
Adam White was so impressed by the importance of the task that he was not too sure he could carry out the orders, but his Eve snuggled up to him and whispered, “You can do it! You are the smartest Adam ever! Here is our nurse, and you just take her right along and get up to the nest. I will find a basket and run fast to bring it. Go on, Adam! You are tops! Go on!”
Adam squared his small shoulders. If his Eve said he could do it, he would do it or burst. He took hold of his nurse’s hand and pulled hard so that they just raced after the birds. Eve rushed to the kitchen, snatched up a small basket, and raced after them. She could run faster than Adam, but she did not let him know. When they came to the tree, Adam and his nurse climbed up and looked into the hole where Mrs. Woodpecker and Mrs. Owl had gone. The chimp nurse held out the basket, and Adam very carefully picked up each egg when it was pointed to by Mrs. Owl with a wing tip, and placed it gently in the basket. That done, they climbed down and followed the owls to their tree, then climbed to their nest and placed the eggs in it. The owls were almost tearfully grateful to have their very own treasured eggs safely back in their nest, even properly warm. Mr. Owl said, “When the baby owls are hatched, we will name one for you, Adam, and one for you, Eve. One shall be named Chimpie and another Woodie for the kind woodpeckers. We can never thank you all enough, and if you ever need a totem bird for your clan when you grow up, we will be only too glad to serve you.
At last Father found the plans of fairies, elves, Menehunes and all the Little People, and in the pile was a torn sheet on which the plans had not quite been finished. It was the plan for the Gremlins. Father studied it carefully, and at the very end of the sheet found written, “contra NaCl.” This would not have mean a thing to most people, but it reminded Father that he had planned something that could be used to keep gremlins from getting out of hand. It was, in our language, just plain salt! “Ha,” said Father. “Now I remember. If salt is sprinkled over a gremlin it will not be able to de-mat, and so can be caught and kept from making trouble. I must find a way to get salt sprinkled on this rascal tonight.”
Gremlins are very crafty, and they suspect traps even when there are none, so Father had to think of something very clever on his part. He went out in the yard and looked up at the bell which way rung with a rope to call the children to school or to meals. That seemed promising, so he made a small salt sprinkler out of a gourd and tied it to the loose clapper of the bell in such a way that the moment anyone pulled the rope to ring the bell, it would sprinkle them with salt. He then went to the big clock which the gremlin was so fond of making strike all the hours, and fixed a little saucer of salt just inside the door which had to be opened to start the striking. There was a little shelf inside, and he fixed it so that when the door was pulled open, the saucer would fall and spill the salt on anyone below. That done, all that was to be done was done, and it only remained to wait until after bedtime.
When dinner was over and Father and Mother were resting on the veranda, some of the little Menehune men came to see them. They hardly ever appear in daylight, but love to come out at night, mat up solid bodies and get to work on the things they wished to do.
“I was hoping you would come to see us this evening,” said Father after they had exchanged greetings. “I have set two traps for the gremlin, and I may need help in catching him after he springs a trap and gets sprinkled with salt, which will keep him from de-matting.”
The Chief said, “We will be only too happy to help catch that rascal. In fact, we have just made a strong cage with sticks and cords from which he cannot possibly escape this time when we catch him.”
“I appoint you my official policemen,” said Father. “And we must keep it a secret between us that salt keeps gremlins from de-matting. If anyone asks about it, try to give them the wrong answer. We can’t have word get spread all around so other gremlins learn what salt does to them, or they will all learn to watch out never to get sprinkled, and just keep on day and night bothering good people.”
The Chief said in Hawaiian, huna loa, which means, very, very secret, and they all placed their little brown fingers over their little brown mouths to show that they had promised never to tell, never, never. Then the Chief said, “Hide yourselves near the bell and the clock, and be sure to stay de-mat until just the moment the gremlin mats up and reaches for the bell rope or the clock door. And the instant he gets sprinkled with salt, rush in and grab and hold him.”
There was just a little moonlight that night, but after the lights were turned out and the house was all quiet, the gremlin matted up boldly, and came carefully along looking for a chance to do mischief. He saw the bell, and touched the rope, but seemed to suspect a trap. He walked around and around the rope, looking up at the bell, and finally deciding something was wrong. With great care not to pull the rope, he tied a knot in the end of it and went to find a long stick with a short hooked branch at the thick end. When he had found this, he stood well back and hooked the stick over the knot and pulled. The bell swung and the salt sprinkled.
The gremlin did not see the fine salt sprinkling down from the gourd, for the moonlight was not very strong. He looked up at the bell and said to himself, “It sounds a little bit odd, but the bell did not fall on me as I suspected it might. Anyway, they can’t fool this old smarty.”
He went on through the veranda, walking on tiptoe and watching with great care. Nothing seemed out of the way, so he went to the clock and looked at the door. “Might be a trap here,” he decided, and went back in the yard to get his hooked stick. With that he hooked the latch on the clock door, stood well back, and pulled. The door opened and the saucer fell letting the salt fall harmlessly on the floor.
“Did they think they could hurt me with just a little saucer to fall on my head?” he said with a sneer. “Well, they can’t.” He went to the clock and reached in and set all the hours striking, just as on the night before, then ran laughing into the yard. As he passed the bell rope, he stopped and swaggered up to it and gave it a big pull, making the bell clang and the salt sift out from the gourd, and fall right on him.
The Menehune policemen rushed out and Father came from the house. The gremlin made faces at them, then blew up his cheeks and said the magic word to make himself de-mat, but nothing happened. He puffed and he blew and he nearly choked saying the magic word while he was blowing up his cheeks so large and round, but it did him no good. The Chief took him by the collar and said, “You are under arrest. Will you come peacefully or shall I cuff you good and plenty?”
“Oh, come,” said the gremlin. “And I can, indeed, explain it all! I meant not a whit of harm. I just wanted to make sure that the bell would ring properly so it could call the dear children to breakfast in the morning! And the clock, it needs to go to the repair shop. Think of it making its door fly open all by itself. And of course it struck all the hours. Did I not, meself, see a saucer fall out of the works. Someone was very careless to leave a saucer dangling inside from the works.”
“You are a bad gremlin and a liar,” said the Chief as he started to pull him along.
“Only, one favor, ask you,” begged the gremlin. “Tell me what you did to me that kept me from de-matting and getting away. Tell me that and I will be good forever and a day, even forever and two days!”
“Father’s magic,” growled the Chief. “He can lay a spell on a bell rope, as you know by now, or at least should know.”
Begora, and it’s a strong spell, if it is a spell,” said the gremlin, “but I think you are fooling me, and bad cess to ye and all the likes of ye who are cruel and mean enough to keep a poor homeless old gremlin from having a wee bit of fun now and again.”
“Poor nothing!” said the Chief. “You are bad all the way through and never will be any other way.” They came to the stout cage and he pushed the gremlin in and closed the door, locking it with the magic lock so this time there would be no escape.
Father had come along to see that the gremlin was safely-behind bars. Now he praised the Menehunes warmly, thanked them, and said goodnight. He was about to leave when the gremlin started to shout to make it impossible for anyone to get to sleep. One of the Menehunes who was set to stand guard, growled, kulikuli, which means hush up, but the gremlin kept on shouting and the guard had to take a stick and reach through the stout wooden bars and prod him sharply in the pants. The gremlin stopped shouting and sat down on the floor of his cage. “Oh, woe is me,” he groaned. “Wicked men have robbed me of the little fun left in life.”
In the morning after breakfast and school, the children went with Father to look at the gremlin in his cage, and at once he began to explain how innocent he was and ask for forgiveness and to be allowed to go free, with the biggest possible promises of good behavior. Father let the children listen to him without saying a word until he saw that they were being talked over into a forgiving turn of mind by the clever gremlin and were beginning to believe him and want to let him out of the cage. But then Father spoke.
“Now listen to me, children. I wanted you to see how very good evil ones can be at pretending to be good and fine and honest. All your lives you will have to watch out for those who are evil, especially gremlins and men and women who are evil all the way through and can never be reformed and made good, no matter how they are punished or what fine promises they make.”
Eve Black was feeling so very sorry for the gremlin that she said, “But, don’t we have to be loving and never hurt anyone? Isn’t that what you have taught us?”
“That is exactly right, Eve,” replied Father. “But it is a rule that can only be used between nice people who know how to love and help and be kind. When I was trying to make men, I had to experiment. I tried fairies and elves, but they were not solid enough to make people who could hunt and farm. I tried gremlins, and found that all they were good for was to make mischief, so gave them up and tried apes – who, as you know, were much better as far as they could go without having Talking Selves.”
“Must you punish this old gremlin?” asked Eve Red sadly.
“Only in this way,” said Father. “We have to protect ourselves against all evil men and creatures in the best way we can. If we have to put them in jail, we must do that. We simply can’t let the evil ones go about stealing and lying and breaking things just for the fun of doing mischief. But remember this, when I made men I could not help putting a little gremlin in everyone as well as an ape self, and all of us must watch ourselves very carefully lest we let the gremlin in us get out of hand and do mischievous and bad things and call it fun. If we let the gremlin in us get out of hand, we may also be put into jails to keep us from hurting and bothering good and kind people. Always remember! Do not let the gremlin or ape inside you cause you to do things that hurt or bother others. This is VERY important.”
Father turned to the grinning gremlin, and asked, “What keeps you from doing mischief all the time back in your land where the shamrocks grow? Have you police there? Surely you do not make as much trouble as you, just one old gremlin, made here. “
“Oh, it is not after being bad, we are at home,” said the gremlin. “We play a few little pranks on each other, but do no harm at all, at all. And I give you my word of sacred promise that if you let me out of this prison I will show you how very good gremlins usually are. We are loving and helpful and can be very helpful.”
“So,” said Father, “at home you make no trouble, and you live good and helpful and useful and happy lives, just having a very little fun playing jokes on your fellows near you?”
“That is exactly right,” said the gremlin. “It is a sweet and peaceful and fine way of life we gremlins live, and we sing and dance all day and harm never a soul.”
“Good to know it is so fine there,” said Father, “for tomorrow I’m sending you back on the Space Ship.”
The gremlin looked suddenly agonized. “No,” he screamed. “No! Keep me here forever in this cage and give me table scraps. My wife beats me. Never a prank. All day digging the bog for a few bitter roots to live on! No! Be merciful! NO! NO!”
THE SEARCH FOR THE FAIRIES
Time went very fast, and before they knew it the children had all come to the eve of their sixth birthday, and great plans were being made for the celebration. The sixth birthday is one of the very important ones, for at six one stops being a baby and becomes far more important. But, as Adam Black explained to the others when they were getting ready for bed before the great birthday celebration, “After tomorrow we have to be more grown up and we must remember not to cry unless we are hurt so bad we can’t possibly help it. For just ordinary hurts, we just CAN’T cry and show that we have not grown up to be six.” Adam White said, “Yes, we must all remember. It is very important. Even if the girls get their feelings hurt, they mustn’t cry, at least not more than one or two tears.”
Eve brown looked very thoughtful and said, “Who is going to count the tears if we cry, one of you boys?”
Adam Brown smiled at his Eve and patted her brown hand. “No one is going to count your tears. “You just hide your face in your hands if you just HAVE to cry a little, and we will pretend that you didn’t.”
Mother had been listening as she turned down beds. Now she said, “Adam Brown, you are a kind boy, but I am going to tell all you boys a special secret. Left to learn it for yourselves, it might take a long time for you to learn what I can tell you in just a moment.”
The children loved it when Mother told them a secret, and they all became silent and ready to listen so they would not miss a single word. “Ready?” asked Mother, and they all answered eagerly, “Yes, Mother!” So she said very slowly, “When a girl simply must cry, she can cover her face with her hands, just like Adam Brown said, but it will be ever so much nicer and sweeter and better if her Adam takes her in his arms and lets her cry on his shoulder. And if he strokes her hair and says comforting words and tries to understand that she is sad or hurt or just tired and discouraged, she will pay him back in love – and love is the most precious thing an Eve can give to her Adam. If there is love and tenderness offered them, they won’t cry half so hard or so often when they are hurt. Always remember this. Will you try? Always?”
The children did not understand too well, but they knew they must remember every word, for when Mother told a secret, it was always very important. So they promised, and cuddled down in pairs in their small beds.
Eve Yellow had an idea that would not let her sleep. She whispered to her Adam, “Will I always have to cry to get you to hold me?” He reached out and took her sleepily into his arms and stroked her hair, saying not a word.
THE SIXTH BIRTHDAY PARTY
When morning came, everyone scrambled to get washed and dressed and to make ready for the celebration. Mother had made dolls for the girls, and the boys all had wonderful tops with fine long strings with which to spin them. These presents were set by their plates, and when they saw them as they trooped in to breakfast, they were so excited they could hardly settle down for their orange juice and mush and milk.
When a hasty breakfast was over, the girls took their dolls and went to thank Mother for making them.
Eve Black hugged her doll and said, “Dolls are just like you, Mother, and like Father. They are exactly our color. Mine is the blackest baby doll ever. And Eve White’s is white just like she is, and even has blue eyes and freckles!”
The boys had thanked Father and were having a most exciting time learning to spin their tops. When a boy managed to make his top spin, they all cheered and stood happily around it to watch until it stopped spinning and fell over.
Suddenly there was a shadow over them and they looked up to see a great space ship coming to rest in the air above them.
“Whee!” shouted Adam Red. “It’s Uncle Gabriel and Uncle Peter coming to help us celebrate our birthday.” He ran shouting to tell the girls, and they came running out, each carefully carrying her new doll.
The hatch in the bottom of the Space Ship Arcturus opened and out came the flying saucer used for landing. In a few minutes it had come to rest out before the veranda and everyone was greeting Uncle Gabriel and Uncle Peter, whose arms were loaded with birthday presents of strange things they had collected around the world. There were strange fruits and nuts and strange little stones, some clear like water and some beautifully colored. There were small and beautiful sea shells, and bits of fragrant tree bark and strange seed pods. Everything was set down on a table and the children were invited to pick for themselves anything they wished. It was a breathless moment, and no one could quite decide what to pick, so Mother suggested that they leave all the things together on the table for a while and just let themselves enjoy looking at them.
Father and the visitors were soon deep in a discussion of what was going on out in space on other planets, and Father nodded now and then and made a note about something.
Uncle Peter rose and went over to talk to Mother and the children. I have a message for you, he said. “Do you remember the bad Gremlin we took back to the land where he belonged? Well, we were there two days ago and no sooner had we landed in the saucer than he came rushing up and began to beg to be allowed to come back with us to the Garden. He made all kinds of promises to be good, but once a Gremlin, always a Gremlin, and we refused to listen.”
“How was he getting along?” asked Mother. “I hope things there are not as bad as he said they were when he begged to be allowed to stay here, even if he had to live in a cage.”
“Perhaps things were not quite as bad as he said they were,” replied Uncle Peter. “But he was pretty thin and his hands rough from digging roots in the bogs.”
“Did you see his wife, and was she as bad as he told us she was?” asked Mother.
“Yes, we saw her,” laughed Uncle Peter. “He hadn’t talked with us for more than five minutes before she hunted him down and whacked him over the head with her broom to make him get back to his digging in the bog. She made a face at us as she left and muttered something about not minding our own business.”
“Too bad,” said Mother sadly. “But that is the way Gremlins are, and all the children have learned to be very careful that the little bits of Gremlin in themselves do not come out and cause them to get into mischief. It is bad enough when a child’s aunihipili makes him begin to act like an animal, but it is worse when a bit of Gremlin bobs up.”
Little Eve Tan was standing close to Uncle Peter’s knee. She was the one who never forgot anything. “Uncle Peter”, she said, “was that the message you said the Gremlin sent to us?”
“Why no!” said Peter thoughtfully. “Now let me think. As he started back to the bog, his wife shaking the broom at him, he shouted back, Bad cess to ye all and to them in the Garden! And may the children never come to know peace or the kiss of the Fairy Queen. I don’t quite know what he meant by it, but I kept wanting to ask if you had ever found the fairies who got lost so neatly in the Garden?”
“Mother has,” answered Eve Tan. “She can see just anything or anybody, but we children can’t. We had to wait until we were a little older and could understand better just how one goes about learning to see fairies. Mother says that when one learns to do certain things with their heads, and do them just right, one will be able to see the Fairy Queen and get her magic kiss that one carries with one always after that, and which is a wonderful thing to have.”
Peter turned to Mother. “Is that true?”
“Yes,” she replied with a little smile that made her look ever so peaceful and lovely, “once you win through to the inner peace and see the fairies and become ready, the little Fairy Queen may love you enough to touch you with her magic wand and give you her magic kiss. One day soon, I will begin teaching the children who seem to be ready how to take the necessary steps.”
“May I be the first?” asked Eve Tan eagerly.
Mother gave her a little hug. “You may be the first to try, and it just might be that you will be the very first to whom the little fairies will show themselves. I have kept the little planting of shamrocks watered and growing all these months, and I can count on seeing them any bright afternoon if I pick a shamrock and go to sit under the trees close to the fairy circle where they come to dance.”
“I often see the little brown Menehunes,” said Eve Tan. “They like us, but usually are too busy to talk. And they never kiss us or have a magic wand. All they have is a magic chant that they repeat when they go fishing, and it makes the fish come close so they can catch them in their nets.”
Father and Uncle Gabriel came over, and Father said, “Run and wash your teeth and get ready. Your Uncle Gabriel is going to take you in the big space ship to see the parts of the world you have been studying about in your geography lessons. And we will see if we can find good places to take some plants and animals and other things to leave, so that later on, when it is time for you to go there to live, there will be all the plants and creatures you need to help you make a living.”
“Will we have to take snakes and bugs and toads?” asked Eve Red with a little shudder.
“I’m afraid we will,” answered Father. “It takes all kinds to keep the proper balance between creatures. But it will be no worse there than it has been here. And, toads are really very fine creatures if you get to know them.”
Off the children ran, and Adam Black was the first one back, his white teeth gleaming. “Will I be sure to have lions and elephants and things like that in Africa when I go to live there?” he asked hopefully.
“You will,” said Father. “It’s a promise. You’ll even have giraffes with very long necks, and there will be the ostrich standing higher than you are tall and laying an egg as large as your head. You’ll be surprised at the number and kinds of animals and other creatures which you will find living in Africa.
With no bad Gremlin about to cause trouble, everyone was soon in the big Space Ship. Windows were in the bottom of the ship and the children waved to Little Milkmaid and the chimp nurses and their pet dogs and cats. Little Cloud had moved over when the Space Ship came to cast its shadow, now she moved back over the house and garden to give proper shade, for it promised to be a rather warm day. The Owls were fast asleep after their night of hunting, and Mr. Beaver was down asleep in his house at the lower end of the pond after a busy night cutting down trees and eating tender bark. The Menehunes were not too sure that the Space Ship was a safe thing to have around, for once they had been captured and brought over from Hawaii in it, but at the last minute, when they saw the children waving, they came out from under the bushes where they had been hiding and waved nicely.
Mother said, “I do hope you locked up all the matches so the Chimp Boys in the kitchen will not get them and play with them and set the house on fire:”
“I locked them up safely,” replied Father. “They seem to have learned well not to play with matches, but sometimes a chimp just has to be a chimp and get into trouble.” He turned to the children and added, “I know that all of you will ALWAYS remember the great danger of playing with matches and setting your home and the trees and grass on fire to ruin everything around you.”
“Yes, Father”, they responded soberly. “We will always remember!”
Uncle Gabriel came as soon as the big ship was high above the Earth and racing along at great speed – while down below the Earth and its clouds went spinning in the opposite direction. He paused a moment to listen to bells ringing a message when Uncle Peter, who was making the ship fly, gave orders to a part of the crew. The ship was longer than all the way across the Garden and it was filled with fine machinery to make it go just right.
“Well, children,” said Uncle Gabriel, “your Father and Mother and I are going to look at the animals we have collected to leave at different places which we will visit. Would you like to come along? I’ll need all of you to help talk Teley-talk to them to tell them they are going to new homes and to assure them that there is nothing to fear. Will you help?”
The children were delighted to be allowed to help with such an important task, and to get to see strange animals and talk in Teley with them was a treat.
Father said, when they came to the first long passage with cages on both sides and the gazelles nibbling at some hay, “It looks like Noah’s Ark, but I suppose you never heard of that, Gabriel.”
Uncle Gabriel smiled. “Is that something you have already invented, or is it something you may invent a hundred or a thousand years from now?”
“It’s the invention of the Hebrew people, who won’t be on Earth yet for a thousand or so years. Adam and Eve Tan will be their ancestors and they will live not far from the Nile River. They will tell the story of how there came a great flood that would have killed every living creature, including men, but for the fact that a man named Noah built a great ship, called the Ark, and before the flood took into it a pair of every kind of creature. The flood made the Ark float for many days, but then went away and the Ark landed and all the animals and their babies came out and quickly found places to live, as did Noah, his wife and their boys and girls.”
Gabriel laughed. That story almost fits us in the Space Ship as we are today, and there is a bad flood going on in what will be China. There is a great yellow river which has spread out over the land for miles and miles.”
The children were soon making friends of many very friendly animals, they introduced themselves as the people who would soon go to live in different parts of the world, and invited the animals to come also and enjoy the fine countries. While that had very little idea of what the new lands really might be like, they pretended to know, and in this way helped the animals to get over any fear they might have.
They had hardly got well acquainted with deer, antelopes and Mr. and Mrs. Bison, when Uncle Gabriel announced that they were going to land in a good place and let off those who had been told what was to be done.
Mr. Bison asked, “Will there be wolves down there?”
“No,” said Gabriel. “We are taking around the animals who can eat grass at the start. The wolves won’t be brought for a long time, not until there get to be too many grass-eaters for the amount of grass that grows.”
The Space Ship came swiftly to earth and cages were let down gently with ropes, then the doors opened. It was a lovely country, with streams and hills and trees and grass. Not too far away began the Great Plains where the Bison family would soon be very much at home. In the distance could be seen fine mountains where the deer could enjoy themselves. Everyone said Goodbye, the empty cages were hauled up and soon they were off again.
A stop in late afternoon was made in what would later be New England, and more animals were dropped, also some fine trout put into a stream. Several birds were let go so they could fly to Earth and pick themselves a home. The insects were let out at proper places, and the Bee Queen at once led her workers to a hollow tree where they could start their hive.
As the Space Ship went on, it became night, although by the Garden time it was hardly noon. Lunch was served and the children put to bed for a good nap. When they awoke, it was still night, and the stars were very bright and there was a full moon.
“Where are we now?” asked Adam Black, rubbing his eyes. “Are we over Africa yet?”
“We have just reached Africa,” answered Father. “Do you remember your geography and how the eastern part of Africa is almost opposite our home in the Garden? When it begins to become night at the Garden, it will be sunrise where we are going. But come along and I will show you a fine big map and point out the place where the Nile River begins up in the high mountains. To the east of those mountains is a fine country with a good climate and we must get animals and things started there so there will be plenty of them later when they are needed.”
Adam Black was greatly excited. He did his best to understand the map, and he hurried to assure the animals who were to be let go there that it was a fine place for a home. To the zebras he said, “There will be no lions for a long time, so just enjoy the grass and have a good time in whatever way zebras have good fun.”
It was not quite dawn when the Space Ship came down, but the moon gave so much light that everything seemed almost as bright as day. When the animals were all down, and the proper amount of other creatures such as birds and bees released, Adam and Eve Black watched quite breathlessly through a window. The little view they had been able to get of their future home was most pleasing.
“It’s a very big land,” said Adam happily.”
“And very nice, with mountains and streams and meadows,” added Eve Black contentedly,” and they waved as long as they could see the land.
Uncle Peter turned the Space Ship almost north and Father said, “The Nile and Near East next. This is to be your land, Adam and Eve Tan. Your children will spread out all over this land and will give us the amusing stories about Noah and his Ark and many other stories. Other children will build big pyramids which will stand for centuries to make people wonder. The delta of the Nile River will be ideal for farming and for ducks and fish. We will let some down at that point, also some sheep and goats and the camels. Better go talk to the camels and tell them not to go too far away because soon you will need them when you want to travel across the deserts.”
The camels were very much interested in learning that they would live by a big river that had deserts all around it. “Any good oases near where we are to live?” asked Mr. Camel. Adam Tan was not sure, but he ran to ask Father.
“Oh, yes!” said Father. “This is the original oasis country and there is already plenty of camel thorn ready to eat.”
The sun was well up and it was hot when they landed by the big river at a place where it split up into several smaller rivers and everything grew green and tall. Already there were interesting plants and Father pointed out those of the papyrus family, saying, “Your children will learn to make paper from the bark of that one and use it to write upon with ink in picture-writing.”
The creatures, large and small, were landed and let go, also some fine fish and several kinds of ducks and geese. Adam and Eve Tan were very happy with what was to be their land. “We’ll have boats and sail on the river,” said Adam, and we’ll learn to ride the camels and go to see what deserts are like. “
Leaving soon, they crossed the Mediterranean Sea, went on to central Europe, and dropped some animals in what would one day be France. Turning next in the direction of India, they paused over the southern part of what would eventually become Russia to drop some animals and have a close look at the shores of the Black Sea. Of course Adam and Eve White were all eyes, for this was to be their country, and a very fine large one it was.
A run at top speed soon brought the Space Ship to India and there it was a warm afternoon over the great river Ganges. In the distance were the highest mountains in all the world, the Himalayas, topped with clouds and snow. Adam and Eve Brown were excited. This great land was to be their home. Adam said, “Can we climb to the tops of those mountains when we live here?”
Father laughed. “You can try, but the air gets so thin near the tops that I doubt that you will be able to make it all the way to the tops.”
It was almost sunset when they arrived over what was to become China and the children were getting very sleepy, for it had been a much longer day than usual for them. Little naps helped, but only the Celestials, Adam and Eve Yellow, could really rouse themselves and become deeply interested. They saw the Yellow River in flood and wide reaches of fine land. Animals were let down, and wild rice seed was scattered along the rivers as they rose to start for home. Father explained, “You and your children will tame the wild rice and it will make a fine food for you.”
The long flight home seemed to the children to take a very short time for they slept most of the way, and finally, when they arrived home and stopped over their own house, it was late afternoon and they felt as if they had been gone only one day, although it had been much longer than that.
The ones who had stayed behind welcomed them so warmly, and Little Milkmaid had made a fine square cake and covered it deep with whipped cream to welcome them on their return. “Did you leave goats in your new homes so you will have plenty of milk when you to live in the new places?”
“Oh, yes!” the children answered. “We left all kinds of animals.”
Adam White said, “And they left a cow and a bull in my place. If we can tame them, they will give even more milk than the goats.”
“We must have dinner to go with the fine cake,” said Mother as she put on her kitchen apron and called to the Chimp Boys to come with her to the kitchen and help get things going. The Chimp Boys all hurried to get on their aprons and caps and wash their hands ever so clean. By now they were all very wise about cooking and kitchens and could steal bites without, well, almost always, without being caught and scolded.
After the children had become six, their lessons were much more interesting and they learned of exciting things such as multiplication and division, and delightedly began to work out problems. They loved going with Father to use the long measuring tapes and find out just how far one thing was from another, as for instance, the swimming pond from the house. They could measure out an acre and drive stakes at the corners to show just how big it was, and each Adam and Eve was allowed to select an acre to own as the very own garden plot of the pair. And they studied many kinds of plants and Father gave them seeds to plant and offered prizes for the finest gardens and best fruits, useful plants and vegetables. They learned to make fences and weave willow sticks together in the fences to keep out the rabbits and at the end of each month those who had done best with their garden plot were given prizes.
The prize they loved best was to be allowed to look through Father’s big Time Telescope and see things happening in the future. For first prize one got to look longest through the Telescope, sometimes as much as an hour, and everyone got a prize of some length, even if it were but a few minutes, for Mother said “At least they tried, even if their plants did not do quite as well as expected.” And when all had been given their turns at the Telescope, they were given a special reward.
Father would hook up a little machine that would throw pictures on a white wall so everyone could watch. They saw men building pyramids one time, and at another they saw a little ship being built and oars made – then saw it pushed into the water and a sail lifted so that it sailed away like a beautiful big duck. One of the most exciting times came when they watched little brown people called Eskimos driving their dog sleds and building a house of blocks of snow. One time when Father turned the Telescope very far up, they saw a great city, but soon Adam Red said, “Can’t we look out into the country and see their farms? There are too many people in that city and they run around just like crazy ants.” So Father hunted and hunted to find a nice farm, but there were so many people that they lived where farms should have been, and it was so crowded that it made the children hurt just to see how crowded they were.
“Eve Red asked, “If they have no farms and gardens, what do they eat?”
Father turned the picture to a big factory and said, “In there they make food out of atoms and when the people get hungry, they swallow a few pills.”
“I like our way best,” said Adam Black. “Who would trade a ripe water melon for a tasteless little pill?”
Father had been reading a sign as the picture ran before them. He laughed. “The sign promises that Gobblem’s Pill Food will never make one too fat.” Mother said, “At least pills have some advantage.”
One day when vacation time came and not much was left to do in the gardens for the year, Mother asked if any of the children would like to see if they could learn to do things in their heads that would allow them to see the fairies and elves.
“It is not too easy,” she warned, “and once you start to learn, you may have to practice for some time. But if you can learn just what to do and to become just right, the Fairy Queen may one day touch you with her magic wand and give you her kiss. After that, no matter how old you become or how sad you might feel, or hurt or in trouble, you can touch your cheek where she kissed you, and over all the miles and days she will send her comfort to help.”
It sounded very wonderful, and besides, all the children had for a long time wanted to see the fairies and elves. Eve White asked, “How do we begin to get so we can see the Fairy Queen?”
Mother rose and said, “Let’s all go out into the woods above the pond to the place where the Little People have made their homes.” She led the way and soon they came to a little glade where the sunshine danced down through the trees and where the grass grew green. Flowers bloomed and in the grass one could see, by looking very carefully, a faint circle where the fairies and elves danced. They danced mostly by flitting about in the air, but touch the grass often enough to make a slight mark and leave a circle.
The children sat down around the circle, and Mother tossed into it the shamrock she had picked from her box as they started.
“Now,” she said, “the thing that we must do is become very quiet and peaceful. If we have little thoughts sent up to us from the animal self about frets and fears and worries, the fairies will not allow us to see them. They are at such peace that even the slightest little fear we may have will stand like a wall holding us away from looking into their lovely world where all is peace and quiet and joy and calm. Now see if you can look at yourselves and find anything that is going to make a wall. Look inside your heads and see how you feel inside.”
Eve White soon cried, “I’ll never be able to see the fairies! Never, never! As soon as I stop thinking and begin to look inside, I feel fear and worry as if I had been dreaming a bad dream. Do you think I might be remembering some bad dream?”
“Yes, you might be,” said Mother. “Often you will forget your dreams, but your low inside animal self will remember and will make you feel as if something bad was about to happen. This feeling is called dread, and it can be a very little feeling or even a bad large one. The way to get rid of the dreads is to talk them over inside your head with your animal self. It is not as wise as you are about those things and you have to help it. You ask whether there is anything just now about to hurt you. You think of all the things of which you may be a little afraid and say to yourself, None of these things are about to happen to me, at least not just now, and perhaps not all day or all of a year from now. There is nothing at all to dread. And after that you can begin to use a magic way of helping your aunihipili to stop being afraid and become brave and strong and happy and peaceful. The magic lies in beginning to count all your blessings – all the good things that you have and that are happening to you and will go right on happening. You can count off, I have nothing to dread because I am safe and well and am loved and fed and cared for all the time I have loving friends who will always help me when I need them. I have my Adam to love and who loves me and will take care of me. I have in my head many fine things learned at school. I have my part of a nice garden, and I have my dolls and pets. My chimp nurse loves me and there is everything to make me be happy and entirely at peace. Then you can say, firmly, so that your animal self will believe you and remember what you say, I AM FREE FROM ANY DREAD. I am safe and happy and at peace with all my friends and WITHIN MY SELF. My very own AUMAKUA will come to help me at any time if I need it and call. ALL IS WELL. ALL IS BEAUTY. ALL IS PEACE.”
Eve asked, “Can I tell about something that worries me? I am ashamed to tell, it, but it does.”
“Of course,” replied Mother. “We are all your friends and perhaps we can help you if we only listen to what you have to say. Go ahead.”
Eve hung her head miserably. “I’m jealous of Eve Black. She is so beautiful and so perfectly black and didn’t get bleached even the slightest bit. I am jealous of her and ashamed of my white color. I’m the worst bleached of all. I have to watch that I don’t get burned by the sun, and I have yellow hair and freckles.”
Eve Black jumped up and ran to kneel beside her and take her into her arms. “Now honey, don’t you ever say such a thing!” she said softly. “I was never going to tell a single soul, but I’ve been jealous of you and that is because I think you are just the most beautiful girl ever! Even your freckles are cute and your blue eyes are like flowers!”
Eve White put her hands over her face. “I’m afraid I am going to cry,” she whispered, and her Adam, suddenly remembering something, reached out clumsily to take her from Eve Black and offer a shoulder to cry on Mother smiled gently, then turned and looked into the Fairy Ring and smiled a warm welcome.
“The Fairy Queen has come,” she said under her breath, and all the children tried their best to see the Little Queen, but not one of them could. “It was the love and gentleness that made her come,” said Mother. “Such things make her come best of all. But now she has gone again. Now, if we are all ready, shall we see if we can become very quiet and peaceful deep inside us?”
Everyone tried in his or her own way. Some closed their eyes. Some kept their eyes open. All tried to relax and be quiet, but it was all new and strange.
Mother waited a little, then said, “Taking a few deep breaths and getting more life force in you may help, but if any of you have thoughts that trouble you, this would be a good time to talk and get them out of you with the help of the group.”
Eve Brown squirmed restlessly and held up her hand. “I keep thinking about that very big land we saw yesterday where I will go with my Adam to live, and I get frightened. If a tiger was there, then ate Adam, and I was all alone.”
“That is a very natural fear,” said Mother. “But there are always things that might happen to us later, so our job is to find peace for today. We must think strongly inside us that there is no use worrying about things that may never happen at all and which are so far ahead in time. One day at a time, is the way to think to get the animal self, and the auhane also, to let the past and future take care of themselves. The task is to find peace for NOW, not for tomorrow or next day when no one knows what will happen.”
Adam Yellow, the Celestial, raised his hand. “I’m not afraid,” he said, “but I was just wondering if when we get very old like the animals do and have to die, should we still not be afraid and try to be all peaceful?”
Mother nodded, “Yes, right up to the last day. You see, the animal self in us does not understand things as well as we who are the middle or thinking selves. It will always be afraid to die because it does not know that it will just go to sleep and soon wake up as a spirit – its body all made young and beautiful out of the shadowy stuff. We auhanes must keep telling it this and keeping it from being afraid, and if we do, it will let us go across into the bright land of spirit much more readily. You must always remember that when we become old and have finished with this incarnation or life, we of the auhanes will not fear dying – we will look forward to it and to the new spirit body, and hardly be able to wait. To go across then is a joyous thing to do. But one must remember to tell the animal aunihipili how it is all to be, and make it also give up its dreads and fears. After we live and rest and have a beautiful time in the spirit world, we will be ready to be born again as a baby in this world, and our Aumakua will find us a nice pair of parents who will be happy to have us join their family. Never forget that nothing is worth fearing. Even the worst possible things cannot last long, and if they come, one always goes to the spirit world and everything is made right.”
Eve Red said, “Mother, couldn’t we just stay here forever in the Garden with you and Father? Why do we have to grow up and go to other parts of the world to live?”
“Don’t worry about that,” said Mother. “You will be here with us for a long time still. As you grow older and have children of your own, you will begin to feel brave and adventurous – which means you will love to go to far places and to have very big gardens – whole lands, for your very own. And you will want to make the lands into just the kind of places you desire, and fix them so they will be just right for homes for your children and grandchildren. Your Adam will want to go to new places and make a Garden all his own, and where your Adam wants to go, you will be happy to go so you can be with him and help him and watch over him.”
Again, the children became silent and began to try to make their thoughts be happy and peaceful ones. After a while Mother whispered, “Try to think of BEAUTY, and see beauty all around you and in your inner thoughts. Tell your animal self that it walks in beauty with you, and that there is beauty before you and behind and above. Learn to see the beauty that always surrounds you if you become still and peaceful and can see and hear and sense it. ALL IS BEAUTY. Eve Red, this will be easy for you. You will never forget, and you will teach it to your children so that they may walk in beauty all their lives.
Nothing is without BEAUTY if we but stop to look for it – even the blackest night and its perfect darkness. “
Soon Mother said, “That is enough for one day. Try to remember all we have learned and tomorrow and the next day we will practice again. Every day our aunihipilis will come to believe better and better what we tell them, and one day a sudden deep glory of peace and beauty will seem to rise up inside you and flow out to fill all your world, and if you are here by the Fairy Ring, the fairies will appear and dance before you, and one day the Fairy Queen will come to love you because of the peace and beauty you bring with you, and she will touch you with her magic wand, and one day give you her magic kiss, after which you can always find peace just by touching the kissed spot.”
Adam White asked, “Isn’t the Fairy Queen and her wand and kiss something like the Aumakua that each of us has? It sounds much like the same loving care. And you have to call, and perhaps take some deep breaths the same way.”
Mother said, “I was wondering whether any of you would notice how alike they are. Good thinking, Adam White. Yes, the Fairy Queen is also a spirit and also of a very high level. You might say that she is an Aumakua to the little fairies and elves, and that when she helps you she is really joining your Aumakua to do it. But you can see the Fairy Queen, and that helps your aunihipili to believe in her and her help – and that belief is very good to have. Now let’s go home. Come along, and tomorrow you can begin practicing whenever you feel like it.”
As the days passed, the children practiced, sometimes one at a time, or an Adam and Eve going hand in hand to practice together at the Fairy Ring. They learned to become quieter and quieter, inside, and found that it was a wonderful feeling to be at peace and to get rid of all the little dreads and fears and frets.
Then one day Adam and Eve Black suddenly saw all the Fairies and elves dancing, and their beautiful Little Queen came and touched each of them on the head with her wand, and kissed Adam on his right cheek and Eve on her left. It was a most surprising thing the way their peace seemed to grow to reach out to take in all the world, and their hearts filled with love and joy. They were so surprised and so happy that they could not say a word. They just sat very still until the fairies finished their gay dance and fluttered away, following a beam of sunshine up into the leaves of a tree until they could no longer be seen.
When they came home they were wide eyed and breathless. Mother saw them and cried, “You saw her! Now don’t tell me she also touched you with her wand and gave you each a magic kiss!”
The other children came running and gathered around eager to hear how it had all happened, but Adam and Eve Black could hardly say a word because it was all so wonderful, the wonderful feeling down deep inside, not on the outside. They tried to tell about it, but soon Mother said, “It is something each of you must feel for himself to understand. So keep on practicing and I am sure that all of you will get the touch and kiss sooner or later.
And they did. It took more time, but one by one each child learned how to become quiet enough and loving enough. Some found that they did better by taking several deep breaths now and again as they were quieting their minds and talking away fears or frets that their aunihipilis pushed up from inside to let their auhanes know about.
They also found that when they were at peace inside, even if not watching for the fairies, little animals and birds stopped being afraid of them and often would come close to talk Teley back and forth. Even the bees were gentle and would let them come close to their honey tree without rushing to sting them. It was very wonderful to have found the blessing of inner peace and quiet – a peace that could be had in just a few moments by asking for it and getting ready for it. And if a child were troubled and could not get peace of mind, all that was needed was to take four long breaths, place a finger on the spot where the Fairy Queen had placed her kiss, and soon peace would come to sweep away all the troubled thoughts.
Mother said one day, “If we had not done anything else all during the vacation, it would have been worthwhile because we came to know the Fairy Queen and get her magic touch and soft kiss.”
And the children all agreed.
THE THREE WISHES
It took what seemed a very long time for the children to grow out of being seven years old and to have their EIGHTH BIRTHDAYS. They were given a grand party and so many animals and birds and insects came that there was hardly any room left in the Garden when Old Mrs. Elephant, who, as usual was a bit late, got there. But she managed to squeeze in between the two giraffes, saying to them,” You are such wonderful people! You must diet all the time to keep so slim and lovely.”
Mrs. Giraffe said, “We eat only the leaves on the taller trees, and I must say that we DO keep our figures rather well.”
“Oh dear,” sighed Mrs. Elephant, “I suppose I had better try your diet for a while. I AM going to start dieting and slim down, you know. But have to wait until tomorrow. Today I simply must have some of the giant birthday cake that I see is about to be cut and passed around.”
Father, who always saw everything, even if he said nothing about what he saw, caught sight of Mrs. Elephant and cut a very extra large piece of cake for her. It took two of the Chimp Boys to carry it to her in a basket and because of the crowd, they had to go by way of the tree branches to get there. When they reached Mrs. Elephant and passed her the basket, she couldn’t help crying a few tears. “I know I just shouldn’t,” she said sadly, “but on the Eighth Birthday, and all that… well.” She took a bite and cheered up. “My but this is good, and anyway, tomorrow just tree leaves.”
It was rather warm despite the nice cloud shadow which Little Cloud made over the garden, and so she called to her friend The Wind, and said, “Will you help me? Just blow a nice gentle little breeze to cool off the guests.”
“Glad to help!” answered The Wind, and he opened his wind bag just a tiny little bit so that it fanned everyone exactly right.
Well, it was a wonderful party, and the children got so many fine presents that they could hardly count them. But at the end of the day when all the guests had gone home and everything had been made tidy again, Eve Black said to Mother as she was being tucked into bed with three new dolls and a new kitten, “The only thing I can think of that we missed was that the Fairies and their Little Queen did not come.”
“They do not like crowds,” said Mother. “But perhaps tomorrow you can pay her a little visit and see whether or not she might have had a present for you.”
So, the next day, Eve Black told the other children and they all worked hard to become very quiet, and to make their thoughts free of fear or greed or of any kind of ugliness. When they had done this, they went to the woods and made a circle to watch for the fairies to appear. And appear they did, almost at once, all singing in their tiny voices, “Happy Birthday, dear Adami, Happy Birthdays to you!”
Then came the little Fairy Queen sliding down a sunbeam with her lovely, thin robes floating along after her. She had put on her prettiest crown and had chosen her most beautiful scepter. It promised to be another birthday, and even a better one. But the children all did their very best NOT to think a single greedy thought of what they might get for a present.
When greetings were over and the Little Queen had made the elves stop singing the birthday song, which, once started, they seemed never to want to stop, just like some boys and girls who hate so to stop when they are doing something that is fun, but have done more than enough of it, she said, “Do you remember that when each of you won my Magic Kiss and how, at that time I promised you each a WISH? In fact, I promised you three wishes between each pair of you. That is because you might make a bad wish and need a third to get rid of it. Today, as your Birthday Gifts, I am going to give you the chance to use those Wishes.”
“Oh, goodie goodie,” the children all cried together, and they clapped their hands and began whispering back and forth, each Adam to his Eve, to decide what would be the most wonderful possible thing to wish for.”
“Remember,” warned the Little Queen as she adjusted the small star in her scepter to make it twinkle exactly right for Wishes, “Each pair of you must agree entirely on what you want when you make your wish. When even grown people cannot agree on what they want, they usually will get nothing they like.”
Adam and Eve White were the first to decide what they wanted. Adam said, almost breathless with excitement, “Could we wish to live in a time far ahead that we saw in Father’s Time Telescope? It was a time when they had a king who wore a purple robe and a gold crown, and he was sitting in a great round place with all his people to see games and things. Eve wants to see the lovely ladies and their fine robes, and I want to see the games so I can learn a new one and we can play it here instead of baseball – a game without the Chimp Boys always winning.”
The Queen smiled and drew a big circle in the air with her scepter, and it made a nice round hole in the wall which usually one cannot see, but which divides off our part of the world from the OTHER SIDE. “Come along,” she invited, and led the way through the hole.
Inside it was a different world entirely – a strange and wonderful one. The Queen pointed here and there with her scepter as she explained, “Here are Aumakuas taking care of the thought-forms you have been sending up to them every day. They use them to make the days ahead, and when you send nice thoughts, they can make nice days for you to enjoy, but if you happen to send up bad thoughts, you get bad days. And here where all these Bright Spirits are at work, is here Father keeps most of his PATTERNS of things and they get them to the front of the lines to become real THINGS when he is ready for them on the other side of the WALL. Do you see that beautiful new kind of flower which is just about to be pushed through the wall? Isn’t it beautiful? And so fragrant! But come over this way. I have borrowed Father’s Time Telescope, and all of you can take turns going ahead in time to taste life as it will be centuries from now. You can pick your times, but I am afraid that I can’t be very sure of just where you will land when I move you up in time and put you in the place you select. I must warn you that you may not like it when you get there, and if you don’t, you must use your third wish to change things. Do you understand, and do you want to take the chance of getting set down into the midst of some rather bad trouble?”
The children were all very sober as they thought about what she had said. Then Eve Red said, “If we can use the third wish to get out of trouble, I think it would be a lot of fun, and safe enough.”
The other children agreed and it was settled. But the Queen warned, “Be ever so careful not to use up your third wish on anything, no matter how lovely, or you may get caught where I cannot help you.” She turned to Adam White, who was right behind her, and said, “You can be first. Look into the Time Telescope and see if you can set it on a time and place where they are having games such as you wish to see and where the beautiful ladies are wearing fine clothes for Eve to enjoy.”
Adam looked into the Telescope and turned the wheel until he found a place that seemed about right. The Queen called to a man with a white beard who was oiling a very large glass wheel through which one could see underneath a large map of the world. The wheel moved and said Tick Tock as it counted off seconds of time. “Father Chronos,” the Little Queen said loudly, for he was a bit deaf, “this pair has selected a spot in time. Will you see if you can move them up into it?”
Father Chronos, who was also called Father Time and who was the older brother of Uncle Gabriel of the Flying Saucers and Keeper of the Heavens, looked over his glasses at Adam and Eve White and motioned them to come close to the big wheel and stand on a little glass square in the floor. He then took his pencil and did some very hard arithmetic problems.
When he had checked and proved his answers carefully, he rumbled, “The Roman Colosseum, heh? Game time. Yep, I’ll see if I can spot it. Do you want to be the Emperor and his Queen, sitting with a few nobles in the Royal box and watching the games I suppose you do. Well, it’s hard to hit so small a place at just the right moment and if I miss a little, you will have to ask where the games are being played and go there on foot or in your chariot, if you have one. Now stand still and I’ll see what I can do.”
He set a long pointer to a certain spot, looked at his watch, and then pressed a red button. The big time wheel jumped suddenly ahead a little way, and then stopped and slipped quietly back to where it had been ticking before.
Adam and Eve White suddenly found themselves, not in royal robes waiting to see the games, but in a big stone room looking out through bars into the great arena where the games were played. There were thousands of people sitting on the seats around and above the arena and right down in the front at the center, was the royal box with the Emperor – a very fat man – and his very well fed wife with the nobles and their fat wives. The Emperor was dressed in a robe of royal purple and his crown was a gold wreath of leaves such as the victors in the games were allowed to wear, only theirs were made of leaves from a tree.
With them in the big room were Adam and Eve’s mother and father and several other men and women with their families. They were all dressed in strange robes and were very dirty and very thin and hungry.
“What kind of a game are they going to play, “Adam asked of his father as he watched six men pushing a large cage on wheels from a big door in the wall under the royal box. The cage was full of very thin lions.
“Don’t dare call it a game,” whispered his father. Soon they will open this door and push us out into the arena. Then we men will be given small clubs and the umpire will shout that the people are about to see a combat between Christians and lions. Then the Emperor will pull the rope to unfasten the latch and let the cage door drop. Out will come the lions, and we will pray and fight, but hold the Faith to our last living breath.”
“What makes a Christian?” asked Eve, beginning to be frightened. Her mother answered.
“A Christian is one who worships the true God and His Son. Everyone else has to worship the Emperor, but we can’t do that. WE are Christians.”
“Oh,” said Eve doubtfully.
“Those lions,” whispered Adam. “Don’t they look just like our lions at home? I’m going to try some Teley-talk on them and tell them not to eat us.” He screwed up his face to make it look as much like a lion’s as he could and began sending his greetings to the lions in the cage. The largest lion stopped roaring and cocked an ear to listen.
Soon he tellyed back, “Who are you, and how come you talk lion talk?”
Father Time looked at them through his glasses, and then at them over the top of his glasses. “How close did I come?” he asked. “I couldn’t have landed you in the shoes of the Emperor and his Queen or you wouldn’t have wanted to come back so soon. You weren’t gone more than ten minutes.”
“You missed the Emperor’s box by the length of half the arena,” said Adam. It was good aiming, but a little off.”
Adam Tan said, “Well, did you see a game or part of one, and what kind of a game?”
Adam shook his head. His face was a little pale and his freckles stood out dark on his nose. “We didn’t see a game. We fell right into what was about to be one. Our side was the Christians and we were to play against the lions, but the ape men in the audience or someone, had fixed it so that the Christians didn’t have a chance. I saw this as soon as we got there and got the lions to join the Christians to make one team. We played the Emperor and the nobles, and I captained our team and saw to it that our side played fair, even if the other side played dirty. Our team made a run around the end and then a drive through the center. We won.”
“What was the score,” asked Adam Black. “Or was there any score the way you played the game?”
“We didn’t have time to figure a score,” answered Adam thoughtfully. “But if there had been one, our side would have won at least 20 to nothing.”
“Then you might say you just ate them up,” said Adam Black.
Adam White shuddered. “Yes, I guess you might say that. But the lions let the wives get away, and that was nice of them, considering everything.”
Eve Red said to Eve White, “Did you see pretty dresses?”
Eve shook her head. “I was too scared to look at them, and I was so hungry I almost used up our last wish asking for a plate of sandwiches. But Adam was wonderful. He saw just what to do and if he had only had our Chimp Boys along to play on his team, his side could have won over everyone in Rome!”
Eve Brown asked, “Who or what were those Christians?”
“I really never found out,” answered Eve. “Next time we have a history lesson I’ll ask Father. He knows everything and can tell us. But at least they were good people and wanted to play fair.” She thought a minute, then added. “They were very hungry and dirty, but they wouldn’t worship the Emperor.”
“What became of the Emperor?” asked Adam Yellow, the Celestial.
Adam white shook his head slowly. “We’ll never quite know. But the last I saw of him as we came away was his purple toga. Two lions were pulling on it and tearing it apart. He wasn’t in it.”
“Who’s next?” asked Father Time a little impatiently. “I have all the time there is, but you can’t get more than twenty-four hours into a day, you know.”
Adam Red stepped forward, pulling his Eve by the hand. “Let us take our turn. We saw a very nice tribe of people living in North America in skin tents. We want to go to live with them a while and learn how they hunt and make fires and everything.”
Eve Red said, “I’m a little afraid since the others had a bad time in Rome, but I suppose I must be brave.”
“I’ll take care of you,” promised her Adam. ”Just trust me and come along.”
So they stood on the glass plate beside the Time Wheel and Father Time set the pointer at a place which he thought might be extra good. He pressed the red button and the wheel jerked and they were off. When they found that they had arrived they looked eagerly around.
They were in a large skin teepee and on a bear skin on the floor lay an Indian girl of about sixteen, dressed in worn and ragged buckskin clothes. She was asleep and Eve was fanning the flies away from her thin face.
“How wrinkled my hands are,” exclaimed Eve. “And you, Adam, I hardly know you. Why, we are both old and gray! The Time Wheel must have jumped too far ahead. What shall we do?”
“Now don’t cry or get excited,” said Adam, although he was a little frightened to find himself so old. “I see that we must have lived here for quite a while. I seem to be a doctor or healer. Over there back of you are medicines that I give to sick people. I suppose you help me and keep house.”
Eve thought a moment, then said, “Yes, it all comes to me. We got here a long time ago and were of different tribes. You lived as the son of the tribe’s Medicine Man, and when you were grown, you came to my tribe and stole me to be your squaw. I was glad you did and I thought you were a fine healer and a very wise young man.”
The sleeping girl moved a little, then awakened and sat up. “I want to go home,” she said, and started to cry.
Adam looked hopelessly at Eve and said, “Now I remember. We have been trying to heal this girl of the worst sickness that there is. I know of no cure for it and we do not know what tribe she comes from or where her people have gone. All we know is that she was lost and the chief sent her to us to be healed.”
“What is the name of her sickness?” asked Eve. “Did we ever have it in the days long ago when we lived in the Garden?”
“The only name I know for it,” said Adam, “is homesickness. I know of no herb or bark or prayer or chant that will cure it. In some cases, not even years of passing time will heal it.
Eve sat lost in thought for a long time but held the girl in her arms and let her cry. Finally Adam spoke. “Yes, we are thinking the same thing, Eve. It was years before we stopped our longing to get back to the Garden, and even yet you sometimes remember it and cry in the night. Yes, homesickness is a very difficult sickness indeed.”
Tears came into Eve’s eyes and began to trickle down her wrinkled face. “I still feel very bad when I remember our lives as children in the Garden. I wish we were home again.”
There was a sudden jerk and flash of light, and to their surprise they found themselves standing beside the Time Wheel with all their little friends staring at them curiously.
“You were gone only two minutes,” scolded Father Time. “Was something wrong? Did I miss my spot and land you in a bad place so that you had to use your last wish and come right back home?”
“Something was wrong,” replied Adam. “When we got there we were old and wrinkled.”
Eve put in hurriedly, “And we had already lived there for years and years, even if it was only two minutes here. Adam’s hair was almost white, at least the little he had left of it. And I was all dried up and my hands were wrinkled.”
“Dear me,” said Father Time. “I must have added wrong when I figured the time and place. I fear I forgot to prove my problems. I must be more careful in the future. But was that the only reason you came home so quickly? Just age?”
“Eve looked down shamefacedly at her hands. “That wasn’t it. It was because we had been homesick for the Garden for years and years and because there is no remedy for homesickness.”
The Little Queen smiled and nodded. “I know all about that. I was homesick for Ireland after we were brought to the Garden. And I still am at times. Someday I am going to ask Father to let us go home, if just for a short visit.”
Father time shook his head and his white beard wagged back and forth. “Don’t go back,” he warned. “When one has been away for as long as two years, things will have changed so much that it will no longer be home. And it will make you very sad.”
“But,” broke in Adam Red, “we had been gone years and years and had grown old and wrinkled, but we certainly are glad to be home. It makes us happy instead of sad.”
“In your case,” said Father Time, “you had been gone only two actual minutes although it seemed almost a lifetime. Just take my word for it. I know all about time and what it does to people and places. I say, NEVER GO BACK, no, never go back expecting things to be as they were before.”
“But if you don’t get over being homesick? What then?” asked Eve Red.
“You have to grin and bear it,” said Father Time gently. “Time, of which I have a great lot, heals almost anything else, but not the homesickness. It lives in the heart instead of the head, and hearts are not very reasonable. The only thing that does not change and which one can return to after years away, is the sea. And that is an odd thing, because the sea never offers a home. In looking down my years I’ve seen men sail in one ship after another. It’s not the ships that they think about when they are away from the ocean and become homesick, it is the whole of it, you might say, all the oceans in the world. Yes, you CAN go back to the sea.”
“Come,” said the Little Queen, waving her scepter until its star sparkled. “Let us all forget sad thoughts and be gay! Do any of the rest of you see a time and place you would like to visit?”
Adam Tan and his Eve stepped forward. Adam said, “We saw some very happy people who had sleds and dogs to pull them, and there was snow and they had fur clothing to keep them warm. We think that would be a nice safe place to try.”
“Huh, Eskimos,” muttered Father Time, pulling at his beard. “Quite a jump ahead to get to them, and I’m not just sure that this is a good time of the year to go there. However, you can always come back on your last wish if it does not work out.” He picked up his pencil and worked some arithmetic problems and proved his answers with care. “Stand on the glass square,” he ordered, and began setting his pointer over the right place. “That’s as close as I can come to it,” he said, and with that he pressed the red button.
In an instant Adam and Eve Tan found themselves with a number of other people, large and small, all dressed in furs and everyone except the babies riding in their mothers’ fur hoods, eating whale blubber.
Eve said, “I never liked fat, but this tastes very good and I am still hungry even if I am so stuffed I can hardly walk.”
Adam grinned at her over the piece he was munching. “Same with me, and wouldn’t Father and Mother be surprised to see how dirty and greasy and smelly we are!” He looked at the sea beyond the beach where the whale had been washed up. There were great chunks of ice floating around, and it looked very cold and not at all inviting. “Do you suppose we could learn to love the sea and later get to feel homesick for it?”
Eve looked out at the far horizon and the fields of broken ice. “I don’t think I could ever learn to love this ocean. It looks cold and unfriendly.” She looked up at a brown woman who was coming to them, and said under her breath, “Must be our mother. I hope we can speak Eskimo.”
The woman jerked her head toward a wrinkled and evil-faced old man, saying softly in a strange language that they were surprised to understand, “Someone who is a man of magic has been saying that his nose is getting cold, which is a sign of a storm coming. But the men wish to stay a little longer and cut more blubber to take home in the boats to our winter camp. Now, someone’s mother thinks someone’s strong twins had better help carry chunks of blubber so that the boats will be filled.”
The children, not quite trusting themselves to speak the strange language, ran off to the place where the last of the blubber was being sawed slowly into chunks with very dull saws made of the bills of sailfish.
As Adam watched, he whispered to Eve, “What poor knives! I think we could chip better ones out of these black stones on the beach. Give me a hand and I will see if they will chip like Father taught us.”
He picked up a small piece of bone, then selected a long thin piece of the black stone, and while Eve held it steady, he placed the end of the bone against the rock and, using a small round stone for a hammer, tapped the bone sharply. The large stone flaked beautifully. “We’ll have a fine knife in no time at all, said Adam, and with swift taps as Eve held the stone, the flakes fell and a good ragged, but sharp edge formed.
The old tribal magic man had been watching them suspiciously. He came over and gave a questioning grunt.
“Someone’s twins are making a stone knife that is very sharp and that will cut blubber,” explained Adam politely. He took the knife to the whale and easily cut a square of blubber. The men had paused curiously to watch, and Adam said, “If someone wishes to see how to make a stone knife, I will show him. It is very easy.” He motioned to Eve, and she selected another stone and held it. He flaked its edge quickly and from his audience came wondering cries of delight.
“It is a wonderful way to make knives!” shouted one of the men. “We must all learn!”
The old magician seemed to be turning green with envy. Suddenly he began to shout, “Beware! Beware! Someone’s twins have been bewitched by evil spirits. We must hurry home and leave them here or we will all be overcome by evil spirits. Don’t you all know that no one can cut stone with a piece of bone unless with the help of terrible and evil spirits? Run! Run for your lives! To the boats! Run!”
Suddenly everyone took fright and began running for the four big skin boats which had been hidden on the beach behind the carcass of the whale so that the children had not seen them.
“It is not evil spirits!” shouted Adam. “Anyone can make stone knives!”
“Don’t leave us here!” begged Eve, and she and Adam tried to get into the boat behind their mother. But the men pushed them away and the boats slid into the water and everyone paddled furiously to get away from the shore.
The old magician shook his fist at them and shouted curses. “Freeze! Die of hunger! Be eaten by the great bears! Die! Die!”
Eve clung to Adam and began to wail. “What can we do? We can’t stay here without a house and we can’t eat blubber very long because it’s almost all gone. Oh, oh, oh! I wish we were home!”
That did it. There came a jerk and a flash of light, and the next moment they were standing on the glass plate beside the wheel among their friends. Eve threw her arms around one after another and hugged each while trying to stutter out what danger they had been in and how glad they were to get safely back to the Garden.
Father Time looked at his watch. “Less than fourteen minutes,” he said. “So what was it that made this pair of brave adventurers come back so quickly?”
Adam, with Eve’s help when he left out anything, told their story. Everyone listened breathlessly. “I don’t quite know what happened,” Adam said when he had finished. “We were only trying to help by making stone knives like Father taught us. It pleased everyone except that old magic man.”
“Exactly,” said Father Time wisely. “In every group there is someone who is the boss, and if that one sees anyone else doing something that might cut into his power, he does his best to do away with him. In your case it was the magician. He couldn’t afford to let it be seen that anyone was smarter than he was. So he made the people think you were being used by evil spirits and that to have you around might cause the spirits to bewitch all of them. He was very crafty.”
“But they needed stone knives so much,” said Eve.
“Of course they did. Lots of people need lots of things that smart men can see how to get for them. But there’s always a magician or chief or boss or king or someone who doesn’t dare let other people show that they are smarter. I never saw it fail. Just let a really smart man come up with some good idea, and they run him out of town and get the mob yapping at his heels. The really smart men soon learn either to keep their mouths shut, or to find a way to make the big boss think he has thought up the idea. But come, time is wasting and the afternoon is half gone. Who else has the courage to try an adventure into future time?“
Adam Yellow, with his Eve, the Celestials, came forward hesitantly.” If it isn’t too very dangerous,” said Adam, “we would like to go to the land where I will settle, and what our children’s children have done about learning to live in a proper way. Through the Time Telescope we saw a very wise and splendid king who was holding court and making wicked people do right by the people they had hurt. I’d like to go to that court and perhaps we could be nobles of the court and wear fine clothing.”
Father Time scratched his bald head and thought a bit. “That must have been the Emperor Zhu Di, of the Ming Dynasty,” he decided, and began figuring with his pencil. Soon he was ready and pointed to the glass plate. “I’ll get you as close as I can to the right place, but don’t forget and use your last wish on something foolish like wishing you had something to eat. There’s no telling what you may run into, even in as civilized a place as China.
When the red button was pressed, the wheel jumped, stuck slightly, jumped two more times, and then backed up a tiny bit. Adam and Eve felt as if they were being tumbled and rolled all over a thousand calendars, but the tumbling stopped and they were able to catch their breaths.
Adam found himself bouncing up and down on a fine throne. The court physician came running, and after a low bow, hurried to feel of his pulse and ask, “Oh Divine One, what came upon you? Are you ill? Did some demon cause you to bob up and down like that on your throne?”
Adam did his best to remember who he was and to recall anything about his life that might help him for the moment. He remembered something and said, “It is nothing. My old battle wounds sometimes stab me so that I jump.”
“Then that is in my field,” cried an old man. “It is perhaps an omen of war. If the Highest will excuse me, I will hurry to my books and cast a horoscope for the minute and for the event. If war is predicted, I will return at once.”
Adam nodded, and the old man hobbled away through the great room where many richly dressed people were seated before the throne. Armed guards were standing near, and close around him gathered men whom Adam took to be the nobles of his court. With pleasure he noted the richness of the silks which he wore.
A man whom he recognized as the head cook of the palace, and a very good friend, came up behind his throne and whispered, “Food is good for jumps, O Best of Emperors. And it is about time for a little refreshment. How would you like to declare a recess in the court hearings while I have tea and cookies served?”
“An excellent idea,” agreed Adam happily, and he began rolling up his silk sleeves which hung down a foot below his hands to show that HE never had to lift a hand to do work of any kind. Servants appeared as by magic when he called out, “Recess!”
All the people looked pleased and the men of high rank began to roll up their sleeves. A tray was set before Adam and on it he saw a large pot of steaming tea, five kinds of seed-dotted little cakes, and a dish of ginger root cooked in the juice of sugar cane to make it sweet. He picked up his chopsticks and tried the ginger. It was delicious. A servant poured a bowl of tea for him, but just as he was trying the tea and cakes, there came a great outcry from the quarters of the Empress which were just behind the throne. Smoke filled the air and firemen ran in from all directions with pails of water and buckets of sand to fight the fire. Women were screaming and running.
A voice whispered over his shoulder, “The Empress has started a riot!” said the voice urgently. “My men are beating the women with sticks to quiet them, but they are hysterical in revolt! What are your orders?”
“What did the Empress do?” asked Adam, but there was no time for an answer.
Besides, Nobleman Gee, whom he had been suspecting of treason for some time, had drawn a sword from under his robe and was shouting,
“Down with the Emperor! Follow me!”
He rushed toward the throne to cut off Adam’s head, but Adam found that he knew just what to do. He threw the pot of hot tea with a pitcher’s aim and hit the nobleman right in the face, stopping him until he could slip out of his cloak and grab a sword that a loyal guard held out to him.
Shouting his old battle cry of, “Mice or men!” he swung his sword and lopped off the head of the nobleman as neatly as you please. His guards formed ranks behind him and they started to clean up the revolters, all shouting the old battle cry. As he advanced on the enemy with his sword held high, Adam heard Eve screaming from her quarters behind him, and then there came a jerk, a jolt and a flash of light.
Suddenly he and his Eve were back, standing beside the time wheel with Eve crying almost hysterically and looking down at her feet.
“Well,” said Father Time, glancing at his watch. “What happened to you bold ones in all of five minutes? Did the Chinese dragon chase you?”
“We didn’t see any dragons,” said Adam, breathing hard to catch his breath and letting Eve finish her cry on his shoulder, “and I am not just sure what DID happen. I was about to put down a revolt that Eve started some way, and then she must have wished us home.”
“I did,” sobbed Eve. “One of the women was going to strike me with a long crinkly dagger. I barely got us out alive.”
“I wasn’t doing so badly, with my part of the trouble,” said Adam.
“Don’t brag,” said Eve indignantly. “You had a sword and only men to fight. I could see you through the slats of the window behind your throne. But my women had all gone crazy. One of them had upset the big bowl where the charcoal burned to keep me warm, and the whole palace was about to burn down, with me in it. The women all had become hysterical and they wanted to kill me, even when I was doing them the greatest favor you could imagine!”
“What kind of a favor?” asked Adam suspiciously. “Did you order their heads to be cut off or something?”
“Don’t be silly,” retorted Eve, wiping her eyes on the handkerchief he handed her. “As Empress I had given an order that should have made every woman in China happy. Besides that, I had to do something, and that was all I could think of to do. I don’t know what’s wrong with women. Now if they had only been men.”
“Hold on,” said. Father Time. I don’t get the picture. You are saying that you landed in the palace as the Empress but that there was something wrong and that you were in some kind of danger the minute you arrived?”
“Yes, that was it. Your old time wheel isn’t working right. It bounced us all over a century and back and didn’t finish the job of changing me into a Chinese woman.”
“Then what kind of a woman were you,” asked the old man. “Perhaps a black one.
“No,” said Eve impatiently. “I was Chinese all right, but all the other women around me had their feet bound to make them small, and they all had very long fingernails with silver nail guards to protect them from breaking. I landed with my nails like this, and my feet like this. One of the women saw me almost at once and began to scream that a demon had changed me into a coolie woman. I had to do something. I slapped her and told her to shut up, but that made her all the worse. Everyone came running to look at me. But I got an idea. I clapped my hands for attention and I said, Silence, all you fools! An Empress has to be bossy, and I did my best to act like an Empress. Then I said, trying to make myself heard, I have decreed a set of new STYLES for women! Doesn’t that make you happy? Listen! A brand new set of styles! We women will now keep in style by cutting our fingernails – see, just like mine – and taking the bandages off our poor bound feet so we can really have feet again. And we will stop binding feet entirely and the new style will be to have large, healthy feet that do not hurt us all the time! Isn’t that fine? Women! You are liberated! You are set free!”
The Little Queen asked, “Didn’t that please them? Didn’t they want to be in style?”
Eve sniffed. “They began to cry and wring their hands and say, But then we noble women would all be like coolies, and there would be nothing to show that we were high-born ladies or rich ones! No! No! It is sacred tradition! Women have had bound feet and long nails for all the centuries. The heavens would fall if we tried to change sacred tradition! Take back your decree!”
“I WILL NOT! I said. I didn’t know what else to say. And they went wild. I motioned to the big men who keep order in the women’s quarters and they ran with bamboo rods to whip them, but someone knocked over the bowl of charcoal and the matting started to blaze. The men all had to stop beating the women and run for water and sand. Outside I saw Adam fighting, and knew I couldn’t get him there in time to help me. Then that miserable and always jealous Mrs. Gee took a big dagger from the sleeve of her coat and came at me, screaming, Kill the Empress! Protect sacred traditions! Kill! Kill! And that was when I gave up and wished us home and I was not a second too soon. Mrs. Gee had raised her arm and was just going to strike. I didn’t have any way to defend myself like Adam had.”
“You did just right,” said Adam. “And I am proud of you – big feet and short fingernails and all.” He chuckled and gave her a hug. “Anyway, we saw China.”
Father Time said under his breath, “Women! Styles! Traditions! They never really change, and they never get over being afraid to be a little different.” He picked up his oil can. “No more trips today. Trot along. There is a dry bearing someplace in the second or third centuries A.D., and it may take me a long time to find and oil it. Trot along.”
MORE ABOUT THE THREE WISHES
The next day, after Father Time had oiled all the bearings in his time machine from the 14th to the 17th centuries, the children gathered again with the Fairy Queen to continue the adventure. Adam Brown and Adam Black were very anxious to have their turns at going ahead in time to see what the world would be like a long time ahead. Their Eves were not quite so anxious to make the trips into the future. However, where their Adams went, they would go. Besides that, each child had its own individual wish to use, and then they shared the third wish between them, so, unless they were together when they wanted to wish themselves back home to the Garden, things would not work.
Father time was a little cross. He wiped the oil from his hands and said to the Little Queen, “Come, let’s not waste time. Who is to go next?”
Adam Black was always the most polite and considerate of the children, so he pushed Adam Brown and his Eve forward. “You can take the next turn,” he said generously. We are not in a great hurry to go.” Eve Black nodded her head hard, for she was frightened, even if she did not wish to show it, and was more than glad to go last.
“Stand on the plate,” ordered Father Time. “And don’t wiggle so much. I am not sure whether the machine is working just right, and you may get bumped a little from one place in time to another, but do the best you can. If the worst comes to the worst, you can always wish yourselves home, you know.” He looked at his big watch, then said, “Where do YOU think you would like to visit?”
“India,” said Adam Brown promptly. We want to see the big temples and all the people in fine clothing riding elephants.”
Father Time nodded and did things to the Time Machine with great care. Then he said, “Here you go!” and pressed the red button.
The children felt a strange whoosh and were jolted up and down as they flew forward when they landed in India. They saw a temple which was just starting to get built as they flew toward it, but as they passed and flew on, so much time had passed that it was all completed to the last steeple. They jolted along and saw a great river in full flood, but as they passed it, summer had come and it had almost dried up. Next they saw a long procession of elephants and of people in wonderful costumes riding in big baskets which were fastened to the elephants on top of the gay elephant-robes. There was a little jar, and suddenly they were sitting still in one of the baskets. They looked down at themselves, and saw that they were dressed in amazing garments, all embroidered in patterns around jewels of many colors.
“Aren’t we just TOO grand!” whispered Eve. “Who do you suppose we are?”
“Hush,” said Adam under his breath. “Just try remembering and it will come to us… I am already getting it! You are a Princess and I am a Prince, and we have just been married and are on our way home to my father’s palace!”
Eve remembered as hard as she could, and then said, “Yes, it is the custom of the country. We are still only eight years old, and although we have been married, I will soon have to go back to live with my own parents until I am older. We’ll soon be separated! That’s not good! We have to be together to use our last wish in case we want to get back home.”
Suddenly there was a jolt and a new whoosh. Adam said, “The machine has slipped! Hold to my hand! Hold tight!”
The jolting stopped quickly, but not until everything had changed. They found themselves sitting, still holding hands tightly, in the shade of a great tree. All about them were men and women listening while a man close to the trunk of the tree taught them. A woman who seemed to be their mother sat beside them, listening carefully. The man was saying,
“Tomorrow I will teach you the last of the great Truths, the Fourth, which will tell you of the way to live so that you can stop suffering. It is the way of the Noble Eightfold Path, which teaches Right View, Right Aspiration, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Mindfulness, and Right Contemplation. That is all for today. Come back again tomorrow and I will continue the teaching of the wonderful Truths that I learned while sitting and thinking long under this Bodhi Tree.”
The man bowed slightly, and rose to go with a little group of his followers to some other place. All the people bowed and rose to go, Adam and Eve and their mother with the others.
Adam asked as they went along, “Who was that man who was talking to us so gently?”
“How could you have forgotten,” said his mother sadly. “That is Prince Siddhartha. He has given up being a prince so that he can teach us the Great Truths which came to him under this very Bodhi Tree where we come to hear him every day.”
“I don’t understand very well,” said Eve, hoping that her mother would explain the teachings. But it was very hot out in the sun and her mother simply shook her head and walked a little faster.
“You are too young to understand yet,” she said. “But when you are old enough, you may understand and even put on the yellow robe and give up the world so that you can get to Nirvana. But hurry. It is late and your father will be home wanting his curds and rice.”
Again there began the now familiar bumping and with a fresh whoosh the children found themselves flying through time. When things had once more become quiet, they found themselves in a very different place. They sat on a block of white stone across from a smiling brown man who wore a big white turban and whose teeth were very white as he laughed and joked with them. They were all eating lunch out of a big bowl filled with rice and bits of mango. It was very good. From bamboo cups they drank a cool fruit drink that was very refreshing.
Around them were other men, and many children who seemed to have brought them food and who were helping eat it as a noon meal. There were big squares of bamboo with woven coverings to make shade, and standing on frames were big slabs of marble which the men were carving to make little openings like stone lace. A little bald man who seemed to be very important, was looking at pieces of the work and chatting pleasantly with the stone cutters. He paused and passed his hand over the slab on which their father was working. He smiled and nodded his approval.
“You are making a perfect piece,” he told their father. “Take all the time you need. Shah Jahan will reward you well. He wants only perfect workmanship in the building of his Taj Mahal as a monument to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.” The little man opened an embroidered bag which he was carrying, and took from it a small silver coin which he handed to the father. “Here is a little extra for you,” he said. “The Shah does not forget those who use the greatest care.”
The children were very proud of their father, and were about to ask to be allowed to look at the coin, when there came more bumping and whooshes. Their father and the marble slabs vanished, and when things quieted down again, they were once more in a different time and place.
There was a great river flowing into the ocean, and tied to the river’s bank were several big double canoes with little houses built on connecting platforms. Up on the bluff above the river stood a city, with tall temple spires. They were watching a big brown man who was talking to an old priest and drawing maps with a stick in the smooth sand. They could not understand the old priest, but knew the language of the man who drew the maps. He seemed puzzled and poked here and there at his map with his stick. Suddenly he turned to Adam and said,
“Come here Kema. I have forgotten just where on this map lies the land of Hawaii which we go to find. You are the son of a great Keeper of the Secret, and you have seen the place with your inner eyes. Come and show this kind priest just where it is we plan to go at the end of our long voyage.”
Adam did not think it odd that he should be asked to point out the place on the map. He seemed to have known it for a long time. He bowed politely to the priest and took the stick. Eve bowed and stood beside him. In the strange language she said, “Over there is the first land we will find. Back in the garden we called it New Zealand. Isn’t it funny, I seem to be remembering a place where we had a big map on the wall and were taught all about the world.”
“Hush,” said Adam. “We’ll talk about that later,” He pointed to the map and said in the new language. “We first go to a big land right here. Later we go to a little group of islands over here, and finally we sail to Hawaii, where there are eight islands. They stand in the ocean over here.” He made a mark in the sand.
The priest scratched his chin thoughtfully and began to speak in the language Adam did not understand. Suddenly Eve nudged him. “Try Teley-talk. I can understand just what he means that way. Adam tried, and found that it worked.
The priest was saying, “We are very grateful for the much healing your people have done for us, and for your sharing with our priests the Secret Knowledge which you call Huna and which we will also try to learn to use. Now tell me, Hawaii Loa, when do you want my people to bring the supplies you have asked for, and when will you set sail for the distant lands which no one has ever seen, and which I hope you will find in the marked places when you get there?”
“We are very grateful on our parts,” replied the leader. “If you will let us have the supplies tomorrow, we will sail when the first stars show in the sky.” The men bowed to each other and the old priest walked slowly away.
Eve asked excitedly, “Are we going to see the big island of Ceylon, and then Sumatra and Java?”
“What names do you give the strange lands?” asked Hawaii Loa in surprise.
Adam feared that they were getting into deep water, so he said hurriedly, “Those are names which we think they will be called many years from now.”
The big man shook his head wonderingly. “You two will certainly be great kahunas when you are older. But go now and find your mother and tell her that tomorrow we get ready to sail at dusk.”
“Yes, Uncle,” said Eve, and with Adam they walked toward the big canoes, not quite sure where they would find their mother, and not knowing how she would look. “We’ll shout Mother when we get to the big canoes,” she said. “She will be sure to know us as her children.”
“Not in English,” objected Adam. “What’s the word for mother in this new language? Isn’t it makuahini? But I’m sure that’s not what we call our mother.”
Just then the bouncing started gently. “Take my hand!” cried Adam. “We may never need to know what we call her!” The bumping became strong, and then the big whoosh followed, with everything vanishing from sight.
The new scene was a strange one. In an inlet from the blue sea lay many great double canoes, and around each a flock of small single canoes. Away from the water stretched fine meadows with groups of trees, and in the distance rose high mountains with snow on their tops. Adam looked down at his hands, and saw that he was mending a net. He turned to look behind him, and there sat Eve, part of the big net on her knees. They looked at each other for a moment, then leaned a little closer.
“This must be New Zealand,” he said in a low voice. “I seem to know that we call ourselves Maoris. And I see that we have grown up.”
Eve laughed. “We are married. Can you remember that?”
“Of course,” said Adam. It was a fine wedding. And I remember something else. We are kahunas and chiefs of the high blood, and soon we are to sail with part of the people to take a second step toward the land we will call Hawaii. You and I will do the navigating and watch the stars together at night.”
Eve wrinkled her brow in thought and said nothing for a time. At last she asked, “Can you remember just why Hawaii Loa led us out of Egypt? I think it must have been before we were born.”
“All I can remember is that the old men used to tell how it was foreseen by our leader that if we stayed in Egypt and that part of the world, the great Huna secret which it is our job to keep, would soon be lost. I am sure that we have come out to this far and empty part of the world to be where we, the Keepers of the Secret, can preserve our sacred knowledge for all the coming years. “
The ground began to tremble, and Adam reached out to catch Eve’s hand lest they get separated. “We didn’t stay here very long,” he said as he watched the sea begin to fade and felt the whoosh coming.
The whoosh was a very long and very strong one. When it had passed, Eve looked at Adam as they sat in the sand beside a warm sea, and saw that he had grey hair and that his face was wrinkled. She looked from the sea to the land and saw a fine grove of tall palms with great clusters of nuts hanging under their leafy crowns. Here and there stood grass houses, several grouped together here, and several there. Looking back at the sea she saw a number of large and small canoes coming home from a day of fishing. Women and children were gathered on the beach to welcome them.
Adam had also looked around to see where they were, but now his eyes were held by a great cloud of white smoke that was rising from a mountain just beyond the palm trees and the village.
“The Goddess Pele is angry,” he thought. “Her priests are new to their work. Perhaps they have not done the right things to keep her from being angry with us. Perhaps the lava will flow from the mountain again and make us run for our lives.” He looked out at the men in the canoes. They were pointing at the smoke and shouting anxiously back and forth.
Eve had also seen the smoke and understood the danger. “The two priests of Pele are coming from the temple and are going to make a sacrifice of a white pig,” she said. “Do you suppose that will be enough? It wasn’t last time the lava flowed. Our houses were all covered.”
Adam shook his head sadly. “I am afraid we have still to learn what Pele wants and how to pray to her for mercy. The priests are not even good at making prayers and chants. I think that we had better go to help them. At least we are good kahunas and can chant the most beautiful prayers.” He rose and helped Eve to her feet. Together they walked toward the men who had killed the pig and who were shouting prayers wildly. In the distance the mountain was throwing out great showers of molten lava.
The lovely little Fairy Queen had been telling the children stories of her land and people, Fairy Stories, while they waited for Adam and Eve Brown to return.
“It seems to me that they have been gone a very long time,” said Adam Black. “I do hope they didn’t get lost or bumped off by the time machine in some way.
“Or,” said Eve White, “find a place so nice they wouldn’t ever want to leave it.”
The big Time Machine began making a guttural sound, and they all turned to watch. In a moment Adam and Eve Brown appeared, holding tightly to each other’s hands and looking very much relieved to find themselves home again in the Garden.
“Well, hello there!” said Father Time. He looked at his big watch. “Did the bumping take you to too many places to get into trouble in any one of them? And what happened to bring you home? Did a tiger chase you out of India?”
“Not a tiger,” said Adam Brown, “We were chased by a lava flow. We stood in front of it and said prayers to Pele, but she would not listen. When we started to run, it was almost too late. We were afraid we wouldn’t make it to the ocean.”
“I wasn’t taking any chances,” said Eve, her lower lip trembling. “The lava was terribly hot and came ever so fast. So I screamed that we wanted to go home, and we came.”
“We had a nice time and bumped all over India,” added Adam. “And we left India and joined the Polynesians and went to Hawaii.”
Father Time stopped his big machine and squirted oil from his can into a hole far down at one side. “That seems to have been the place where the bearing went dry,” he muttered. “Hard on a machine to run it so fast.” He looked at Adam and Eve Black. “Do you adventurers still want your turn, or are you scared enough to want to let well enough alone?”
“We aren’t scared,” said Adam stoutly. “We will take our turn.” He pulled his Eve toward the plate where one had to stand to go time traveling. “Eve is brave, aren’t you Eve?”
“Yes,” quavered Eve, for she would go if Adam wanted her to go, but she still was frightened.
“And where to, or rather when to? Oh, it doesn’t matter. Just say when.”
“Clear out almost to the very end of time,” said Adam promptly. “We want to see how everything is going to end and if the world becomes perfect at last.”
Father Time scratched his head thoughtfully. “It may be bumpy until you get well past the year 1900, but it might be interesting at that to see what will become of mankind. I’ve heard that men will get too smart and blow themselves and the Earth to bits. But go have a look if you are interested. And remember to use your third wish and come back so you can tell us about everything.” He moved the children a little to be exactly right on the plate, then pushed his setting lever ahead to within a single notch of as far as it would go. “Luck”, he said gruffly, and pressed the red button.
There was a might whoosh that lasted a long time, then a big bump as they slowed down. There followed little bumps and tiny whooshes, and in between them they caught glimpses of cities and fields and plains, also of oceans and rivers. In one place they heard a newsboy shouting, “Read all about it! China will blow us up if we don’t turn red! The President says we will use massive retaliation and will never turn red! Read all about it!”
“They speak English, almost like we did in the Garden,” said Adam.
Eve said, “They are going to blow up the world! Did you hear that? Let’s go home!”
“We’re past that year,” said Adam as they slowed up. “And something must have happened to keep the world from being exploded. “Here’s a nice quiet place.
They had landed in a nice little park with trees and grass and flowers. There were benches, but no one was in sight. Just beyond the park was a long, low building through the windows of which they could see lights and people. The big door stood open, so they decided to look in and try to get acquainted.
Once inside the door they could see long lines of tables at which sat women, most of them gray, and some quite old. They were busily sewing to make simple blouses of a gray cloth, the same blouses that they wore themselves with matching long trousers and gray sandals. No one looked up or stopped to see what they wanted.
“They all are smiling as if they were happy about something,” said Eve. “And they are of all colors, just like we were at the Garden. Do you suppose we would dare talk to that nice black woman She looks very kind and happy.”
“Let’s try,” said Adam, and they walked over and stood beside her waiting, but she kept right on sewing and did not seem to notice them.
Eve said, “I beg your pardon, Madam, but could you stop long enough to tell us what city we are in?”
The woman did not reply or seem to hear them, but a red light began to flash right over their heads and a nice voice said in English, “Go back to your place and continue your sewing. You know that you will not be happy over here. Go on back. You will be happy again at your work.”
The children looked up above them and could see only a little box which seemed to speak and flash the red light. When they did not move, the box began to send out a buzzing sound that made them slightly dizzy.
Adam caught Eve by the hand and pulled her toward the door. “Let’s get out of here. I don’t like that voice or that buzzing. It seems to me that something is very wrong here.”
When they were outside, they heard the buzzing stop, and drew a few long breaths to clear their heads. “Perhaps we’d better go home now,” said Eve.
Suddenly, right before them there appeared as out of thin air, a man with a large head and eyes like saucers. He seemed to have feelers on the top of his head like those of a giant bug. He was dressed in a suit of silvery stuff and had very spindly legs. His silver shoes turned up at the points almost in a circle.
“Good morning,” he said in a deep but gentle voice. “I see that you must be strangers here. Have you just arrived? And where did you come from? Where are your parents?”
“Good morning, Sir,” said Adam politely. “Yes, we are strangers here. We have just come from the Garden and the year Eight. Our Father and Mother and brothers and sisters are all behind at the Garden. Old Father Time helped us to get here with his Time Machine. We wanted to see what the world would be like just before time ended or it blew up or something. This is Eve. She is rather timid.”
The brown man’s big eyes opened wide and he felt his bald head with one long, thin hand and then the other. “I beg your pardon,” he said at last. “I was taken entirely by surprise. We have never had visitors from the Days of Creation. Will you excuse me for a moment? I must report your arrival to the friends who help me care for this small sewing unit. It will be but a moment.” He wiggled his long feelers and suddenly the children could hear him using Teley, which was quite familiar to them, and could understand every word he said.
He was reporting, “I am not dreaming, and I think I have my sanity, but I have just run into a pair of black children of tender years who went into Building 4 and set off the alarm. They certainly have not been hypnotically conditioned, for they refused to obey the voice and the X2 buzz did not put them to sleep. They claim to have been teleported here from almost the beginning of Creation. They say they came because they wanted to see what the world would be like near the end of time. Can you send over a recorder and some of you join me here? This may turn out to be a very important scientific discovery, and we could all get praise marks on our records.”
There was a flurry of excited Teley questions and then a man and two women, looking much like the first man, suddenly materialized. One of them carried a small box containing a machine with which to record the conversation. The women were just like the men, only smaller, and both had short black hair on their heads around their feelers. They wore the same clothing, but the points of their shoes made a complete circle. The new man turned a switch on the recorder and helped pull up another bench to face the one before which they stood. The first man made the introductions, asking Adam for his name, but remembering Eve’s. He gave his name as “J-4237-B”. The others also had numbers for names, but he said,
“You can just call us Number 1 – for me – and then 2 for my male friend. 3 and 4 for the females. That will make it easier. Now, little visitors, what would you like to know first?”
“If you please,” said. Adam, “I would like to know why all those women who are sewing are, well, like they are. They aren’t like anyone we ever knew.”
Eve said,” What I want to know is about YOU. Are you people like us? You look so different.”
No. 1 smiled. “I can see that there are many questions to be answered, and that we will have to take first things first. Suppose I begin by telling you that we are what human beings used to call The Saucer People. We came to Earth in flying saucers and other vehicles and watched while the humans slowly ruined their world and each other and were on the point of blowing up the planet just to get even with those who did not agree with them as to what kind of government they should have. The Saucer People were waiting and ready, and just before the humans blew up the world, we took over. We used our superior weapons and within an hour had used our hypnotic powers and buzz machines to put everyone to sleep.”
“Was that a good or bad thing to do?” asked Eve uncertainly.
“It was all that could be done,” said No. 1. “This may be hard for you to understand, but the humans had all become unhappy and it was very sad. Their smartest men and women knew what to do, but the politicians who ran the governments would not let them do it. The world had come to have so many people that hardly enough food could be found for even those who lived in America. There were wars going on here and there, with those who believed in the Red form of government fighting those who believed in the Capitalist way of life. You see, humans are odd in this way. They get an idea into their heads and then cannot change it, no matter what happens.”
The second Saucer Man spoke up. “We made use of that human failing by giving them hypnotic suggestion ideas. We used our machines and buzzed into their heads new ideas so that they all soon came to believe that to be happy all they had to do was obey the Voice which we made come out of the mechanical speaking machines. In this way we got the fighting stopped and set everyone to work to make things which were needed, to grow food for the people, and make the best use possible of what was left of the Earth.”
The woman, No. 3, explained. “The Atom War almost got started before we could step in and stop it. In ten minutes time the exploding bombs would have spread radioactive Strontium 90 and other poisonous dusts all over the Earth and high on the winds of the upper air. The dusts would have fallen, and in a few years every living person, creature and plant would have been killed. The lovely Earth that the dear Father and Mother have worked so wonderfully to create for us all would have become entirely dead, and would have been dead for millions of years.”
Adam asked, “Did you put ALL of the people to sleep and set them to work like the sewing women? Weren’t there any kind and generous people left at all?
No. 4 nodded happily. “Oh, yes. Here and there we found, when we started awakening and sorting them, people who were kind and helpful and who did not want to make wars or force other people to believe like they did. In Polynesia on the Pacific Islands we found many fine brown people, and here and there all over the world we have little groups now living and working happily, just like all humans should have done before they made us step in and take charge of them.”
Eye asked anxiously, “What became of the children? Were they all made to work like the sewing women?”
“We took care of all the children,” said No. 3 nodding her head thoughtfully. “And as they grew, we sorted out the good ones from the bad, and put the good into the groups to be cared for. The bad ones were buzzed and set to work helping to feed or clothe the rest. You see, by the time they almost ruined the Earth, there had come to be so many people that many were almost starving. The rich people always had food, but most of the people outside of the United States were hungry. When we took over, we made everyone work at something and in this way to help everyone else. And we made the ones who had to be buzzed happy at last. They listen to the Voice and no longer remember the old hate and greed and fear as in the old days. Someday the buzzed ones will all grow old and die, and then the good people can have the world and work to make it a wonderful place.
“Will you stay here then, or go back to your planet?” asked Adam.
“We will at last be able to go home,” said No. 4, tears gathering in her large dark eyes. “We Saucer people live much longer than humans, and some day we will have finished our work of love, helping humans on Earth, then go home.”
“You are homesick,” said Eve softly. “We know all about that, and I am beginning to want to go home myself.”
“You may go any time you wish,” said No. 4. “But when you do, please tell Father and Mother that we all send our love to them.”
Adam asked, “Isn’t this about the end of time? We asked to be sent almost as far as there would be any time. What will happen when all the time is used up? What then?”
No. 1 smiled as he answered, “I am sure that Father will create more time for us all if we learn to be kind and to love one another – never to hurt anyone who is not hurting us. On our home planet we learned that lesson a long time ago, and were given one new Age after another. Our planet is very old, you know.”
No. 4 took a little packet from her pocket and opened it. “Are you hungry?” she asked, “And would you like a little of our kind of food to try for your tea?”
Eve hung back. The little pills in the hand of kind No. 4 were grey and did not look very inviting.
Adam was braver. “Thank you very much,” he said, holding out his hand for a tablet. “I am usually hungry at tea time, and I would like to be able to tell the others, when we get home, that I had eaten some wonderful new kind of food.” He took two tablets and put them into his mouth. “Should they taste like something?” he asked.
No. 4 laughed. “I’m afraid not to you, but to Saucer people they have a very nice little taste. And after one has eaten a few tablets, all hunger is gone until time for the next meal.” She held out a tablet to Eve, who took it slowly and put it into her mouth. “What is it made oft” she asked.
“Out of grains,” explained No. 4. “The life part of the heavier food.”
“I suppose it is very good for one,” said Eve. “But our food at home tastes so very good. I love fruit and melons and nuts and bread and milk and cookies, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes,” said No. 4. “We often pause in our work to enjoy such things, but usually we are so busy that we make a meal of a few tablets and a little water.”
No, I said, “You will be wanting to go home soon, and we have heard hardly anything of the Garden and yourselves and Father and Mother. This little machine will catch all you have to tell us and save it so all the other Saucer people can hear it later and enjoy it.”
So, for almost an hour the children took turns telling what they could. They told of the animals and the birthday parties and the gremlin and the fairies. At last it was growing late, and Eve nudged Adam and teleyed to him, “Isn’t it time we went home?”
No. 4 understood Teley and rose. “It has been very nice to have you visit us,” she said, “and we thank you for telling us all about the wonders of the Garden and about all the delightful things which happen there. Remember, our love to Father and Mother, and now, Good-bye”.
She held out her hands to them, as did the others, and the parting was just a little saddening, because they were such fine friends and so kind. After the goodbyes, Adam and Eve took hold of hands, took a few deep breaths, and wished to be home.
The flight home took only an instant, and they found themselves standing on the plate beside the Time Machine once more. Father Time was still peering into the wheels and trying to oil the dry places with his big oil can. The Fairy Queen and the other children, with some of the fairies and elves were playing games, but they came hurrying and listened delightedly to the story of the adventures with the Saucer people and right on the far edge of time.
When they had quite finished telling everything they could remember, “Eve said, “Isn’t it lucky that the Saucer people came and stopped our bad people from ruining the Earth?”
“It is very wonderful that they could help as they did,” said the little Fairy Queen, “But it is growing late and we must get back to the other side of the wall. Come along. Your parents will begin to think you are lost.” She drew a door in the air with her magic wand and it became a door, and out they all went, although when outside it seemed very little different.
Father and Mother were having tea on the veranda. The Chimp Boys brought in milk and cookies, and soon everyone was chattering and Adam and Eve Black were feeling very important, what with everyone begging them to remember something more about what had been done or said or seen.
“You have all had quite a day,” said Mother. “And I can see that what you need now is just a tiny little nap. So off with you! And try to settle down and forget all the exciting things that have been happening.”
“Can I say just one thing more?” asked Eve Black. “It is that I think this is the very best of all times to live. I don’t want to go to live even where the Saucer people have made things so good. I just want to live right here in our own piece of time and not have a single thing changed. I want to stay right here and grow up in the Garden and then go with Adam to live in Africa and try to make it a good, a very good place to live. One where everyone is kind and helpful, and where no one hurts anyone unless it is to keep someone else from hurting him or those he loves. And, I don’t want to have pills for food. I want everything just like it is NOW.”
Now we come to the end of the stories, although books could be filled with the tales of how the different Adams and. Eves grew up and were taken to live in their own parts of the world and have children, who also grew up. Father and Mother and the helpers with the saucers watched over them all until they got well started and learned to live in the lands which were given to them, to tame some animals, and to learn about plants and weather and all the things which were so important.
But there is one little story which must be told before we close our book. It is about Little Mermaid, who, as you remember, had been given legs and had become the Milkmaid who took care of the goats and milked them.
When the last of the children had gone, and the big house in the Garden had become silent and empty, Father said to Mother, “I have been thinking of Little Milkmaid and wondering what would be the finest possible reward for her. She is no longer needed here, and of late it seems to me that she has looked very sad as she has tended her goats and brought in a pail of milk for us.”
Mother nodded and said, “Let’s go find her and ask her what she would like for her reward. We could give her this house, and well, let’s go find her.”
They had not to look far, for she was sitting beside the beaver pond, her hands folded in her lap. Near her lay the old Billy goat, keeping her company and chewing his cud. She jumped up and smiled when Father and Mother came along.
They all sat down together and Father explained that they wanted to give her the finest reward of all. All she had to do was to say what she wanted most in all the world.
Mother said, “Would you like the big house and the Garden all for your own? And if you wished, Father could create a mate for you, a fine merman. Would you like that?”
Little Milkmaid thought about it, then shook her head. “No, I wouldn’t care for that. Big houses take so much cleaning and care, and I might not love even the nicest Milkman you could create.”
“Perhaps,” said Father, “you would like to go to live with one of the children. Or you could visit around and spend a little time with each family. They all love you and all have children who would entertain you.”
Little Milkmaid thought for a time, then shook her head and replied,” I love all the children and would love their children, but I seem to be a little tired. It has been hard work tending to so many goats and getting so much milk from them. I couldn’t start all over with the new babies.”
“Don’t you have some dream?” asked Father. “Some dream of something you would like to have or be or do? Surely there is something you dream of.”
Sudden tears came into Little Milkmaid’s eyes. “All I ever dream of is the sea and being a mermaid like I used to be, with a beautiful tail, and with nothing to do all day but swim and sit on a rock in the sun.”
“Bless you,” cried Mother putting her arms around her. “You are homesick! We should have guessed. Homesickness is the thing Father has been unable to cure with all the fine medicines in roots and barks and berries. The children all get very homesick for the Garden, and I fear that their children down the years will all have times when they get homesick for the peace and quiet and love in the Garden, even if they do not know what it is they are remembering down deep inside themselves. But we can change you back again and give you your beautiful tail and your loved ocean. Only, it seems so little to do. Isn’t there something else – something in addition to just getting you back home?”
“Oh, no!” whispered Little Milkmaid, happy tears starting in her eyes. “No! All I want is to get home… home to my sea! Once I am back, I shall never want anything else, never! How soon can it be?”
“At once,” said Mother, getting to her feet. “No need to wait a minute. Let’s go now to your beloved ocean and make the change.”
Little Milkmaid paused a moment to pat Old Billy and say to him, “Go back to the flock now. And take good care of everyone. But sometimes you can come to the ocean and see me and I will give you salt in a sea shell. Run along!” With that she fairly danced down the path through the garden.
Father and Mother followed. They passed the time of day with Mr. and Mrs. Owl, who roused up as they came past their tree and asked, “WHO?”
They passed Mrs. Elephant also, and she asked, “Don’t you think I have lost a few pounds?”
The sand was warm and soft, and the sea was filled with little waves with sparklers on their tops. They came to the place where there were big stones and great rocks and still pools, and where the little fish and crabs were at play. Little Squid saw them and hurried to make a nice pool of ink in case Father might need to fill his fountain pen.
“Here!” cried Little Milkmaid when they came to a fine brown rock that had a flat top and a green carpet of moss. “This is my rock! I used to sit here by the hour, and it hasn’t changed a bit. It is just like it always is in my dreams!”
“Then kick off your sandals and sit on your rock,” said Father. “Hold very still and we will see what we can do for you.”
Little Milkmaid did as she was told and happily let the little waves wash over dusty feet. Father and Mother took four deep breaths, then touched hands while Father said, “Heads or tails? The tails have it!” and right there before their eyes the legs and feet vanished and in their place was a fine fish tail.
“I am a mermaid again!” cried Little Mermaid, her eyes shining. She dived from the rock and swam and dived and swam and dived again, finally coming up with a rush on the crest of a little wave to take her seat on her rock. In her hands she carried strands of green sea weed which she looped around her neck for a lei.
“Oh, I can never thank you enough!” she said breathlessly. “I never appreciated my ocean half enough until now, after being away from it so long. I am going to stay here as long as I live, and never even think of going up the little stream to be a land creature. I am sure that to be happiest, one needs to learn that to be just what one is in one’s own place is best.”
“You have learned one of life’s most important lessons,” said Mother, “but here, let me give you a little parting gift.” She opened her bag and took out a beautiful little comb which was sparkling with colors and handed it to Little Mermaid. “Here is a very special comb. It has magic in it, and no matter where you go it will follow you, and when you want it, will appear right there in your hand.” Little Mermaid took the beautiful comb and hugged it to her. “A comb was the only thing that I would have missed! Thank you so very much! It is such a fine and beautiful comb, and to have it come to me whenever I want it—that will be a joy forever and make my life perfect.”
“We will come to see you sometimes,” said Father. “Now swim and enjoy yourself and see if you can find some of your old fish and turtle friends. I think I see a whale not far away, and it might be one you know.”
Little Mermaid pressed her sparkling comb into her hair and slipped into the water. “Give my love to all the Adams and Eves when you see them!” she said with just a touch of sadness in her voice. “And always remember that I love you!” With that she swam away, and Father and Mother turned to go back to the Garden.