The Wise Teacher sat beneath the banyan tree and the pupils gathered round, eager for their day’s lesson. And the Wise Teacher said: “Today, o best beloved, you shall hear how
from the smallest and meanest come the greatest and mightiest. Mankind walks the earth in his pride and his arrogance; the beasts in field and jungle are subject to his whim and the stars and planets in the sky bow to his demand and present themselves to his scrutiny.
But the beasts in the field and jungle know something that mankind does not, and the stars and planets in the sky laugh in their chilly majesty at his foolishness. And the Great God Obahu sees all and knows all.
And it came to pass, o best beloved, that long, long ago, before mankind, before the beasts, before the stars and planets, the Great God Obahu stalked through the void, pondering upon destiny. There was dark, for he had not created light, and there was emptiness, for he had not created matter.
And the Great God Obahu meditated on the wonders and possibilities of creation. And he took many forms, for the great god can ever appear as he wishes to appear. He was a mighty bird soaring through the vastness of space; he was a tiny mouse scurrying about its mousely concerns; he was a fearsome hound that raised its head and howled its defiance to the emptiness.
And then, o best beloved, the great good took on a form that pleased him best: he became a creature so lithe, so graceful, that creation, had it existed, would have held its breath to gaze upon it. And its fur was so black that it melted into the surrounding black, and its eyes were so luminous and green that they shone like stars where no stars were.
But do not think, o best beloved, that the great god was alone in the emptiness. For the demon Xili was watching, and the demon likes above all to create mischief. So as the great god stretched and purred and reveled in his sinuous beauty, the imp gathered a handful of nothingness and flung it at the great god. And where it struck him a myriad of tiny creatures sprang into life, and they leapt and cavorted in the great god’s fur, and they bit and teased him until he groaned and scratched, but to no avail.
So the great god opened wide his mouth, and his teeth were fearsome indeed, but it was not teeth that would prevail against his tormentors. And Obahu began to lick at his fur, and his mighty tongue swept the biting creatures together, and the god swallowed them. And then the great god began to cough, and he coughed long and he coughed hard until from his mouth flew a ball of fur, and on it danced the biting creatures that had so beleaguered him.
With a flick of his tongue the great god sent the fur ball spinning into space, and as he watched it turn and as he watched the jumping creatures upon it, he said to himself ‘Here is my work complete.’ And the great god Obahu looked upon his creation and laughed.
And so when mankind struts in his vanity and makes himself lord of all he surveys, the great god Obahu smiles with the beasts, with the stars, with the planets. For they know, as mankind does not, that from the smallest and meanest come the greatest and mightiest.
And here the Wise Teacher concluded the lesson, and closed his eyes under the banyan tree, and the pupils stole silently away to reflect on the lesson they had learned.