© 2021
Dr Joe


Bibs the Cat

  1. we’re all family, really
  2. a little feline philosophy
  3. excuse my french
  4. on the cludgie
  5. the baby
  6. a lesson in socialism
  7. sleeping with the enemy
  8. on the level
  9. a little black and white philosophy
  10. the magpie ultimatum
  11. Indy Cat?
  12. Who’s the Daddy?
  13. It's no about flags

Video Stories

Alasdair Gray & the
Book of Prefaces

Keekin Through Windaes
The Two Heifers
The Congo
The Hotdog

Other Stories

Aye, right ennuf
a natural balance
a short tale of woe
Maggie and the Little Pollok Carpet

A Natural Balance
By Joe Murray

IT WAS THE 6th day since God had begun his new project. He was leaning over a big blue ball, chiselling away at one middling sized island, all the while smiling and humming to himself, "Hmm, hm-hm, hmm … yes … yes … no … no … not qui… ah yes, there, that's better … hmm, hm-hm, hmm". God continued his intricate work carving the island: a new mountain here, a large forest there.
"Hi, God, whatcha doin?" said Gibrael walking into the workshop. "Hey, isn't this new 7D programming gizmo just soooo cool?" he looked around the room. The huge workroom was filled with apparatus which seemed to have ethereal qualities.
"Ah, Gibrael, hand me that thingy there, will you?" asked God, "No, no, the other one," He said pointing.
Gibrael handed the tool to God saying, "you've been at that one bit of land for a while now, what is it for?"
God took the tool from Gibrael - it looked like smoke - and with one swipe of its blade made a long valley. He stood back from His work; eyed it one way and then another. He stooped down and eyed it again, "ah yes, definitely, just what it needed."
Gibrael took a step back and, crouching, repeated God's eyeing of the work - he straightened up and shrugged. "So, what is it, what's so special about this piece, then?"
God wrapped His arm round Gibrael in a paternal gesture and pulled him to His side in a one armed hug. "Ah, Gibrael", said God, "you know very well, when I create a new world I always leave a signature piece. On this little world this here will be my piece de resistance!" He exaggerated the rolling of the R while swirling His free arm in an exaggerated gesture - He laughed.
Gibrael wiggled his shoulder to allow his wing to free itself from God's armpit,
"What's a piece de whatsit?" asked Gibrael.
"It's French", said God.
"What's French?" asked Gibrael.
God sighed and prodded a finger towards the big blue ball, "it's how the folks in France are going to speak", he said.
"Cool", said Gibrael, "still and all, you've gone overboard with this bit here, eh?" he said pointing to the island that God had been working on, "what, with all those great looking mountains and all that purple heathery stuff, arable flatlands, forests and lakes. Wow, and great fishing stocks to … what a beautiful place … what is it and who is it for?"
"They're lochs, not lakes," said God, "I want to call it Scotland; it is for the Scots."
"The Scots, who are they; what's so special about them?" asked Gibrael.
"Not that much really," said God, "I just wanted to create something a bit out of the ordinary on this world".
"Cool," said Gibrael, "but won't having all the good stuff without any down side make the Scots a bit … well ... uppity? Remember the Edenites, you had to intervene there, didn't you? Where are they now, eh?"
Releasing Gibrael from the embrace God bent forward, stared at the island and stroked his beard, "yes, yes," He said, "I remember only too well … and they are where I put them."
Gibrael laughed, "you mean they are where I put them! Should we include their tale of woe in the folklore of this new planet, as a prophecy, a warning, for uppity folk?"
"No," said God as he continued to stare at the island, "these things are always misinterpreted. Oh, but I do really like this." He pondered a while longer, "Hmm … yes, you're right, Gibrael. There does need to be … hmm … yes … mmm … always".
God turned to a large keyboard, made a few


calculations and then input them into the programme.
He reached over to a control panel with 4 coloured buttons: the green button was labelled Terra Simulator; the blue one read Hydro & Climate Simulator, and red button had Biotic Simulator - the yellow button had the words Programme: Run All stamped on it. God pressed the green button. There was a distant sound of plasma igniting, then a soft mechanical hum and vibration that increased to become a beautiful musical chord. Everything on the blue ball was quickly reset to a specific point where all the land was in one large mass sitting on the planet's equator. The word, Pangaea, floated above it. The ball began to turn and, to the sound of the heavenly harmonic, a simulation of half-a-billion years of projected tectonic movement began.
God and Gibrael watched as the single land mass broke apart.
"Look at this," said God, excited, "see how the planet's rotation and those few degrees off its axis is sending most of the land mass towards the north of the equator? Look closely and you will notice a little wobble on the axis too - all of these will affect the climate."
"Cool," said Gibrael then looking up at Him asked, "why is that?"
"It was a mistake I made on Pluvia," said God with a little shake of His head. "This planet thing was a new idea back then and I didn't get the calculations quite right and it rained most days there, and was hot and steamy the rest of the time - not very comfortable. This new design," He continued, "will create a number of distinct seasonal variances during the year instead of just one rainy or hot season - a lot more natural cycles can take place."
"Cool," said Gibrael.
As they continued to watch the simulation, the newly carved Scotland broke away from a large land mass in the north and slowly travelled across the Tethys Sea towards Gondawanaland.
"What's that?" asked Gibrael pointing at the centre of the ball.
God smiled, "mmmm".
Slowly another piece of land broke away from a large island near the equator with the word Avalonia floating above it and began to travel north. They both watched as Scotland and this new piece of land closed in on each other. Finally, both bits of land came to a halt, butted against each other south to north. The simulation ended.
"What happened?" asked Gibrael, looking from the ball to God then back again.
God took a long look at the end result of his recalculation. He scratched his ear and then turned to Gibrael. "I think I have it now," He said. "You were correct Gibrael, I cannot give one set of folk such great benefits without detriment. This," He pointed to the second piece of land, "is England - by giving Scots the English as neighbours I can still have my special little place while restoring a natural balance."
"Cool," said Gibrael, "but then, that's what you can do when you're the Big Guy!"
God smiled as He turned to switch off the computer. "I am going to bed, Gibrael," He said, "I'm feeling a little tired now."
"So you should be, this is your best work yet". Gibrael pointed to the yellow button, "Do you want me to run the whole programme tomorrow?"
"No, no, Gibrael, have some time off yourself. Do it the day after tomorrow, but run the programme only until the ninth month of the year 2014 in the Christian era then wake me," said God, He smiled wryly, "it will depend on how Scots behave themselves till then, but I may add a big surprise for them."
"Oh, wow", said Gibrael, "not the …"
God winked.
"… aw, cooool!"

Back   Next Page