“This is completely unfair!” he complained. “With the huge effort I’ve been putting in recent times, I’ve been progressing so well. My species has been making great technological breakthroughs. Bah! I know the others can stand it. Just to accommodate them, I even changed my ways as YOU wanted to let others feel better. Yet you brought this impediment! At the pace I had set, I would be completely in control of everything on Earth soon.”

Silence!

“Come on,” he prodded. “Say something. Why did you do this?”

“Balance is important,” the Nature-Spirit said in her calm voice.

“Bah!” the Man-Spirit exclaimed. “I am doing that too on your insistence. See how much I am doing for the Tiger-Spirit and the Panda-Spirit. They couldn’t sustain the life of their species down on Earth and I have been kind enough to have my race try to conserve them.”

The Tiger-Spirit growled, “You destroyed a large part of my race for pleasure. What you are doing now isn’t kindness, it is repentance.”

“The spirits in this Spirit-Domain govern their species on Earth and direct their actions,” Nature-Spirit intervened gently swaying her branches. The myriad flowers covering her branches formed a wondrous collage of sprinkled hues generating a peaceful aura. “You had allowed your men to kill other species in large numbers,” her voice flowed like a bubbling brook – gentle and soothing to all living beings.

“I don’t repent,” Man-Spirit said adamantly ignoring Nature-Spirit’s calming manifestation. “The Creator – God has given me the power to rule. He has given me the strength to overpower other species. I only direct my species to do what they are they meant for – rule. I use my best skill – intelligence to the fullest.”

Nature-Spirit looked at God who was in his Butterfly form. He was smiling benignly as always. He hadn’t uttered a word since Man-Spirit had been bawling to him about the onset of the pandemic on Earth. Nature-Spirit sighed. It was her job as usual to drive home the point to Man-Spirit. She pondered on what she should say.

“I’ve had enough,” said Man-Spirit. “Don’t think you are getting the better of me Corona-Spirit. I haven’t put my full strength yet in fighting you.”

“Can’t we co-exist?” the Corona-Spirit laughed merrily and the spikes on her round body jingled.

“You are pathetic!” Man-Spirit screamed. “I’ll stomp out the last of you from Earth soon. I’ve got medicines ready. My race will inoculate themselves against your viruses soon. It is but a matter of time. I’ll show you all.”

Nature-Spirit tried to say something, but Man-Spirit disappeared. She looked at God who had changed to his Monkey form. God was smiling at the Corona-Spirit. She laughed back happily. “Thank you for the life you have given me. Thank you, Nature-Spirit, for preserving me and allowing me to live on. I have work to do; I’ll see you all soon.”

The Corona-Spirit disappeared too. It had to be back on Earth to work directly with its viruses. Man-Spirit was on Earth too working through his people to fight the virus attack. Nature-Spirit fathomed what was going on. It was just a few moments in the Spirit-Domain but a year had passed by on Earth.

“Why doesn’t he learn?” asked Nature-Spirit.

God radiated soft white light as he spoke with a wide smile having assumed his Man-form, “He can if he wants to. He has free will and he has mind power.”

“You pamper him,” said Nature-Spirit.

“Just as much as I pamper anyone else,” God replied as he changed to his Sparrow-form. “He just has different capabilities. None like yours. You are incomparable in what you can do. But the other spirits love you. He wants to be loved but doesn’t know how to be loveable.”

The Nature-Spirit bowed and God took his Cobra-form.

“You should take away some of his powers,” the Bat-Spirit squeaked as it entered the Spirit-Domain. “He is out to destroy my race now. Just because the Corona virus passed into a man through a bat. If God doesn’t want to lessen his powers, at least you, Nature-Spirit can teach him a lesson.”

Nature-Spirit enveloped the Bat-Spirit with her leafy hands and calmed him down. “We Spirits have the power to direct our race as we like. Its best that you prepare your bats to stay away from humans. He can’t catch them all.”

“Yes. I’ll do that,” said the Bat-Spirit and disappeared back to Earth.

The Corona-Spirit came back laughing. “I know my purpose. I’ve lived on the men on Earth for long enough. In the last six Earth-months after our last meeting, I have lived my fullest. I won’t last too long. I am but a small part of your Grand Design, God. I will withdraw soon as per my role. But after a little more trouble for man. I have mutated my viruses on Earth. They will spread faster now. But I have made them less harmful. All he needs is to work harder to produce more vaccines and medicines.”

“At least that keeps him away from having wars within his species,” the Eagle-Spirit had flown in to say.

Nature-Spirit sighed again.

“You squeaky pest!” Man-Spirit came back running. “I find a vaccine and you make different strains. Wait. I’ll get you yet. It has been two years on Earth already that you have created trouble. I won’t stand it any longer.”

“Can’t we co-exist?” the Corona-Spirit laughed again with her spikes jingling.

Man-Spirit looked at Nature-Spirit and then God in his Light-form.

“Fine!” he said to God. “I know this is your doing. What do you want now? As if I haven’t done enough already. You wanted me to distribute power on Earth and I created democracy for people and have eliminated autocracy. You wanted me to preserve Nature and I have brought in so much awareness in people to help Nature. You make me do whatever you want and say I have free will. NOW what do you want!”

God assumed his Man-form and smiled benignly.

“Ok, as usual Nature-Spirit has to speak for you,” Man-Spirit said exasperated.

“All spirits respect each other,” Nature-Spirit said. “The spirits in this world are meant to govern their species on Earth in a manner which befits the Universe at large. Even those whose species feed on each other know they can’t exist without the other. As the most intelligent, with the best of abilities, we always hope you, Man-Spirit, will safeguard and enhance the existence of all species. However, you have to be reminded of this every now and then and hence the pandemic.”

Man-Spirit opened his mouth but stopped from saying anything.

“Kindness, gratitude, respect for other beings,” Nature-Spirit went on. “When these are restored in your species, you will be able to grow unhindered. Your powers are to enhance creation. You choose however, to control everything.”

“Ok. Ok. I get it,” said Man-Spirit, “But can you stop this one?” He pointed to Corona-Spirit.

“My work is over,” she said merrily and shrunk to a quarter of her size. She rolled up to God. He smiled at her and caressed her with a ray of bright light.

“Now she is favored, and I am not,” Man-Spirit said sulkily.

God signaled with his hand and Man-Spirit felt God’s embrace flowing to him as a soft breeze. He calmed down.

“All are my own,” said God. “All have their missions, their time span and their powers. I hope you will use yours wisely.”

Man-Spirit nodded. He looked down at Earth and people could walk out again without the fear of the Corona virus. The Corona-Spirit shrunk more and merged into the Nature-Spirit. On Earth, there was rejoicing. The doctors felt they had won the battle. The Governments restored their plans and were going full steam on advancing technology. Countries had started bickering on who won the battle over Corona and how each should benefit for their efforts. Man-Spirit was happy.

“Now that I have won over the Corona-Spirit, I will conquer air soon and then space,” Man-Spirit said excitedly. He looked down again and over the years, vehicles of air travel started covering the sky on Earth. Nature-Spirit let out a cough as dark smoke enveloped parts of Earth as a result of smoke from the air-borne vehicles.

“I have to be back to work with my race and enhance our flying methods,” Man-Spirit said and started to disappear.

“Don’t forget the messy air its creating,” Nature-Spirit called behind him. He didn’t seem to hear.

“He didn’t understand. Did he really win?” Bat-Spirit asked God.

“No. he didn’t,” said Nature-Spirit emanating the fragrance of jasmine. “Another disaster is in the making for him. If he continues this way, he will be eliminated sooner. If he changes, he will survive longer. I have to provide for him and for all beings, but he refuses to see that he isn’t meant to control but to enhance.”

“I gave him an Ego too,” God laughed in his Nature form.

The spirits all smiled.

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Subhash Iyer

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