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IN A PERFECT WORLD by Charly Makray-Rice


And on the seventh day, I rested. I had just created the perfect world and I stopped to admire my finely crafted work. I carefully turned the blue sphere 90 degrees to the right and smiled at the wonder of it all. I lifted the orb above my head and admired the settling contents in the base of my globe. I brought the world back to eye level so I could study the infinitesimal trail of a microscopic snake that had slipped through the underbrush of my jungle continent.


Hand with Globe
Escher, M.C.
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Earlier in the week, I had populated my world with miniaturized, genetically engineered versions of each life form that had existed on the real planet earth. I omitted Homosapiens. It wasn’t an intentional snub: I couldn’t find a perfect specimen to add to the project, so I left it out. Besides, man already had his technological creations to admire on earth; I wanted to study God’s creations in a relatively unstructured setting. Once the project was in place I realized that I could benefit from a study of the dynamics of life without the interference of man. I was trying to capture the period of life between the demise of the dinosaurs and the emergence of industrialized human society. A few years shaved off ape evolution wouldn’t be missed.

I hadn’t yet figured out how to chart the time-line of the events that would occur. I never did grasp the subtleties of advanced mathematics; art was my passion. The dynamics of my world consumed me; the details of recording its events were mundane. The irony of the situation was that only man, whom I had omitted, would keep or even care about the records of life on earth. I should have no need to pass on an oral tradition of the how and why of life on my world. There would be no monks struggling to create written records. No religions would be formed; no churches would be built to worship deities. Structure was eliminated. Since life would exist as it was, I needed to research its ability to continue unimpeded. Like it or not, in this case, a human would still dominate.

I watched as tiny Orcas breached in my unnamed ocean, and itty-bitty bottle-nosed dolphins frolicked along the shoreline of my creation of an Australian-like continent. Although I had decided not to interfere in their development, I also realized that eventually my beautiful menagerie would stop playing and start hunting. Would they only hunt for survival or would they eventually kill for sport? Other than the Shrike and the Pack Rat, what else would accumulate trophies of its hunt? My perfect world was going to become brutal to watch.

Holding my world in my hands presented so many questions. How many species would disappear if I rolled it several degrees off its axis: if I moved this continent to the other side of the globe, what life forms would evolve, and what would cease to exist: could I wobble the sphere and change the course of its life? Was I playing God or just trying to invent an evocative existence for its little life forms? Life on earth has altered our planet; life has been lost and discovered, researched and recreated, destroyed and dominated, heralded and handicapped. How long would I continue to enjoy my simplistic, undamaged globe before I too became curious and decided that just a little tweak and a bit of tampering could improve it.

Fortunately, for me, my world will retain its wild green forests and the freedom of its living creatures. Its perfection will linger in my dream, where it was born, and where it died with the morning sunlight.


Author Bio: Charly has been writing essays for several years. Nature is her main interest, although humor keeps cropping up when she pits humans against nature. She lives in the country with her husband Don near Ennis Lake, John Muir's boyhood home, on an acre of land surrounded by wildlife.

Aldo Leopold’s ‘Sand County Almanac’ summer shack is approximately 45 minutes from her home. The shack was the birthplace of the land conservation ethics movement. Not turning to the environment for inspiration would be difficult for Charly to do.


Artist Bio: View more of MC Escher's art at

In A Perfect World | Reverse Haibun | Sitting on my hands, waiting for inspiration |

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