The shark and the kauri were having an argument.
“You see everything as spirit” argued the shark, “and there is nothing material in what you say.”
“You see everything as rational” argued the kauri, “And you have no soul to what you say.”
While passing overhead, the albatross heard the noise and flew down to mediate.
This is what he said:
“In the beginning the Creator lay idle. His hands were heavy, so he lifted them and clapped them together. The whole universe was created by this one clap.
In the universe lived two tribes. But these tribes could not live in peace because they were two opposite sides of one creation. If they met they made war and, because they were equals, destroyed one another.
The Creator saw this and was unhappy, so he breathed hard against the warring tribes and separated them with the wind of his breath, one from the other.
But the people of each tribe became lonely, so the Creator opened his heart and he gave them the gift of love, and each came together in groups of their own kind and grew into a great race.
And the Creator sat and he rested.
But the breath of the Creator was so strong, that the peoples of each tribe still moved apart from one another like spirals spinning through the sky.
So they stopped speaking to one another and grew cold in their own natures.
When the Creator looked again, the universe was dead. By separating the two different natures, the creator had taken away the life force.
So the Creator picked up the dead halves of the universe in separate hands. His hands were heavy, so he lifted them and clapped them together.
And the opposite sides came together and in one single clap the whole universe was created.”
The shark and the kauri listened carefully and were ashamed. So in an act of contrition, they swopped skins. That is why, although it lives in the flowing sea, the shark has a rough skin as thick as bark. That is why, although it lives on land, the kauri has flaky bark like the scales of a fish. That is how, although they are opposite in nature, kauri and shark can share the same planet.
And that is why the albatross lives over the sea and breeds on the land and flies in knowledge and wisdom.
Note: A Creation Myth is also published in “The Write In” blog as part of an international collaboration between New Zealand and the United Kingdom in celebration of the first New Zealand National Flash Fiction Day.