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In telling any story I'm told that it is advisable to provide some background.  But the Song of Earth is too much to tell.  According to what is recorded in the Rainbow, the universe computer that records everything (and some even believe is everything), there was once an attempt to sing the song and all who knew it...or thought they did...gathered and sang...for 150 years.

The Storyteller was there.  That's where he learned his stories before he got on the train.  

And they barely got started.

So maybe one just has to pick a place and tell a little bit and nurture it so that it will grow and answer any relevant questions when they do pop up, if one is able.

In the beginning?

The song doesn't go back that far, since there was nobody to record it and the Rainbow had not yet been conceived.

But we can speculate that the WeaveMothers were weaving the Tapestry of Life.  Why they have done what they have and when the started will likely always be a mystery.


Eventually there were Dedos and the nodes they tended.  Possibly they were just woven into the fabric of the Tapestry, as if they had always been there.  

And some of the nodes and their Dedos were on Earth.  And here things get complex.

Time, you see, is not a single thread, stretching forever into the future.  It is more like a tree, with many possibilities branches and twigs...until they are no longer possible.  Each of the twigs and branches is called a happentrack, containing what might have happened.  The tree itself is called the Ifalong.

Being Dedos they were born with the ability to foresee the Ifalong.  And occasionally they could foresee their own demise.  When that happened, they had the ability to activate the egg inside their wombs, and almost 95% of the time this would result in the birth of a child who would be trained to replace them.  But for some unknown reason...unknown to them, but perhaps not to the WeaveMothers...occasionally the child would not have the genes that were required to be able to become a Dedo.

But there was a purpose for these other creatures, named Paragons, even if the Dedos were unable to sense what it might be.

The stories of the Paragons are many and varied, leading to such consequential events as the division of Pangaea and the creation of many of the planet's animal species.  And maybe some of them will be shared on another day.

Like the Dedos and the WeaveMothers the Paragons were honorable.  The Paragons were also capable of love.  And they were scarce.  They spent their time tending to the animals and plants in their domains, and they loved them very much.  Because they were scarce, they were lonely.  And because they were lonely, they developed the emotion of jealousy.  And these emotions lead to those consequential Things-That-They-Did.

One of the Paragons so loved one of the animals in his charge, an ape-like creature, that in his loneliness he mated with it.  And they had offspring.

That offspring of their unions are called the First Species:  Original Man.  The Second Species consisted of three types, eventually.

There were the True Humans.  At least they believed that they were.  But they were slowly dying off and searching for some way to produce more True Humans.  The cuidador Zozula was a True Human, as was his wife, Eulalie, who was dying.

There were the Wild Humans, who evolved to live in the oxygen-poor air of the outside world.  They were thick-chested, with huge lung capacity.  Manuel, who the Dedo Shenshi sought, was one such.

And there were the Polysitians, who had developed to live in the oxygen-rich environment True Humans had tried to develop so that they could live outside.  The True Humans have long since forgotten where that environment is.

The Third Species consisted of the Specialists, developed in their seemingly infinite variety by adding animal and/or plant genes to other human stock to develop, well, specialists who could do those things that the True Humans had forgotten how to do.  They were all created by the Whirst Institure.  All specialists revered the memory of their creator, Mordecai N. Whirst.

The Fourth Species consisted of the Dream People and included the neotenites who the cuidadores nurtured in the Domes, aided by the specialists.  The neotenites were the hope for the future, the True Humans thought.  They had the minds sufficiently advanced, but their bodies had become infantilized over the millennia, so that they appeared as babies nearly six feet tall when they were full grown.  They would never be able to survive by themselves unless the True Humans, assisted by the Specialists, could find a way to reverse the evolutionary course of their bodies.

Meanwhile the neotenites were resting in their thousands...perhaps even tens of thousands...on tables in the domes, cared for by the raccoon-nurses and gorilla-doctors while their minds were connected to that portion of the Rainbow called Dream Earth.

The Girl With No Name was one of them.  Unlike the Marilyns and Burts, Johns and Yokos, Xaviers and Charos, she had chose to be Herself in her dreams.  Hence she had become so very sad.

The Fifth Species consisted of what have been called the Quicklies.  They had evolved to have a super-fast metabolism and could be barely be noticed by the others.

∇  ∇  ∇  ∇  ∇

As Shenshi passed the Dome on her way to visit the boy Manuel, she sensed that Eulalie was dying.  She cast some thoughts into Eulalie's head.

The WeaveMothers have appeared before.  In what passes for chronological order, they are here:

Weaving Reality, Picking up the rhythm, Nebulous answers to cogent questions, Looking back at the present, Diversity, On the Thickness of Skin, Waging Peace, Of the Greataway, a Machine, and WeaveMothers, On Integrity, Dreams, and The Dedos

Having read Michael Greatrex Coney's, Song of Earth is also helpful.  Or you could just relax and accept the possibility of the Celestial Steam Locomotive passing through the Greataway.

Two volumes of the Song of Earth are available at Google Books now:

Volume 0: Cat Karina
Volume 1: The Celestial Steam Locomotive

The other volumes are:
Volume 2:  Gods of the Greataway

Volume 3:  Fang the Gnome

Volume 4: King of the Scepter'd Isle

Greg Stevens at DeviantArt has done some drawings if you need some visualization: Manuel and the Girl, The Martyrdom of Racoona 3 (Racoona 3 was found guilty of murder, thus legally establishing that the specialists were human beings), Manuel and the Quicklies.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

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