First part of a tale about a whimsical goddess who adopts a human in order to study it.
|The Goddess of Horticulture was musing, resplendent in her private environs whilst surveying the vast, verdant gardens that served as both her home and the genesis of her creation. Her most loved pastime and sacred duty, scrutinising the growth and development of different species, was fast becoming tiresome and she was considering where best to employ her nurturing talents whilst reviving her erstwhile dwindling enthusiasm for husbandry. She well knew the concern of the other gods, since her disinterest could potentially bring about a greater disaster than the ill famed incident a hundred years earlier when the God of Architecture acquired a penchant for subversive techniques and decided it would be advantageous for the human race to become swamp dwellers, without conferring with the God of Unstable Terrain. A lacklustre approach to plant growth would certainly herald much wider implications for the Gods’ beloved human race.
“I have conceived, brought forth and fostered plants of the most fantastical and the most mundane form possible and yet I become weary of my powers. I lead an existence in the most fertile, exquisitely overwhelming and aesthetically discerning abode in the universe. Yet I am the most lonely of deities, since flowers may be beautiful ornaments but they can never be congenial companions in conversation.”
The Goddess of Horticulture was renowned as the fairest and most clandestine of all divinities. Whilst the other Gods regarded her as a somewhat enigmatic eccentric, she had become little more than an indistinct but potent legend amongst mortals. The last contact with a human being had occurred three thousand years ago and even then what had been a momentous and surreal glimpse for said human being had been a barely conscious moment of significance for the Goddess. She vaguely remembered that humans liked to carry around long, pointed, dangerous looking items and had a tendency to wage war with each other for the most trivial of offences (she distantly recalled an incident where one man had stolen another man’s cow and then suddenly there were entire nations taking up arms against each other). Needless to say her assumptions about the human race were more than outmoded. However, the time lapse had permitted her cognitive processes to reach a point where they began to formulate a certain curiosity regarding the human species.
“Now, in this ‘terrigenus’ I find a species I have not yet considered worthy enough to study and yet there is something compelling in their existence. My infrequent contact with the other Gods and my distant memories tell me there may be some worth in regarding this species with a little more attentiveness.”
The Goddess was known by many names but had chosen Cleariste, it being the most particularly suitable to her peculiar taste. This was the name given to her by a race of people living long ago and the goddess upon hearing that it meant ‘fair fame’ and being a little narcissistic in disposition eagerly espoused the appellation. As she aimlessly meandered about her domain, she pondered the combination of displeasure with her lot and curiosity in humans for quite some time. During this time it was noted by the rest of the world that some unnervingly strange and seemingly pointless plantlife began sprouting up around the globe, for Cleariste had become more than usually distracted throughout her period of inquisitive bewilderment.
A possible course of action dawned upon her nebulous mind one morning whilst she was about to unwittingly add the finishing touches to a formula that would unleash a ravenous flesh eating plant upon the unsuspecting elephant-nosed shrew population.
“Why, it has just occurred to me that I must necessarily approach the council of the Gods to request a human subject, for I am most eager to observe their pattern of growth. Locomotive plantlife has always seemed rather too erratic for my tastes but I am quite plainly bored of sedentary, slow growing organisms. It is time to indulge my curiosity further, for it strikes me that the ‘terrigenus’ is quite the most unusual of such life forms”
Cleariste would have been apprehensive as she approached the council had she not been a Goddess so utterly preoccupied with her plans rather than recognising the potential absurdity of her request. Never had any God felt compelled to use a human being in such a way. The other Gods, who had more contact with people than the disconnected Goddess about to stand before them, were generally more aware of matters pertaining to human nature. Even the Gods who justified an existence that took advantage of them understood such things as emotions, family connections and the myriad of other complexities of mortal existence. To Cleariste, it did not occur that a human was not in fact a plant and so it did not naturally follow on that she should treat them as anything else.
Although it was usual procedure to announce one’s attendance at the council well in advance, protocol was not something that usually lingered in the Goddess of Horticulture’s misty thoughts long enough to be considered very relevant. So it was unsurprising that the other Gods were a little taken aback to see the elegant, organic form of Cleariste sway through the gates and into the middle of the forum. She began her plea with no regard for the speech that was at that moment being given by the God of Sinus Infections, who was rather offended at being dismissed in so unceremonious a fashion during his most eloquent address to date. She proceeded to describe her ennui, her subsequent desire to study a more lively form of plantlife and her proposal to take on a human subject to study.
“My Lords, Ladies and assorted vegetation, I am come to this gathering place to respectfully request a subject of the species ‘terrigenus’ for the purposes of research. I wish to breed, rear and study the growth of such a life form and sue for your permission to undertake this task.”
It was collectively agreed that the Goddess of Horticulture required appeasement in some way, for the bizarre incidents involving rogue plants had not escaped their attention. However, the mindset Cleariste seemed to have formulated in respect to the treatment of human beings was regarded as rather distasteful to even the least discriminating amongst them. It was put to her that she may only carry out such a study on the condition that she choose suitable parents, adopt the child and rear it in an acceptably humane manner. It was patent to the other Gods that Cleariste understood nothing of human nature and behaviour and so it was deemed advisable for her to be instructed in such matters before she would be allowed to proceed with the adoption.
With this, Cleariste swept out of the forum without so much as a ‘by your leave’, as her solitude and absent state of mind were not entirely conducive to cultivating the niceties practiced by the other Gods. The God of Sinus Infections was free once more to expound upon his eloquent theories of nasal cavities but no longer felt inclined to do so, for the Goddess had left a distressing impression upon him through her utter disregard of formalities and decency. The other Gods did not press him to it since they now had the unenviable task of deciding who would guide the lackadaisical deity in her quest to understand human development.