Once upon a time the Star Goddess made three little planets: a yellow planet, a red planet, and a baby blue planet. She took them fresh and piping hot from her cauldron. Then she tried to plant her flowers and trees and grass on the planets, but all three of them were still too hot. So she tried blowing on them to cool them off, but they were still too hot. So she tried spitting on them to cool them off, but they were still too hot. So she set them aside in the corner of the Galaxy to cool down for a few billion years, but so they wouldnt cool down too much for the flowers and trees and grass to grow, she went around and gathered up some fuel and built a nice warm cheery little sun to shine on them. Of course, she couldnt put all the planets in the same place, because they would bump into each other, so, she put the yellow planet a little closer to the Sun, and the red planet a little further out, and the baby blue planet she put right in the middle.
After a while, the yellow planet, which was sitting too close to the sun, got really hot. It got so hot that the Goddesss breath, which was still sticking to the yellow planet, turned all foul and yucky. It got so hot that the Goddesss spit, which was still sticking to the yellow planet, all fizzled away, just like water on a hot stove.
Meanwhile, the red planet, which was sitting too far from the sun, cooled down a lot. It got so cold that the Goddesss breath, which was still sticking to the red planet, frosted over in places. It got so cold that the Goddesss spit, which was still sticking to the red planet, froze up and disappeared, just like frost in a frost-free freezer.
But meanwhile, the blue planet, which was not too far from the sun and not too close to the sun, cooled off until it was really nice. It was so nice that some of the seeds the Star Goddess had planted were starting to grow, and the soft grasses made a nice warm place to lie down and rest, and the tall trees were all nice and shady and kept things cool, and the flowers grew all over the place in beautiful gardens. It was so nice that buttlerflies and bees and bunny rabbits came to live in the gardens where the Goddess had planted seeds, and birds came to fly in the air that was the Goddesss breath, and fish came to swim in the oceans that were the Goddesss spit.
A little while later, a monkey came around looking for a place to live. First it tried living on the yellow planet, but it was too hot. Then it tried living on the red planet, but it was too cold. Finally it tried living on the baby blue planet, and it was just right.
So the monkey decided to settle down on the blue planet, and it went looking for just the right spot to live. First it tried living in the Atlantic Ocean, but it was too wet. Then it tried living in the Grand Canyon, but it was too dry. Finally it found this beautiful big garden in northern Africa, and it was just right. It was full of soft grasses to sleep in and fruit to eat and trees to climb and beautiful flowers to smell, with bunny rabbits hopping through the grass and bees buzzing through the flowers and deer chasing butterflies through the forests. And the monkey said to itself, Look, someone has made this beautiful garden just for me. I think Ill live here.
And the monkey named the garden, and it called it the Sahara Garden.
And there were all sorts of good things to eat in the Sahara Garden. There were apples, and bananas, and cantaloups, and dates, and eggplant, and figs, and guava, and honeydew, and kiwifruit, and lemons, and mangos, and nectarines, and papayas, and raspberries, and something for just about every letter of the alphabet. But the monkey never got as far as zuchini; in fact, it liked bananas so much that it stopped at B. So it chopped down all the other plants so it could plant just banana trees and have all the bananas it could eat. And everywhere it went, it picked bananas, peeled bananas, ate bananas, and tossed banana peels over its shoulder. And everywhere it went, it left a trail of banana peels. And everywhere it went, all the cute little deer would scamper after it, slip on the banana peels, and break their necks. Pretty soon there were no more deer left to chase the butterflies through the forests (I mean through the banana plantations), and the butterflies got no exercise at all, and so all the butterflies got fat and lazy and took to crawling around on the ground instead of flying on their beautiful wings, and the little bunny rabbits hopping through the forest (I mean through the banana plantations) kept hopping right on the butterflies and squashing them flat. Meanwhile, the bees, who used to drink the nectar of the apple blossoms and the cantaloup blossoms and the mango blossoms and all the rest, had nothing to drink but sickly sweet banana blossom nectar, which made them so hyperactive that they started stinging bunny rabbits on the nose, until all the bees and bunny rabbits were gone. With no bees to fertilize them, the banana trees started producing fewer bananas. When the monkey saw this, it knew what it had to do. It went around and found all the surviving trees it could that were not banana trees, and it chopped them down so it could plant more banana trees to make up for some of the loss.
Then one day the Star Goddess came back to see how her planets were doing. First she checked on the red planet, and said Brr! This one came out too cold. Then she checked on the yellow planet, and said Ouch! This one came out too hot.
Finally she checked on the baby blue planet, and said Ah! This one came out just right. So she went around the planet admiring her handiwork. She was particularly proud of the pretty shade of blue the oceans turned out. But then she noticed that the pretty blue oceans had all sorts of junk floating in them: an old inner tube, an old rubber ducky, an empty bottle of Full Body Hair Conditioner, and all sorts of stuff like that. Somebodys been swimming in my ocean, she said. But she continued her tour, and was admiring the beautify way the colored layers of earth had turned out in the Grand Canyon when she noticed that there was junk lying all around there too: old sun glasses, old beach towels, old paper cups from banana daiquiris, and all sorts of stuff like that. Somebodys been sun-bathing in my desert, she said.
But she continued her tour, and was admiring the trees and grasses and flowers in Northern Africa when she noticed this big ugly patch in the middle that was full of nothing but banana trees with no bananas. And right smack in the middle of that was a very fat monkey with banana breath. Somebodys been living in my garden, she said. And there it is, right there!
The monkey looked up and beheld the face of the Goddess, and said Hey! Are you the lady in charge here? I have some complaints. These banana trees arent producing as much as theyre supposed to, and there are squashed bugs of some kind all over the ground, and everythings starting to smell funny, and— hey! What happened to the sun? because the Goddess had picked up the whole blue planet and tilted it so that the northern hemisphere was pointed away from the sun. And she said Foolish monkey! Do you want to throw everything out of balance so that the blue planet winds up too cold, like the red planet? It started getting very dark and very cold, and the monkeys long toes curled up until they were just little stubs, too short to pick up a banana, and the monkeys tail got frostbite and fell off.
The monkey fell to its knees and said Oh great and powerful Goddess,
back the sun from wherever you hid it, and Ill sacrifice to you,
uh, this dead
deer! But the Goddess was not appeased, and said, So, you want
the sun back
again? Do you want to throw everything out of balance so that
the blue planet
winds up too hot, like the yellow planet? This time the Goddess
tilted the blue
planet so that the northern hemisphere was right under the sun.
getting very bright and very hot, and most of the monkeys fur
fell out. And the
monkey said Oh great and powerful Goddess, put back the sun where
belongs, and Ill burn for you this incense of, er, banana leaf!
But the Goddess was not appeased, and said Put that awful thing out before you stink up the whole planet! Tell you what. Ill put it back again, but just to remind you of how delicate the balance is, Im going to set things up so it gets a little too hot sometimes, and a little too cold sometimes. Now be a good monkey and play nice with the other animals.
And to this day, everyone who lives on the blue planet gets reminded once a year of what its like when it gets too hot, and what its like when it gets too cold, and not to take it for granted when its just right.
Animated illustrations are the property of The Animation Factory