In the beginning was the Lamb, the Lion and the Wind.
They were the first life created by Elohim, the maker and supreme life force that transcended the cosmos.
He appointed them as viceroys of his Shalom, on earth. The Shalom was the surety of the presence of Elohim. The Lion, the Lamb and the Wind held the representation of Elohim’s Godhead: Elohim, the Light and the Spirit.
The Animal Kingdom paid homage to the trinity of leadership appointed by the Creator. All beauty in the Universe was fashioned by him. By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether, thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Elohim and for Elohim. No creature had set eyes on Elohim. However, the popular belief was that he was mirrored in the trinity of the viceroys. He was Lamm the Lamb- gentle, quiet, humble and patient. He was Liun the Lion-powerful, astounding and terribly ferocious. He was Vuah the Wind; invisible yet present, soothing yet vigorous. If one saw the trinity, one saw Elohim. If one saw the trinity, one experienced Shalom.
However, one day, a breach in the shalom occurred.
Vuah was greatly incensed. No creature had seen her in such furor. The raging whirlwind storms that had holed the mountains were proof. Never before had Vuah’s clouds gathered so quickly. They were darkened with violence and threatened to destroy any creature that cast face upon them. The air moved at terrible speeds and was carrying a lot of debris from the mountainside. Liun summoned the council of animals to an urgent gathering at the Oak tree of Eden.
The remaining creatures were instructed to stay under shelter as the council of animals convened. The council was represented by six creatures: Lupus, the wolf who stood for all night creatures, Java the sparrow who represented all winged animals, Pronghorn the deer who typified all forest critters, Drilos the crocodile who stood on behalf of all water creatures and Mudric the mole rat who represented all insects and creatures beneath the earth. The last member of the council had not yet arrived, Severus the serpent. He served as the immediate aide to the viceroys and the head of the council in the absence of Liun and Lamm.
“What is going on?” Mudric demanded, “The surface world has lost control of its critters again, eh?”
“The surface world?” Pronghorn challenged, “Can’t you see that Vuah is raging in the atmosphere? If there’s any blame to cast, lay it in the right direction mole rat.”
Java did not take the deer’s remarks kindly. She was about to speak when Drilos intervened.
“This is not an animal issue. Vuah rages. The viceroys have summoned. They must explain to us the bid to call.”
“This is an animal issue,” Lamm said. The gentleness in his voice was profound. That it was heard above the violent wind was a wonder. Lamm was loud and clear.
“Then we must wait for every member of the council before we begin,” Java said. “Our false assertions only fragment our present unity.”
“Java is right,” Liun said. It was the only thing he spoke until the real problem was unearthed.
“I’m sure it’s more surface creature problems,” Mudric stated.
“Mudric,” Pronghorn addressed, “Your premature accusations grow increasingly less…charming.”
“Mudric is right on this one,” Lamm said. A silenced enveloped the council for brief moments.
“I knew it!” Mudric gloated. “You surface creatures have a long way to go…”
“The Shalom has departed,” Lupus interjected. The silence returned. It lasted several moments longer than the one before.
Lupus stepped forward into the threshold.
“Where is Severus?” Lupus asked the viceroys. Silenced was the preferred mode of communication in this unclear meeting. Lupus eyes remained locked onto Liun. The Lion looked back but it was clear that his vision was beyond the wolf’s position. Lupus turned to the council members. “The Shalom has departed.”
“What do you mean?” Drilos asked. “The Shalom never departs.”
“Elohim would never leave us,” Java said taking to the air. “The Viceroys are here with us, proof of his presence. Even Vuah who by nature is unseen shows proof of her presence in the whirlwinds.”
“Can’t you feel it sparrow?” Lupus asked. “You soar high above the earth. His Shalom descends from his abode on high. We can’t feel it down here. I doubt you can up there.”
Java flapped her wings vigorously and ascended above the Oak tree of Eden. In a few moments, she was back. She perched on Pronghorn’s left antler. Her tiny eyes confirmed what she felt. The Shalom had departed. Evil was palpable inside the council on that day. Something had gone wrong- terribly wrong.
“Where is Severus?” Drilos asked. “We must begin the meeting.”
As if awaiting the crocodile’s cue, Severus, the serpent stepped in. His feet barely licked the ground as he glided into the Oak tree chamber.
The Lion stepped forth before the serpent was halfway across the threshold. Severus stopped when Liun intercepted his movement. He looked at the tawny mane of the lion that covered half his figurehead. There was authority in his form that was drawn deeper than his appearance. This was the head of the viceroys, Liun.
“An unholy alliance, Severus,” Liun said to the serpent. “What have you done?”
“What the viceroys should have done a long time back, Liun,” Severus hissed.
“Severus, you served as a liaison to the human’s weakness and Bel’s witchcraft.”
The council’s murmur begged a confirmation from Severus. What was Liun saying? The serpent marble-eyed Liun with a sinister smile drawn across his face. His expression only confirmed Liun’s accusation but he wasn’t going to leave the council guessing the veracity of the matter. Liun was right and so the serpent confirmed it with his lips.
“Yes! I tricked the humans into eating the fruit! And it seems that you are all-knowing, Liun. Just like Elohim you are omniscient. If that is true, then you should know by now that Bel is the only safe option for us. Elohim has betrayed us!”
Vuah’s intensity grew with more passion and for the first time in all history, the great Oak tree of Eden creaked, threatening to break.
“You went to bed with the devil, Severus,” Liun warned. “You’ve courted evil but there is still chance. I offer you pardon, to abdicate from the council and receive the mercy of Elohim.”
“I do not desire his mercy, I desire his apology!”
“Serpent!” Drilos growled.
“Join me!” Severus cried turning to the council. “Join me in a new age of freedom from the supremacy of the human, to do as we wish. Free animals!”
“Fool!” Lupus interjected. “Whatever you’ve done, you’ve retracted the Shalom.”
“Don’t be myopic in my offer, wolf. Bel will give us a new Shalom. I have thought this through.”
“Have you thought through the fact that Elohim demanded that all animals stay away from the abyss of Beelzebub?” Pronghorn defended Lupus.
“For once, I agree with the surface creatures,” Mudric said to Severus. “Accept Liun’s pardon and we shall sort this out as a council.”
“Are you all so blind! I have made an agreement with Bel on behalf of the council! No agreement made by this summit guarantees the return of the Shalom.”
“That can’t be true,” Java cried,” Can it Liun?”
Liun sighed heavily.
“Traitor!” Drilos cried.
“You will call me saviour, Drilos, you and all the sea creatures.”
“We will fight to the death before we bow down to you Severus!” the sparrow cried.
“Then arm yourselves for war,” Lamm gently said. The council turned to the Lamb as if he had struck them out cold with the news.
“Viceroy,” Java said, “I spoke in rash.”
“You spoke in prophecy,” Lamm responded.
“I don’t understand,” the sparrow said.
“So the lamb is omniscient too,” Severus said in mock.
He glided to the entrance of the Oak tree chamber and looked back at the council. On his right and left emerged a horde of snakes. They drew nearer the entrance and it was soon clear that they were numerous. Behind them was a large black mass wrapped in a coil. The black coil came closer and grew taller. It stopped before the Oak tree and revealed a set of bright slender eyes. Beneath the eyes, the black mass slit open to reveal a fleshy pink mouth and a set of sharp fangs. The coil grew taller and it was clear that it was bigger that the Oak tree in full length. It was as wide as the trunk and had the appearance of a lizard’s skin. Severus had brought an anaconda to the council. Between the anaconda and Severus, stood the horde of snakes.
Vuah’s rage saw its zenith. The Oak tree of Eden was ripped from the roots leaving Liun, Lamm and the remaining five members of the council standing on an open-air threshold. Vuah’s furor then died suddenly and all the whirlwinds ceased. A gentle breeze was felt for a brief moment before Pronghorn spoke.
“Where is she? Where is Vuah?”
“She has departed to get back-up,” Liun said.
“Back-up for what?” Mudric asked.
“Was I not clear?” Lamm gently asked, “Arm yourselves for war.”
The Lamb’s statement was the spark that Severus needed. Immediately, the anaconda swirled around the gathering of snakes and the council, creating a barrier. The council was caged in. There was going to be a fight and nobody was leaving. Liun’s growl was all the council needed to make the next move. Lupus charged at Severus. The snakes responded to the attack and glided forward. A battle broke out. Liun was already racing on the anaconda’s body heading for the head. Java, in a clean swoop, lifted three serpents in the air and cast them outside the anaconda barrier. It was of no use. They climbed back into the battle cauldron and Java knew that she would have to hurt them to protect the council.
The war lasted no few moments. When it was done, Pronghorn was limping from several injuries on his hind feet. The snake fangs had sunk deep and had crippled his walk. Liun held the decapitated head of the anaconda in his mouth. His mane was soaked in blood but he had sustained no injuries. The decapitation of the anaconda was a tough task. Underneath Drilos lay several trampled serpents. Mudric had sank into the ground and buried some of the serpents alive that followed him in. Java did what she knew she had to do. She hurt the serpents to protect the council. Lupus was wounded but he seemed not to care. He had Severus pinned to the ground with his claws, still alive.
“Kill him!” Drilos growled.
“No, don’t!” the sparrow said, “Look.” Java’s attention drew the animals’ attention to their demise.
Lupus grabbed Severus in his mouth not killing him yet. He turned toward the direction the rest of the council and Liun stood and dropped Severus to the ground involuntarily. He watched in horror as he witnessed the cost of the battle. This couldn’t be! Severus’s death would surely be justified. Severus tried to make an escape but Pronghorn was keen to nail him down with his good hooves. The council stood still in screaming silence as they watched the body of Lamm, soaked in blood, bitten, bruised, broken and dead. Mudric ran to the corpse and nudged it severally, hoping Lamm would awake. Nothing. Lupus joined to assist the mole rat. He tried to raise the Lamb’s body. It slacked and fell to the ground. Lamm was dead.
“Kill the serpent!” Drilos growled.
“No,” Liun responded.
“But Liun,” Lupus cried.
“He killed Lamm!”
Liun roared thunderously asserting his decision. The animals cowered at his roar. The viceroy had spoke; Elohim had spoken. It was then that the council realized that the rest of the creatures had gathered. They were too late for the battle. Lamm was gone. A wind began to blow gently around the battle scene. The wind, albeit gentle, gathered the corpses of the dead anaconda and the serpents into one pile. It was Vuah. She had returned. The gathering cleared the site and all the animals saw the tragedy. A loud wail filled the air from every critter that day. Even from the sea, the cry of the fish was audible. The Shalom had departed; they could feel it. As the creatures wailed in anguish, Liun roared above the cries. It was the most powerful of roars the animals had ever heard.
“Pick up the serpent, Severus.”
Lupus was about to act on Liun’s command before Vuah overtook him. The wind gushed past Lupus and Pronghorn and lifted Severus high in the air. Liun spoke.
“Cursed are you among all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, Severus.”
As Liun said those words, Severus screamed out in ear-splitting agony. As the animals watched closely, they saw what was happening. Vuah was plucking out the serpent’s feet. Few animals looked away from the violent punishment. Many looked on. When Vuah was done with the punishment, it was a miracle Severus was alive.
“And you will eat dust all the days of your life.”
As soon as Liun finished those words, Vuah dropped Severus to the ground, a creature like no other; a creature without legs.
Liun turned to the corpse of Lamm. He dug his claws into the lamb’s body and ripped out his skin. He turned to Java, the sparrow,
“Deliver this sheep skin to Adam,” Liun commanded the sparrow.
He hurled the skin in the air and the sparrow grabbed it. She was helped by a couple of sparrows who had perched on the uprooted Oak tree at the battleground.
Genesis 3:21-23 “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not also be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”