Thursday, 11 October 2007


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One of my numerous hobbies is writing. I just have fun but am certainly no great talent. However, now and again I put my hobby to the test and enter a competition featured on one of the forum sites I visit now and again. One of the choices was to write a short piece called "Dirt", so here it is. You were only allowed up to about 1,500 words.

There was really only dirt left on planet 123. It covered everything, well everything that was left and that was almost nothing. It was an exhausted world. Once there were green fields and oceans teaming with life, but that was once. It all started somewhere in the top half of the planet, according to the scientific examinations made. Planet 123 was occupied mostly by animals with legs, arms and even brains, some brains being more developed than others. Let us call the animals with the larger brains humans. The humans used their brains to organise their life. The humans were hungry and had to eat. What did the humans eat? They ate other animals and decided that it was boring eating other animals, there were even humans that thought there was something wrong with eating other animals. It was then that the law was finally passed – eat no other animals.

What happened, you ate plants. You eat things that grow out of the ground. Then there was earth, teaming with insects, seeds waiting to sprout and minerals. So the humans started eating things growing out of the earth. The humans discovered that it was not possible to grow things everywhere. The desert had no water, so that was a large part of planet 123 that couldn’t be used for growing things. Then there were minerals such as iron and coal. What grew on those minerals? Nothing, so that part of the world was not fertile enough for growing plants. And the sea – this was no environment for growing plants. Some human races ate seaweed, but they were few and far between.

What was left – a few areas North and South of the equator on the planet. The humans started eating plants. Plants were growing everywhere and could be eaten. The food made from the plants had to be sent to the areas where no plants were growing. Vegetables and corn harvested were used to feed the world population. The vegetarian food had to be transported by lorries, planes and ships. The old animal nutrition was left to itself. The sheep population started growing, there were cows everywhere and chickens were roaming the streets. Pigs started raiding the shops for food as their normal food was being processed for humans.

The chickens picked at the plants growing in the earth, the cows were eating twice as much grass as usual and birds started eating the seeds on the growing plants. Humans were having problems with the growth of the plants, as soon as they were planted and started growing, the animals would eat the plants. The humans put more nutrition into the earth to force the growth of the plants and vegetables. After 20 years they noticed that the harvest was getting smaller. There was nothing more to send to the countries that didn’t have enough water to grow their plants. The next idea the humans had was to pump water from the sea to those countries so that they could grow their own plants. The humans were very clever I suppose, but after another 30 years they realised that the water level was sinking in the oceans of the planet. In the meanwhile the humans on planet 123 even had to pump water onto the fields in the North and South as the earth was becoming exhausted by giving so much for the growth of the plants.

One of the humans with more brain than the others decided that it should be again permitted to eat animals. This would have been a good idea, but after so many years of eating vegetation the human body was no longer able to digest meat. The humans tried, but after 20% of the human race died through the allergic reactions to eating meat, the idea had to be abandoned. In the meanwhile the actually level of humus in the earth was becoming less and less. There were even areas where no earth existed any more. It was just pure dirt. There were still some places where you could plant. In the far North of planet 123 where the temperatures were cooler, the plants grew slower and the animals went into hibernation in the Winter. At the beginning and end of the winter months fast growing plants could be harvested, but as the results were minimal, the plants could only be eaten in these areas.

A hundred years had now passed. There was not enough oxygen in the atmosphere any more, photosythesis no longer took place. The earth was becoming bare in places, the friendly brown colour of the earth was slowly changing to a deathly shade of grey. The few remaining humans living on planet 123 huddled together in the Northern regions. Earth had become a rare substance. If it was found it was hidden and kept in the hope that something may grow in it one day. The humans thought it might rain again. Rain was rare, as there was no process for making rain on planet 123 any more. Eventually the grey dirt surface covered planet 123 and all signs of life, human or otherwise, just didn’t exist any more. Planet 123 was renamed the dirty planet.

One thousand years later a spacecraft landed on planet 123. The travellers looked for life on the planet of dirt, but there was no life left The spaceship decided to leave with its crew, but before leaving threw out the waste from the space ship onto the planet. After all what difference would it make to a dead planet covered with dirt. In the waste was a worm, just a small earth worm who had lived on dirt his whole wormy life. So what do worms do surrounded by tons of dirt, they eat the dirt and multiply. As planet 123 was just one dirty planet, the worm was in paradise. The worm multiplied and his family members started eating the dirt and digesting it. The dirt was slowly transformed and started breathing. The seeds that had been laying in the dirt started growing and there was rain again on the planet.

One millionen years later planet 123 was unrecognisable. There was still dirt, but good dirt. There were plants thriving in the dirt. The worms had developed over the years and now had legs and heads and brains. They felt at home in the world of dirt. Sometimes the dirt got wet by the rain that fell, so the worms with heads, legs and arms channelled the rain into rivers that flowed together to form oceans. Other animals developed and they began to eat each other until one day a special animal with a brain, said that something is wrong somewhere. Why eat each other when we can also eat things that grow.

Do I have to tell what happened next?

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