Terry pratchett — nation. part 1: prologue

PROLOGUE
HOW IMO MADE THE WORLD, IN THE TIME WHEN THINGS WERE OTHERWISE AND THE MOON WAS DIFFERENT.

Imo set out one day to catch some fish, but there was no sea. There was nothing but Imo. So he spat in his hands and rubbed them together and made a ball of sea. After that he made some fish, but they were stupid and lazy. So he took the souls of some dolphins, who at least had learned to speak, and he mixed them with clay and rubbed them in his hands and changed their shape and they became people. They were clever but they could not swim all day, so Imo dug some more clay and rubbed it in his hands and baked it in the fire of his fishing camp, and that was how the land was made.

Soon the people filled all the lands and were hungry, so Imo took some of the night and rubbed it in his hands and made Locaha, the god of death.

Still Imo was not satisfied, and he said: I have been like a child playing in the sand. This is a flawed world. I had no plan. Things are wrong. I will rub it in my hands and make a better one.

But Locaha said: The mud is set. People will die.

Imo was angry and said: Who are you to question me?

And Locaha said: I am a part of you, as are all things. So I say to you, Give me the mortal world, and go and make your better one. I will rule here fairly. When a human dies, I will send them to be a dolphin until it is time for them to be born again. But when I find a creature who has striven, who has become more than the mud from which they were made, who has glorified this mean world by being a part of it, then I will open a door for them into your perfect world and they will no longer be creatures of time, for they will wear stars.

Imo thought this was a good idea, because it was his own creation, and went off to make his new world in the sky. But before he did this, and so that Locaha would not have things all his own way, he breathed into his hands and made the other gods so that while the people should die, it would be in their right time.

And this is why we are born in water, and do not kill dolphins, and look toward the stars.