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Ishmael, Daniel Quinn - Excerpt One

Title: Ishmael
Author: Daniel Quinn
Published: 1992
Page: 105
Note: The story centers around a man's response to a newspaper "Teacher seeks pupil, must have an earnest desire to save the world". The teacher is a gorilla with telepathic abilities, and he teaches the man about the principles necessary to save the world from ourselves. In the story, the Takers are "civilized" populations (us, essentially). Here Ishmael, the gorilla, describes the three "dirty tricks" gods (or God or Earth or Spirit or Whatever) played on the Takers and how knuckleheaded we really are. You'll have to read the book to find out more details about the "law" Ishmael references - it's a good read.
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The gods have played three dirty tricks on the Takers (man). In the first place, they didn't put the world where the Takers thought it belonged, in the center of the universe. They really hated hearing this, but they got used to it. Even if man's home was stuck off in the boondocks, they could still believe he was the central figure in the drama of creation.

The second of the gods' tricks was worse. Since man was the climax of creation, the creature for whom all the rest was made, they should have had the decency to produce him in a manner suited to his dignity and importance - in a separate, special act of creation. Instead they arranged for him to evolve from the common slime, just like the ticks and liver flukes. The Takers really hated hearing this, but they're just beginning to adjust to it. Even if man evolved from the common slime, it's still his divinely appointed destiny to rule the world and perhaps even the universe itself.

But the last of the gods' tricks was the worst of all. Though the Takers don't know it yet, the gods did not exempt man from the law that governs the lives of grubs and ticks and shrimps and rabbits and mollusks and deer and lions and jellyfish. They did not exempt him from this law any more than they exempted him from the law of gravity, and this is going to be the bitterest blow of all to the Takers. To the gods' other dirty tricks, they could adjust. To this one, no adjustment is possible.
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