The school room was amok with the sound of the Xyling’s excited chattering. They talked and fretted, their greasy purple fingertips moving rapidly throughout the air. The shade of their skin was distinctive, identifying them as young Xylings, the future citizens of planet Xylonn.
One lone Xyling sat at his desk, staring blankly into the distant stretch of his reality. Neil’s glasses were slipping off his lengthy nose during all this staring, and they slid onto the top of his desk with a smack.
What would Neil construct for his science project, on a planet where science was the only option of a career? What presentation would top his peers’ and amaze the tight laced community members that surrounded him in a cage of rules and regulations?
As Neil fingered around for his fallen glasses, he knew that there was only one answer to his question: Earth. He had learned of Earth in a class called Lesser Known Planets 101. Neil got to work and his pitiful presentation was created.
Earth was 3,000 light years away from Xylon. The planet was a tiny thing, much of it covered in water. It was a habitat, suited for certain types of creatures. As for it’s inhabitants, they were anything but perfect.
Humans were their name. Neil had studied these humans, each varying in a collection of mix matched colors. Humankind was difficult for Neil to understand. Their laughter spread to each other like a fire, licking up one another’s moods, transforming their emotions from sad to happy. How could they feel so deeply about one another other? How could they Love, when there was so much sadness? A cloak of grief often draped over their souls and minds once a member of kinship was lost. They seldom talked during this time period, as if they were dismissing their lives away. Neil supposed this was because of the slight change in familiar routine. It was a removal of a person, a tragedy. So the humans would cry, let their teardrops drip down, caring less about the feelings of others, for the others were not experiencing the emptiness inside.
Humans held great power over others, the lesser, the creatures they shared their land with, wild, they called them. The furred, the scaled, the feathered. Apparently wild compared to themselves. But then, some would care for their wild creatures. Feeding them, sleeping with them, and often it looked as though the creature was caring for the human, making them laugh their splendid laugh in the darkest of times. Mankind treasured their animals, crying when their time was up, and loving them prior to that event.
In certain phases of the planet’s rotation, the terrain was cloaked in a white powder that bit with frost, and in others, Earth’s land glowed with light from the sun. In the wide blue atmosphere above it, vaporous white bits dotted the sky, and water would often pour down from them. Twists of deathly winds picked up, and destroyed expanses of territory, a natural killing machine. Storms thundered through villages, tearing down everything the humans had worked so hard to build up. Brief flashes of white would strike down from above, and in other parts, in other locations, a bright vibrant rainbow would color the sky, bringing many smiles to many faces.
The humans tortured their surroundings. They chopped down more trees than they could grow, letting the leafy green build ups topple to the floor, completely wasted. The creatures that they brought to death were also frequently treated in that manner, once killed, being left to decay in their own territory. They built structures, towering, gleaming structures, often on land that had already been claimed. They took, and took, and took again. Taking until they could take no more. But some gave, giving in unthinkable ways. Refusing to eat the meat that they savored so much, recycling their very own possessions, and racing to keep up with deforestation by planting new sprouts every which way.
Brutality ruled their kind. The violence they wrecked amongst their own was astounding, incredible in fact, something Neil was quite unacquainted with. They killed one another, pushing the fair and peaceful to the soiled ground, hate pulsing through their complicated labyrinth of veins. But every day, the whole planet was plastered with kindness. Because when humans picked up the pieces, helped others, they felt an extreme feeling inside of them- happiness, a genuine feeling of content. When a stranger helped a stranger completely and totally randomly, they received that emotion with gusto.
After 3 weeks of studying, Neil stood next to his tri-fold display board of Earth, bits of printed facts pasted on crookedly. His forehead trickled with sweat as he looked around the room. A cornucopia of projects surrounded him, waiting to be eaten up by the science fair judges, stuffed with juicy facts, theories, and delectable shiny presentations. They all ate at him as he waited to see what his fate would come to. He shoved his glasses up his grimy lavender-colored nose, hoping they wouldn’t fall in front of the Xylonns he was about to meet.
Looming over him were 3 figures crammed side by side in a neatly foreboding line. Their bodies were shaped quite like pears, plump on the bottom, but skinny as a stick at the top. The three adult Xylonns, the science fair judges.
The female in the middle blew her long violet nose. “Neil,” she paused, flicking her pencil on the side of her clipboard, “Neil Glorburst, What have you prepared for the Annual Xylonn Science Fair today?”
Neil blinked. How had his report failed so greatly? How would he explain it to the judges? The misery that surely faced him was great. But as the words came spewing out of his mouth-words about the water, the humans, the violence, he knew it was all wrong, misinterpreted.
Earth was imperfect, and that was what made it perfect.
It’s environment was suited well for it’s citizens. A stew of living and nonliving things, coming together, to create one perfect planet.
For every bad, there were thousands of good. But most importantly, the hardest thing to explain, there was love. There was enough love inside each heart of each human, to stretch for miles, fill buckets and buckets, and warm those of others.
And later, as Neil stared at the blue ribbon, the words “First Place” etched in metallic lettering, he realized something. Maybe Earth wasn’t so bad. Maybe it was literally the best creation in the Universe.