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The Elpoep

Long ago, there was a great tribe of many kingdoms and of many colors, who spanned across every continent both above and below. Just as the wolves or the bears or the birds spread across the Earth and called it home, so too had this tribe. Just as there are native foxes in Africa, or native foxes in South America, or native foxes in Russia, so too did this tribe go to every land and called it home as natives. They were a humble assemblage, hunting and fishing in the mountains and on the plains, just as our brother eagle, or our brother hawk. Like that, this great tribe, who spanned across the Earth, performed much the same life as the badger or as the beaver or as the lion or as the snake. Life was good, the game plenty, only happiness lived there in the wild and free.

One day, mysterious spirits traveled across the heavens from unimaginable distances that were at one time unknown to such a tribe of Earth. These spirits came into contact with the spirits who were already on the Earth, who lovingly watched over the global tribe with much joy and anticipation. A grave battle ensued between these spirits, a competition for nature herself, for the lives of the great clan and her children and her future. Eventually, some of the native spirits were forced deeper into the Earth, deep into the underworld where they reside today. At this time, the great clan refers to these spirits as those of the underworld, but it was not always so. The foreign spirits had lost their home and were forced to gain a new one, just as a squirrel must do when their tree falls in the forest or as a bird must do when faced by as snake.

The foreign spirits who came to Earth learned of a special power being wielded innocently by the great clans of the lakes, of the rivers, of the plains and of the mountains. The foreign spirits had lost their way, and, being so far from home, so far from the sights and smells of their own lakes and rivers and plains and mountains, began to unravel mentally, began to unravel spiritually. At this time, they are regarded as mere husks of their former selves, like a lion who's lost its sight and smell and heart, as if it were now living in total darkness. At one time, the foreign spirits had their own ways of poetry, of art, of science and of compassion, but, because of what happened, their ways were lost to them forever.

The foreign spirits were forced to give this great Earth tribe language, because of the foreign spirits' destitute needs being so far from home, and with it, gave the tribe an ability to participate in differentiation. At one time, this great clan saw no differences among them, no differences among the animals or the plants or the mushrooms or the insects, because they were all essentially the same person, the same brother, the same sister, functioning as one. With the onset of language, though, and the subsequent differentiation, the tide for this great clan had started to turn, and began to resemble the pain and suffering of the foreign spirits, as their desires and lives were now all interwoven.

One hundred thousand generations had passed before this great clan met the acquaintance of the foreign spirits, and one hundred thousand more generations have passed since, so many, in fact, that this great clan of Earth had nearly forgotten about the transition itself, nearly forgotten about how life was like before differentiation. There was a new energy that abounded, as a result of the contentions caused by misperceived differentiation, and so the foreign spirits were surviving on meager affordances as a result of their desperate plans.

At one time, in this great clan of Earth, there was no word for war nor death nor sorrow nor longing. Indeed, there were no words for anything having to do with lack, because before the transition, there was no lacking. But as time went on, and the great tribe splintered into lesser tribes, they began to resemble more and more the scared and fearful tendencies of the foreign spirits, who were so out of their own minds, their power and energy began to heavily influence the special power once yielded by the great tribe.

No one can remember exactly when it happened, but after so many thousands of generations in the great tribe, the foreign spirits began to take human form, as they were losing more and more of their essence and could not sustain themselves in the midst of Earth's higher planes. It was at this time that Earth took a dark turn, when the experiences of the great tribe were influenced by the scarcity of fear and sorrow from the foreign spirits. Life continued, but in such a way that seemed to be mutated, disfigured, disgruntled and empty, much like the delusional longing caused within the foreign spirits after being so far from their home for so long, after no longer being recognizable from who they once were.

The great tribe has now experienced countless differentiations and separations, quantifications and qualifications, as a result of the mechanisms constructed atop their very spirit. It used to be that there were only one people, as if there were only one bird or one bear, functioning of their own accord, both independently and collectively, across the entirety of Earth, as the wind blows from the East or from the West, as the wind itself simply blows without a name. The wind blows and the rain falls with no additional qualifiers or signifiers, like that of man, as the great tribe used to be, in a time long forgotten--until now.

Now there are two types of us, living side by side, indeed, even sometimes living within the same body: those who protect the Earth and her creatures, and those who destroy it. We all wonder how it ever came to be this way, as few of us can remember exactly what has happened or when, but the signs are all still there, waiting for us to recognize them. How is it that some of us want to live and some of us want to die? How is it that some of us want to plant trees while others want to uproot them? Well, my friends, this is the story of how it all came to be, how a once great clan lost all its memories, the story of how a group of weary foreign spirits lost their battle too late and so were forced to begin a new one. Without ever remembering what had even happened to them, many of these spirits now bumble about, in human form, thinking they are actually human. This is the story of the Elpoep, a great clan from a time long ago.

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