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Today, Dr. Blake is sharing with is a story about an Amoeba that wanted to be human. We hope you enjoy the story. You can even download and see this same story on the website. Dr. Blake has pictures in the story, but they would not copy over to this page. Be sure to stop by and visit Dr. Blake at his website.
The Amoeba That Wanted to be Human
A long time ago in a limped pool not far from where we are now, there lived a community of amoeba, they lived simply and wanted for little, in fact the needed very little. The community was a modest and contented one, and they enjoyed the simple things in life, it was peaceful; amoeba are not too big on talk; and every one lived in peace. Now in this
community was one particular family, the Protozoa family, they were also, by and large, contented with their lot, and
honestly, there was nothing about the family that set them apart with any other member of the amoeba community. They
lived modestly in their small condo-puddle overlooking the swamp that a lazy river, sort of staggered and collapsed into. They had plenty of food and often went on algae hunting trips as a family into the great swamp, sometimes they would find dead plant and animal bits, which were considered a great treat. Now when we say 'family' we don't mean a Mum, Dad and children, because amoeba don't reproduce like we do. An amoeba gives birth by splitting in half, making two
identical amoebas, we humans call this process 'binary fission', so a family is made up of many, many, brothers and sisters. However hunting trips can be hazardous as there are many other creatures that feed on amoebas, so families usually go hunting together, and believe me amoeba families are huge, many millions at least. Our story however concerns just one amoeba called Stew.
Now Stew was an adventurous amoeba and loved to travel around to see the world, and one day, he left his family whilst they were on a hunting trip and travelled into the river that fed the swamp. It was a long trip but the food was good and he saw new sights and heard new sounds, which made Stew happy, and a happy amoeba is a contented amoeba.
The following day Stew travelled on up the river, using the unique stretching and shrinking swimming stroke that all amoeba use. He saw many strange sights, big monsters that floated and rushed through the river water dragging ferocious spinning blades, worms with pieces of string attached through hooks,all manner of oddities. On the third day he passed a big pipe and was strangely drawn towards it. All the water around him was also being pulled into this pipe and the current was so strong that Stew was caught up in the rush to get into the pipe. Inside the pipe it was dark and Stew could see nothing, but he could feel the speed with which he was travelling, he went up then down, then swung around bends, he became very frightened; what would happen to him?
Suddenly Stew shot out of the pipe into daylight and plunged into a huge tank, he felt better, but that was short lived. At the bottom of the tank was a h*** and he again was dragged toward, and into it. Now Stew had to cope with other strange things, the water was forced through machines that made it flow faster, and then it was forced through nets that trapped other creatures against them. Stew was relieved because he was forced through a small tear in the netting and he was spared being trapped and probably death. Now Stew found himself in another even bigger tank, but for the very first time in his life, he was alone. There were no other creatures around him, and no food to eat in the water, Stew now felt sad and wished he had never left his family's puddle by the swamp. Because there was no food Stew didn't have the energy to reproduce and split into two, and he felt sure he would die, and Stew became weak and drifted off into a deep sleep.
Little did Stew know that he was not finished with pipes yet. When he awoke he found it was dark, his immediate thought was that it was night time, but then he felt the movement of the water around him and realised he was travelling through more pipes. This journey was longer than ones before, and Stew again gave up hope and fell into another deep sleep. He was once more awakened by light and the sounds of life, and found himself in a small transparent container held in the hand of a giant. If it had been possible Stew would have screamed, he was so terrified. The giant lifted the container and
poured the water, with Stew in it, into its cavernous mouth, Stew realized he was to be food. However, inside the giant was dark but it was also warm and felt pleasant and Stew realized that he had not been food after all. Inside the giant there were many pipes and what mattered most, there was plenty of food. Exhausted and well fed Stew attached himself to the wall of some part of the giant and fell into a calm satisfied sleep.
When Stew awoke he felt good and his energy had returned, so the natural process took over and he started to split himself in two, the more food he ate the more he reproduced and pretty soon had a new family of his own. Inside the giant was good, although the temperature had risen somewhat and some strange rumbling noises had started, and things
seemed to be flying around everywhere. Stew clung on tight and continued to make more brothers and sisters. After a while, he didn't know how long as no daylight managed to reach him here, Stew felt that the giant was moving very fast
and when the movement stopped he knew he was in a different place. The smell was different and the muffled sounds he could hear were also very different, Stew didn't like the smell one bit, and he didn't like the look of the big containers
and blocks of white chalk-like things that kept passing him by. The giant was still now and all that could be heard was its muffled voice, but Stew could hear what the voice was saying. He heard someone say something like 'Dysentery' and “how long will I be in hospital Doctor?” Of course not being a medical amoeba, Stew didn't know what Dysentery
was, but he thought it sounded like a good thing. Listening intently he heard the giant whisper, “May as well read this
old book I suppose.” Moments later her heard the words, “Hmm, The Origin of the Species.” 'I'm a species,' thought Stew, 'this sounds interesting'. Sometime later Stew's interest was again peaked when the giant started to read about 'Single Cells', because he knew very well that he was exactly that, he felt this giant was talking about him. Stew listened to almost all of the book being read and learned that all life, including this giant, was made of cells, and this inspired him, Stew wanted to be a giant, he wanted to be a human.
Much too soon the medicine that the giant had been given started to work and Stew thought it was time to find a way out of the giant, so he decided to join up with all his brothers and sisters who were, on a regular basis, rushing past him, thinking that they had found the way to freedom. Sure enough in a very short period of time Stew found himself first in daylight, and then just as quickly back in the darkness of the hard pipes that had carried him to the giant. Eventually he was back in the familiar surroundings of the river that fed the swamp, the river current took him swiftly back to the swamp near his home. Stew's arrival was greeted with much elebration and whilst one can't say he was welcomed with open arms, as amoebas have no arms, he was made very welcome. Back in his puddle by the swamp Stew couldn't get the words of the giant's book out of his mind, he so wanted to be human and if he split in two enough times, he felt sure, with his brothers and sister single cells they all could become human.
Stew started to eat ferociously and he split in two so often that he felt dizzy, in fact it didn't take long before there were first thousands, then millions, and then billions of brother and sister amoebas. Every time he separated he told his copy about the plans he had to become human and every one of those billions of amoeba were eager to fulfil Stew's plan. Finally Stew thought there must be enough of them to make, at least, a little human, and so the word went out that at last it was 'H'-day. Every amoeba assembled out in the swamp with great excitement, then the order went out to build a human. As the brains behind the project Stew was at the nervecentre on top of the construction, from where he shouted commands and instructions. “You go over there, no, I want you and your team in the calf, no we are not making a cow,
it a part of the leg. Your lack of colour makes you ideal for the eyes, come up here,” and so on. The building process was very taxing, and this went on for several days, in the end Stew achieved something like a human shape, but it was a very small human shape, not much taller than a small frog. Stew was very sad, although there had been billions of
cells, there were just not enough Amoebas to build anything like an average human. So it was back to the old splitting process, for almost a month the amoeba community grew and grew, but each time they fell short of the numbers required. Just a few days into the fourth month the amoeba community approached the hundredtrillion mark and once more the build started. After nearly a week, a strange semitransparent figure emerged out of the swamp, and Stew felt a surge of pride, he had achieved what only a god had done before, created a human.
Now Stew had had some experience of humans, and he just knew there was something not quite right. There were
no pink pipes, and that cavernous mouth with sharp teeth was missing also. Stew was the brains behind the project but he could not operate the figure. Nor could he receive messages from other parts of the figure, he could not see through the eyes, or smell the swamp, as if he wanted to smell that, and he could not feel. 'No', thought Stew, something was missing. Stew started to think about the problem, he thought for days, and days turned into weeks, and then months; by this time the magnificent figure had changed somewhat. You see amoebas can't help dividing, and so the figure continued to grow, but grow in strange ways, until there was just a mound of jelly that owed more to the shape of a elephant than a human being. In the end Stew had to give up his thought process and, for the time being, at least, he abandoned his attempt to be human.
A few days after he had abandoned the human-gnome project, as it had become to be known, he met up with his great, great, great (and about twenty seven million more grands) brother, whose name was Chivers.
“What have you been up to Stew,” Chivers asked.
“Haven't you heard, I've been failing to build a human,” Stew told him, “I so wanted to be human.”
“What a waste of time, that's just impossible,” Chivers told him, “why didn't you ask me first?
“Oh I don't know, I wanted to prove myself I suppose,” mused Stew, “I would have been famous, the first amoeba to create a human, or anything else for that matter. I just don't understand why it didn't work.”
“That's an easy question to answer,” said Chivers.
“Simple, only God can create a living thing.”
“But what did I do wrong, the body is made of single cells, just like us,” asked Stew.
“Well nothing really wrong,” answered Chivers, “you see, we can assemble all the things that living things are made of, put them all together, but they don't make a living creature, only God can breathe life into things that are not alive and bring them to life. He wrote a program called the DNA code that tells different cells where to go and what job they have
“Can we get some 'DNA Code' Chivers?”
“No Stew, no one can make it, and no one really understands it,” said Chivers, “it's one of God's miracles, that only God can write, or understand.”
“He must be very powerful, this God, I think I'd like to meet Him”, answered Stew.
“Yes,” said Chivers, “you may well do that, one day.”
© Derek P. Blake 10th February 2012