Glancing up he saw a strange creature. Plain, not bright like the beetle, she hopped around in front of him. She had bright eyes and she was jabbing at the ground, pausing now and again to check her surroundings.
She spotted him and cocked her head to one side, examining him as much as he was examining her. Then she opened her beak wide and a song poured from her as if she was unable to contain the praise that filled her body so it overflowed in sweet sound and an outpouring of joy. And the man, for man he was, opened his own mouth and sang.
The sound was rich and deep, unlike the song of the bird. Taken aback, bird and man fell silent and gazed at one another. The bird flew closer and landed just in front of the man who stretched out his hand. She hopped onto it, once again cocking her head as if trying to identify this strange creature who invited her into his world.
She sang again and the man opened his mouth and harmonised with her. Other birds were drawn, attracted by the beauty of the sound, until there was a chorus of praise rising to the blue sky that spread above them. And the man recognised the warmth that swelled within him and knew it was Love.
The bird flew down to join the others of her kind and the man raised his other hand from the dust where it had been resting and clapped in delight at the rightness of it all.
The birds flew, alarmed by this new sound, but the man froze.
There were two! He had two! Two hands!
He brought them together again.
He stretched out his arms as far as they could go and then lowered them so his hands touched the ground, leaning forward slightly so he could watch every movement. The ground was hard, unyielding. Experimenting, he brought fingers and thumb together and took a pinch of dust, raising it closer so he could examine it. The dust lay on his finger-tips until a puff of wind blew it away. He repeated the action and again the wind dispersed the dust, sending a fine cloud into the air.
Growing braver, he put his hand flat on the ground and grasped a fistful of earth. He held it up to the wind and the fine dust flew, but the heavier grains stayed on his palm. Puzzled he gazed at the minute pebbles. Perhaps he could blow like the wind in the same way he had sung with the bird.
He breathed in, filling his lungs and his heart beat and life coursed through him, and Love warmed him. Some of the little stones flew away as the gust of his breath took them. But others did not move. What was he to do with them, these stubborn stones? He wondered if they were visible on the other side of his hand. Intrigued, he turned his hand over and the little stones pattered to the ground. He laughed in delight, the sound rolling up from his belly. He grasped more dust and again the small stones tumbled to the ground.
He looked around, seeking something else he could pick up. The stone, the first thing he had seen, still lay in front of him. He leaned towards it, caution slowing his movements. Taking care to pick up only that stone, he grasped it between thumb and fingers. It was heavier than the dust. He hefted it in his palm – and dropped it. It made a satisfying thud as it landed and he chuckled, each sound he made delighting him and encouraging him to try more.
He examined his body further. Two long legs were curled beneath him. He straightened them out. Some instinct made him want to stand on them. Rolling onto his hands and knees he pushed himself up until he stood tall on his two legs. Would this world never cease to amaze him?