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Things to come - Ecopia

Page history last edited by Ian Kimber 10 years, 4 months ago


Things to Come




“John!  We’ve got problems with the Mice again you will really have to do something about it this time” John, realising that this might need his full attention carefully cleaned and put down his tools in the correct places in their box and closed its lid and wiped the area clean  before he looked up from his work.  “What do you want me to do about it my dear? 


“You know darned well what you’ve GOT to do about it!  I’ve been telling you for years.  You are far too tidy; you have got to learn how to leave a little bit of mess behind you wherever you go.  You really must be some sort of throwback to an earlier age.  You are not an unkind person and are normally very considerate for the feelings of everyone. It is just your fetish for total order and cleanliness in everything you do. 


You are even continually cleaning and tidying up after everyone else in this house.  It seems to happen almost without your thinking.  You really must try harder to consider other people in the whole household.  It really can’t go on.  This time there could now be some very serious repercussions about your continuing bad habits.


John heaved a long sigh.  “What’s happened now?”  I got a formal written message this morning from Sindy Marina Mouse saying that it has been going on for too long now and she is going to bring the matter up before the ecopolice.  She even felt so strongly about it that she came out during the day and discussed the problem with me personally, explaining that she didn’t like to have to do it but it was becoming a very serious problem for her family.


“I just can’t understand how you can manage to actually talk with the Mice” John said  “All I hear is a lot of tiny squeaks”. 


“It’s easy if you concentrate and we do use the common language”  Mary replied.


“OK, OK, I accept the problem and will try harder but you must help me by warning me when I am doing too much cleaning up and maybe help by messing things up a bit for me.”


Mary concluded “I will do my best but it’s been going on for a long time now and we have had warnings before, let’s hope they don’t take any more serious action this time.


John did feel that he would have been more suited to that ancient pre-ecologic period the meselectronic age when there was only a single sentient species on the earth.  John’s all consuming job and hobby was the construction of model dioramas of the life in that ancient period in the run up to the first great crash when computers and robotics dominated the world enabling the population to exceed all reasonable ecological limits.


He was in no way prejudiced against the plethora of species that the human race had evolved into since

those early days, but life must have been much simpler then.  He often wondered how it must have been to be the total top species.  Mankind could just do as it wanted, without the continual need to adapt and sacrifice its personal life to ensure the true balance of all species in the total ecosystem on the planet.


During the great dark age that followed the overpopulation and first great crash, man had been forced by circumstance to fit into all the evolutionary niches that were available to him and had consequently diversified to fill spaces in all the major environmental areas using his intelligence, communication skills and record keeping ability to compete with the traditional mammal species that had occupied these niches.


After the great crash, there had been a sequence of smaller crashes as one or other of the species groups had managed to achieve the top position and had failed to remember that being there created morem responsibilities than advantages.


Now the world was better regulated and all the various sentient species knew that they must fit precisely into their niche in the ecosystem together with the vast number of non sentient species that still existed.


This made households quite large and complicated affairs, in which the needs of all the separate species that lived together had to be considered.  The problem with the mice was that they were active in the house during the night and generally cleaned things up and collected and recycled smaller lumps of rubbish and food left by the conventional humans.  It was therefore important to leave a certain amount of waste material lying around for them to collect and feed their families.  They were strictly forbidden by the laws of “social ecology” from breaking into stores and getting their needs themselves because they would then be subject to action from the ecopolice.  They would treat them in the same way as any infestation of antisocial creatures so in an excessively tidy house the mice could end up starving.


They called themselves mice but they were really about the size of rats, but rats were still going strong competed strongly in their own antisocial way and gave the mice lots of problems and always had a very bad press so the human derived species preferred to call themselves mice.


The names of the subspecies members were taken from vaguely similar normal species so John’s full name was John Brown Human just as the complaining mouse was Sindy Marina Mouse.


Complaints weren’t always one way because John was often very annoyed with another local resident Jonathan Livingston Seagull because his (perfectly reasonable and ecological) manure depositions were not as accurately placed as they should be.


The mice were the smallest of the sentient species but they were very important species and very numerous.  They needed to be treated with a great deal of respect,  firstly because in domestic life they were generally scavengers and recyclers a very important trade but they were also the astronauts  because of their light weight and much smaller needs for oxygen and food.  Only the mice could inhabit the starships that were now on their way to visit other planetary systems.


Traditional human beings on the other hand were something of an anomaly and considered rather quaint because the weren’t very well fitted for any of the main jobs  they tended to continually hark back to their dominant past and tended to be archaeologists and record keepers. But it resulted in a quiet life mand so a small population was kept in the interest of completeness for the whole ecological pattern. The other important species were the group of major herbivore species who helped convert plants into food and fertilizer.  They generally had a quiet and comfortable life but there were of course the obvious problems ….




John’s reverie was brought to a sudden halt by the sound of the doorbell and the sound of his wifegoing too the door and uttering a short cry Oh!  Then her voice came.  “It looks like the ecopolice have decided to take action this time I’m afraid,  Come down and meet Shaun Singh Tiger he says he's come for lunch!!”



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