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Remnants of a Miracle

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Deep in the dense forest of evergreens there resides Nature’s most beautiful work. To find this, one must look past the towering trunks, which belittle the objects around them. One must look past the lavish and elegant flowers, whose vibrantly colorful blossoms obnoxiously cover the landscape, hiding the true elegance of Gaia’s work. One must look past the shimmering brook, which revitalizes the forest floor. The brilliant reds and oranges that radiate from the setting sun do not come close to comparing to the wonder that is located in the middle of the crowded growth. While every living being in the forest is trying to impress one another in some way, either being the biggest, the smallest, or the most colorful, this particular being is just trying to accomplish one goal : to die peacefully. For this creature is an individual piglet, the runt of the litter, left all alone in the dark cold world. Faced with utter turmoil the piglet can only do one thing, wait and die. While this may seem like a bleak ending to such a young life, the story only gets happier, for the end is just the beginning. This is where the true grace and compassion of the world starts. The irregular gasping of air shortens; the long drawn out cries for help diminish, and with one last kick of its tiny pink hoof the once vivacious piglet is now nothing but a still corpse.

The lifeless pink body lay stagnant on the dirt brown forest floor. Within hours the warmth from the piglet drained out, as if the ground beneath it was sucking the fiery essence of life out of its veins. The blood percolated towards back of the animal and the resplendent pink that once inhabited the animal’s skin was fading away into a ghostly white. Most notably was the snout, which before the hour of its demise was a deep dark fuchsia; now it was the color of an eggshell. The Shrub Rose was now a withered weed. The air around the beast was heavy, for fumes of decomposition were setting in. The stench of death was not a pleasant aroma, yet it had its own uniqueness. The strong fetid odor was so powerful that it brought amazing miracles in its wake. For this stench was carried for miles and one creature in particular found it intoxicating, and these tiny pilots carried the miracle of life on their wings. The minute explorers followed their noses to find a palm sized pink treasure waiting for them. They came and contested over their prize, having miniature dog fights in the sky; the Red Barons of the group conquered their rotting bounty. The seasoned fighters nested in the many orifices of the supple young body. They crowded in the rotting eyeballs, the large nostrils, the gaping mouth; every hole you could think of was occupied by hundreds of flies. The corpse was dotted with black spots. From afar it would seem that the piglet was infected with the Black Plague. Yet destruction was not the intention for this plague, the flies were not harbingers of death, but carriers of new life. Like tiny dark storks the flies dropped of their offspring on the cold soft flesh of the piglet, for the freshly dead piglet was a safe haven for the soon to be flies.

Over the course of a few days the flies’ sanctuary changed dramatically. Gasses from inside the pig’s body elevated, causing severe bloating. The skin of the animal was now almost gelatinous, and the meat was now a supple pulp. But this was all the more enticing for the pig’s new residents. Under the loose skin there was a bulging and pulsating white mass. The body that was once covered in dark spots was now covered in gleaming white boils filled with activity. For upon further inspection one could see that the white boils were patches of tiny maggots, huddled together and crawling under the epidermis of the piglet. They had hatched from their eggs a few days ago, awoken from their slumber; each individual a Sleeping Beauty and the rotting flesh was their prince. The newborn’s needed one thing, and that was food. They ate together in packs, and systematically ate the meat of the pig in a downwards pattern, creating small craters into the pulpous meat. The pig was the maggot’s only source of food; they depended on this putrid mound for their survival. It was the ultimate act of selflessness, for the pig gave up its body to nourish the tiny infants. The piglet was the surrogate mother to the infants, nurturing the tiny circular mouths, filling their bottomless bellies to the brim. Without the tragedy of death, the marvel of life could not exist. The piglets sacrifice was almost Christ like. They continued to gorge themselves on their savior; stripping the muscles to the sinews and the sinews to the bone.

A month had past and the piglet was unrecognizable. The corpse that was once filled with rancid fluids and foul smells was now just a skeleton of a pig covered with the thinnest layer of skin imaginable. The maggots cleaned all what was under the skin, the meat, the entrails, the tendons; nothing went to waste. Soon even the skin would be put to good use, for the maggots were not the only guests at the dinner table. On the ground adjacent to the pig there was a forest of strange looking plants. These beings almost looked alien like, they had a long thin stem that protruded from the ground, and at the top they had a cap, with such a large diameter it dwarfed the rest of the plant. The Martians came in an assortment of different shapes and colors, making the scene look as if Picasso had painted it himself. The arrow shaped vegetation flourished near the decaying pig. They were the janitors. They came in after the maggots had had their fill, and absorbed what was left of the nutritious matter. They also were solely dependent on the pig for their survival. The sacrifice was of biblical proportions and it saved the lives of the fungi. It was one life in exchange for many. The mushrooms would ingest the rest of the little piglet, skin and all, and then they would release their spores in the millions. The white dust would fog the sky, millions of lives waiting to take on the great adventure their parents took moments before. The ghostly miasma would drift with the wind, spreading life to every corner of the earth. After the fog cleared, the piece of earth that once encompassed a lifeless body was now littered with hair and bones only.
The silvery strands of hair that were left would gleam when hit under direct sunlight. If one was passing by, they would catch a glimpse of true beauty but think nothing of it, for the beautiful process of decay was over. A little piglet, only two days old, was abandoned in that very spot, without food or water, just left to die by the elements. The world had shown nothing but cruelty for this poor baby pig, and finally it died. When things seemed like they could not get worse, they did not. For Mother Nature was kind after all, and the piglet’s death brought marvelous phenomenon. The piglet was part of the circle of life. Death saved the piglet’s suffering and in return the piglet saved the many other organisms. One would not have known it but that silvery hair reflecting in the sunlight, that was the remnants of a miracle.





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