We've been challenged this week to write flash fiction for Valentine's Day. This story was inspired by an Indian creation myth. The beginning and end are the same as the myth; I've tried to maintain the spirit of the story while fleshing out the middle.
When the first self became lonely, he split into two beings, male and female. They joined together as husband and wife to produce the first humans. But afterward the female felt odd about mating with the one she had come from, so she transformed herself into a cow. The male promptly became a bull and mated with her, producing more cows. Then she became a mare, so he became a stallion. Together they created horses. The pair continued to change themselves, the female initiating and the male responding. Each time, they produced a different type of animal, from elephants to ants.
After the male and female had completed this task, they returned to human form. The male asked the female which way of wooing her had pleased her the most. Was it building a colorful nest like the bowerbird? Had she admired his singing as the nightingale or his antlers as a stag? Was she impressed by the peacock's tail of many colors? Was it the way he had nurtured their young as the seahorse?
"All these and many more pleased me," she replied. "But I learned the most from you as a spider. When you offered your body to me as nourishment for our offspring, you showed no fear of death."
"That is because there is nothing to fear," he said. "For death is a part of this creation, yes, but how can we truly die when we are all connected? I am connected to you, you are connected to me, and we are this creation, for we created all this."
"Then let us not be parted again," she said, "for I now understand that there is no reason to fear or be ashamed of embracing each other. We were one once, and we will be one forever."
So the two reunited and became the creation, and they who know this live in this their creation.