From Nature's wonderful toolcase
So many instruments we cherish,
Enzyme of Life - survive or perish -
Is DNA polymerase.
Of life and death it holds the junction,
It forces genes to multiply.
I can so easily apply
And modify this noble function.
I can remodel and replace
Our genes in little tubes of plastic,
My glue - ligase, enzyme fantastic;
My scissors - endonuclease.
This terminology aside,
What we can do is just mind-boggling.
The life on Earth is always struggling,
We kind of got an easy ride.
So lead us through the stormy ocean
Of hateful space and wasteful time,
Telomerase, my magic potion,
A god-like powerful enzyme!
The strings of my guitar will play,
The grass is green, and will be greener;
So much is open to the winner,
So much to learn from DNA!
I read your Darwin, Orwell, Swift and Freud.
They all have evidence in ample amounts -
The humans are the only species that counts.
How can, how will I fill this gaping void?
All that I read, I understood and hated:
We are a species that was domesticated.
There's no way to hide it or pretend -
King David's flocks did on the skewer end!
A lamb, your symbol for the innocence of life,
In the real world will die under a knife -
You skin those lambs unborn for man to dress his wife!!
Mouton, believe me - Nature's way
Is cruel enough - what can I say?
Our species' compassion ends
Where nature piles up its demands.
Although limit it we could,
Meat still remains our daily food,
We cannot live without a steak -
That's how we proteins intake.
Sweet Mary - I found a solution;
It's not as hopeless as it looks;
You talked about evolution:
I know, I read in those books -
I will become a leader of a revolution!
I will release from their bondage ewes and rams,
I'll stop forever this deranged slaughter!
You will forget your juicy mutton quarter,
You will forget your smoked ribs and hams,
Your bloody steak, your scalloped beef medallion,
Your spicy sausage Cajun and Italian!
From now on your skin will touch synthetic fleece,
And soy forever will replace your feta cheese!
Forget about me - and let me go.
When will I see you?
I don't know,
And nobody can tell,
I bid you farewell, sweet Mary.
Fare thee well.
Mouton and Becky
Please forgive us, Mama Dolly,
How could we be so blind?
Our goal is true and holy -
To release our own kind.
We will be the first pathfinders,
That's the answer; here's the rub:
World without grills and grinders,
World without the shish kebab.
Chorus of sheep
From the meadows, from the highlands,
From the barren pasture land,
Break the fence and break the silence -
Sheep are voicing their demands.
One of us became so clever -
All of us with him will rise,
Other sheep will change forever
Our good chief, Mouton the Wise.
Over the mountains the moon is rising.
How can I close my eyes - how can I sleep?
I find myself a king of sheep -
A role amazing and surprising.
So fitting that a Dolly's clone
Sits on a non-existent throne.
This gene for human mind and senses
Invaded my four-legged flocks,
This gene a new mentality unlocks,
And sheep revolt and break their fences.
Destroyed is every human farm and ranch,
And sheep continue to mutate and change.
They talk about joining force
With bulls and cows, our distant cousins.
I did their parliament endorse,
They now parties form by dozens.
They just repeat again the silly human story -
Their New Lambist now fights a Sheepist Tory;
And Wooly Liberals upset the Flocks Agrarian
(Not even talking of a Hornless Libertarian).
They freedom got - but can they really escape
And learn, and not repeat the human follies?
So closely humans they do ape -
Like new, but hardly better, Dollies.
Do I feel like them? Do I really belong?
I can't forget my little childish song -
Fort St. Germain, Fort St. Germain,
Give us new genes, new genes again.
Unlike my flocks, no power I desire
But I will have to rule my burgeoning empire.
Today I'm signing a decree
To render each and every livestock free.
Ducks and chicken, bulls and cows,
Goat and horse of every kind:
This decree for you allows
A degree of human mind.
Human genes to you are given
To enhance and to enliven
Your welfare and livelihood,
Use them wisely, for your good.
Let future, wiser generations
Judge our motives and mutations -
With my good people I will stay,
And so far we rule the day!
Chorus of sheep
A little virus brought by magic
A human gene in us did splice,
That our life was always tragic,
We only now realize.
The tales of future, words prophetic,
Our good Mouton, recite to us,
So lead us forth, our king genetic,
Do lead us to the greener grass.
Chorus of people
Of all the natural disasters
This one appears to be so bad,
We ceased to be our livestock's masters,
No meat is now to be had.
No hamburgers from Maine to Texas,
It's such an awful disgrace,
It does so much perplex and vex us,
It harms and weakens human race.
No chicken fryers of Kentucky,
No smoked ribs, no juicy chop.
The livestock got so bold and plucky
That every butcher closed his shop.
With a strictly vegetarian diet
Our cells and genes we cannot cheat,
Our brains go flat, our mind goes quiet,
Our species does require meat.
From England to the coast Pacific
No liver chopped, no ham, no steak -
Somewhere with our research scientific
We made an awful mistake.
Thus did Mouton become a leader.
Where should we go now, my reader,
My viewer, listener, spectator?
Should he become a vile dictator?
Should humans make another toy
To smash the rebels and destroy
Their freedom, as of older days
We did to our own race?
Or maybe should the humans clear
The stage for sheep, and disappear
To join the fossil creatures' chorus
With trilobite and brontosaurus?
In modern literature and art;
Let's see which now, on my part,
The best solution I have found.
I'm scrolling down my papyrus
(Or, rather, my computer screen) -
Let's see what normally cannot be seen:
I give you now a singing Virus.
Behold the cell where genes reside,
And me inside, a lowly virus,
They have their own, ancient pride:
We did not ask them to admire us,
But welcome and admit they did -
Of us no system can get rid.
Besides ourselves, no one can tell
Of a thing so lovely as a cell.
Oh structure marvelous and bright,
So vulnerable to my advances,
There protein unfolds and dances,
It fires the nerve, and traps the light.
The cell is such an open gate,
It's so much fun to penetrate.
Along the fibrous muscle lanes,
Inside the air-filled rooms of lung,
Down the flow of blood, through thick membranes,
To tissues deep and cells unsung -
My playful kin forever roams
In wholesome bulks of chromosomes.
To plants, and beasts, and creatures all
We bring the gene of human soul.
So count your sheep, and make your calls,
And do not ask for whom bell tolls.
Your fate is sealed; we are the wax.
Be calm; sit back; enjoy; relax.
We meet again. Now seven years passed.
The humans and the sheep are in a war.
There is a treaty to be signed at last.
Do you recall how we have dined before
This nightmare started? I am thrilled
Just think about a leg of mutton grilled
With drops of fat like beads of amber -
But its taste I no more remember.
They used to eat those lambs since fall of Troy!
We now only have a substitute of soy!
Well - soy is good. And for the giant rice
Fort St. Germain just got its Nobel Prize.
My stomach cannot keep pretending,
And barely works this mind of mine -
But a good thing is that the war is ending,
We wait for their ambassador to sign
The treaty - here we should not tarry,
They're asking you to represent us, Mary.
If we will sign this treaty rather quick -
Then maybe our future does not look so bleak.
We badly need the milk for kids -
The cows and sheep have their needs -
Of grass we could supply the seeds -
Along the borders that divide our nations
We could establish trading stations -
That's him below! Mouton, our fateful clone
I beg you all, withdraw. Please leave us alone.
Sweet Mary? -
It's you - and you have grown pale.
I see you, and I can't believe.
Mouton, do you regret the day when you resolved to leave?
To leave this gentle jail?
No, Mary, no.
I did the right thing that I chose to go.
So now I am back at last -
I hear your gentle voice again,
For me the seven years that passed -
They are like forty years for a man.
I'm so deadly, ultimately tired,
But still I'm ready to defend
Our lofty cause that I always helped to sire,
And what is now our, conquered land.
Our lambs now graze in Scottish highlands,
Our calves now eat Mongolian grass,
We have the both New Zealand's islands,
And Kazakhstan belongs to us.
Do you remember Buenos Aires?
The riots of two-thousand-and-five?
That's when I wished that I'd have lost my life -
So bad did go the mutant virus.
Those crazy bulls stampeded all around
And stomped the humans into bloody ground...
The evil brings new evil in its turn,
So humans poisoned our drinking water,
All Argentinean pastures they did burn -
We have to stop this mindless slaughter!
Enough of evil things have been already done;
Lest we commit more hideous disgraces,
Let's talk of peace between our sentient races.
Our lands - New Zealand, Scotland, Kazakhstan -
Do offer peace, and peaceful resolution.
Let's be the partners in a common evolution.
My dear Mouton - I feel and think the same,
I know that nobody is to blame.
About this gene of human soul
There still is so much to be known -
Could it evolve new features on its own
In birds, and trees, and creatures all?
Could it develop in the germs
And then from there dictate its terms?
It may already wait for us
In rustling stems of a common grass -
Let's talk of peace. The word is spoken.
Here, please accept this simple token,
Let's break our fast and our doubts-
We wish each other no harm.
These are alfalfa sprouts
From St.Germain's remaining farm.
They are tasty. And I do remember
Green grass I here used to eat.
That's what we feed on - no more meat.
Until this May, since last September
In Scottish highland I did hide (coughs),
They put a price on my think hide,
Like if it were the golden fleece,
You know, the Nobel Prize of Peace
To catch Mouton alive or dead
And bring as a trophy my horns and head - (coughs)
Oh Mary - I would like to know -
Would you - in case you knew - give me away?
How could you - seven years ago
I freed you on this very day - (coughs)
Why got you paler still? What is the reason?
You hardly breathe! Alfalfa - poison? treason?
Somebody's vicious hate?
But no, we both ate - (coughs)
Alfalfa - toxins - let me see your face -
No, Mary, no, do not die -
It is too late -
Mouton - to save you I did try -
But we are children of another race - (dies)
No, Mary, look - her eyes of a Venetian glass -
Fort St. Germain -
Green grass -
Through the back doors they were carried,
By the tower they were buried,
Twenty days it did us take
To stop the toxic outbreak.
In another twenty days
Toxins hit another place.
Here alfalfa, there potatoes
Got the gene for human soul.
All these species now hate us,
Daily taking a deadly toll.
Thus evolved in every species
Human features most vicious,
Every trait so vile and base -
Every sin of the human race.
Creatures turned their deadly toys on -
Everyone evolving poison,
Traits for vengeance, spite and hate
Were so fast to dominate.
There's a reason to be hated:
Grilled or fried or marinated,
Those species make our food,
Their revenge will be no good -
Them for centuries we ate -
No surprise they harbor hate.
The lab was good - but not the way we ran it.
Of our plagues we are the only source.
Will Earth become a lonely, dismal planet?
Will we become extinct like dinosaurs?
We satisfied our mental cravings,
In white lab coats flock of ravens,
Our urge to tinker, meddle, and hack -
This god-like power did inspire us,
So we did forge this fateful virus,
And now the genes are coming back.
Here, in this fortress old and grim,
We engineered a crazy dream,
A virus with a human soul!
Thus Nature's rules we did despise
In our urge to cut and splice -
And now we face the Judgment call.
Other creatures don't require us
In the basic trophic chain,
We designed the mutant virus,
Our soul for them to gain.
Yet this soul was not so pure,
Yet this soul was not so kind,
Humankind has no cure
From the genes of human mind.
The humans now might not survive for very long -
They won't be able to hold the dam.
That's how the world will end - not with a bang but with a song
About Mary and her little lamb.
Mary's voice (waltz from Act 1)
A gene from a spider we'll weave in a tailor;
A gene from a dolphin we'll give to a sailor;
A gene from a swallow with a pilot will fly;
And a gene from a mole will be put in a spy.
So be it might - yet I see outcomes various,
My mind is full of different scenarios.
I give you one of them - just to conclude our class.
Here is a chorus of the future, toxic grass.
Chorus of grass
Earth is green, and will be even greener
By our Nature's everlasting grace.
Evolution chose the final winner
In the ancient, tough and bloody race.
Other creatures have to disappear,
Laws of Nature nobody can breach.
Laws of Nature are so just and clear:
Single species fits a single niche.
All the orders, families and classes
That on us did feed, are now gone:
Earth belongs to us, the thinking grasses,
Free at last, and grazed by no one.
No need for blood and nerve and bone -
Only sunlight makes you truly whole -
We employ Onegin's final clone -
Master gene for human mind and soul.
Chlorophyll creates the life eternal -
Only Earth and Sun and us between -
Full of colors glistening and vernal,
Earth will now be forever green.
6-17 May 2001,