God the Creator reached for the large box and lifted it carefully from the shelf.
‘What’s that?’ asked the apprentice.
‘Electrons. Just look at this.’ He pulled back the lid to show off the mass of tiny particles
shimmering inside.
The apprentice was eager to learn. ‘Electrons. What are they for?’
‘Watch this.’ God the Creator took a second jar, this one labelled ‘NUCLEI’, unscrewed the top and
carefully selected a barely visible grain from within. He then picked out a single electron and
attached it to the Nucleus. It clung tight and the whole became a tiny mass, alive yet not alive,
whizzing and thrumming and humming. ‘This is Hydrogen,’ he said.
‘OK, but what’s Hydrogen for?’
God the Creator was nothing if not patient. ‘Oh, I think it might have it’s uses.’
They worked together to make a bucketful of Hydrogen, the apprentice doing his best to emulate
the skill of the Creator.
There came a brief pause, as the Creator wondered if this was the right time to continue the lesson.
Perhaps it was. ‘Here’s one I made earlier. See if you can spot the difference.’
The apprentice studied the atom put before him. ‘I see,’ he said slowly, ‘that this one has eight of
those electron things. That seems to be the main difference. So what is it?’
‘This,’ said the Creator, ‘is Oxygen.’
‘Oxygen.’ The apprentice tried the word. ‘Oxygen. What does it do?’
‘You’ll see. First of all, we need to make a few more. We don’t need as many, just about half a
The work was soon done.
‘Now,’ said God the Creator, nodding wisely as he surveyed their work. ‘What do you suppose
would happen if we mixed the two lots together?’
The apprentice took the half bucket of Oxygen and poured it into the Hydrogen, stirring all the
When the air cleared both the Oxygen and the Hydrogen had disappeared. A large puddle lay on the
floor where they had been.
The apprentice was astonished. ‘Great Heavens above! What on Earth? he exclaimed.
‘Now there’s a thought,’ said the Creator, before adding ‘There’s a mop in the corner, I wonder if
you’d mind getting that back into the bucket?’
The job was soon done. ‘Where shall I put it?’
‘Oh,’ said God the Creator. ‘At the far end of the Milky Way you’ll find a small planet with a single
moon. There’s not much on it at the moment. You could put it there.’
‘And what will become of it then?’
‘All in good time, my son, all in good time. Someone will find a use for it, you’ll see.’
The apprentice was impressed. ‘That was rather good.’ he said.
‘Yes,’ agreed God the Creator. ‘I think it was. It’ll turn out to be Very Good in the end,’ before adding
to himself, ‘I just hope they look after it.’