I was told of the first tree from which all things came. From it came all the animals and man. Once there was a boy who was the best boy who ever was. He wanted no other boy to be better. So he sharpened his axe of gold and he felled the first tree. Darkness filled the sky and brought with it unending night. Fear spread across all creatures. The boy yelled to the sky and heavens for the return of the sun. He was met with only silence and the frightened howls of all the beasts that had gathered at the tree that once was. Defeated and knowing that he could no longer be the best boy, he sat on the stump and weeped for all the pain he had created. He cried and cried. All cried with him. When he had no tears left, he curled into a ball and slept. He slept the sleep of no stars. The sleep of a sun hidden by the moon.
A warmth spread across his body and woke him. The Gods took heart and returned the sun. The boy, faced with the brightness of day, found himself on an island created from the sun. His tears became the river of immortality. He drank deeply of those waters, as did all the beasts so gathered. His penance was to live ever more and bear witness of a world without the first tree.
His heart was filled with a new feeling of humility, unknown to man before this. Some things are better left to God's.
Of all the stories I was told in the sitting room of my boyhood preacher, this one was oft repeated. The Tree of Life so remembered marks the start of this set of experiments.