The Purpose of Life
Once upon an age, when the stars are right
All of Earth's creatures come out at night
To gather where soft grasses meet the sea
To discuss what should and shouldn't be
"We all live on the good Earth," spoke the tortoise, "but why…
Why do we live just a short time and then die?
What is the purpose of all the struggle and strife?
What is the meaning of this thing called life?
A brash bullfrog spoke up for his amphibian kind
For a bullfrog is never shy in speaking his mind
"Life is for jumping, hopping north, splashing south
And to eat every creature you can cram in your mouth!
Human beings never listened, they were always excited
So the jabbering people were never invited
Instead, a wise old orangutan had come with two camels
He would stand on their humps as he spoke for the mammals
"Life," he said, "is all about finding the right tree
And locating the vines where the sweetest fruits be…
"But those monkeys keep swiping my food and making me drop it!
"Excuse my friend," muttered the camel. "he's getting off topic.
Then spoke a lobster, a cacti, and a banana slug too
One by one the creatures spoke as an argument grew
For what life meant to each, was varied of course
Hard to find common ground between a clam and a horse
Then there was a miniscule noise, no louder than a flea
The ape called for silence and stooped close to see
With the biggest magnifying glass in his hand
He grasped the microphone and lowered the stand
And there in the dirt, a single microbe had come to speak
The germ stood quite tall for its single-celled physique
Its cell membrane quivered with a dignified grace
And all the creatures focused upon its gelatinous face
"You are all much more complex than me
But perhaps," said the germ, "you're simply too young to see
You have big bodies and fancy brains, yes it's true
But you live only a heartbeat and miss the long view
"See, I was here on this Earth when the land was all dead
when the sea was boiling acid and the sky burned red
Lava churned in the oceans and ice hammered from the sky
But somehow, someway, by chance, I survived
"While I can't recall just how I came to be
I remember the darkness in the abyss of the sea
I became two and four and eight, sixteen
As the dark ages passed in the benthic marine
"In time, some of my children changed in drastic ways
And served to clear the acid haze
They replaced brown clouds with oxygen atoms
And locked away carbon in a carbonate stratum
"But perfection like me stays much the same
Three billion years and still I remain
I've seen the sky clear and the ocean turn blue
You see, a germ lives forever by dividing in two
"With my years I see the world a bit clearer
And for me, the answer is nearer
The octopus may look fierce with her eight moving legs
But why does she die after laying her eggs?
"And the flower; don't the petals wither away?
And seeds drop, plants rot in dead fields of hay?
A cicada makes a big noise even though it is small
To risk a crunchy death in hungry bird's craw?
"To pass on your genes is the ultimate goal
Nature cares nothing for your chitinous souls
The answer to your riddle is what you choose to ignore
The purpose of life is to simply make more!