This was over ten years ago that I read this poem in a random library book while looking for my next novel to enjoy, so I may have some of the details remembered slightly off or skewed...

It's a short story, about an alien child's science project, creating Earth, that the child keeps going for longer than he was supposed to, and ultimately regrets having to eliminate it.

The child ends up creating life, and describing it in journal entries, and as it turns out, it's a planet. The planet evolves at an exceptional rate, with life evolving into what is vaguely described as a planet resembling what I assumed was Earth or an analogous representation.

Fighting, war, and destruction are witnessed of this science project and the adults referenced in the story insist the project be broken down and scrapped as it's no longer a beautiful project, but more of a nuisance.

In the final entry the child describes regret for having to end the project, as it is in fact alive, however he also expresses his hopes that the living organisms understand that he doesn't want to do what the adults are making him do, but no one seems to have another way to go about it, what with all the trouble the project is causing with its expedited advancement and overall self-destructive nature.

1 Answer 1


"Kindergarten", a short short story (two pages) by James E. Gunn, first published in Galaxy Magazine, April 1970, which you can read for free at the Internet Archive; previously identified as the answer to this question.

First day

Teacher told my parent that I am the slowest younster in my class, but today I made a star in the third quadrant of kindergarten.

Teacher was surprised. Teacher tried to hide it and said the solar phoenix reaction is artistic, but is it practical?

I don't care. I think it's pretty.

[. . . .]

Seventh day

Today there is no school.

After the pangs and labors of creation, it is fun to play again. It is like escaping the gravitational field of a white dwarf and regaining the dissipated coma.

Teacher talked to my parent again today. Teacher said I had developed remarkably in the last few days but my creation was hopelessly warped and inconsistent. Moreover, it was potentially dangerous.

Teacher said it would have to be destroyed.

[. . . .]

If anyone sees a great comet plunging toward the sun, it wasn't me.

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    Jul 25, 2016 at 10:31

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