Just Another Day In Paradise

*

“I spy, with my little eye,” said Adam, “something beginning with ‘F’.”

“Firmament,” said Eve.

“How did you know?” asked Adam.

“Because that’s what you always pick,” said Eve. She looked around the Garden. “From here I can see lots of other options, such as fox, foxglove, fig-leaves and flame-sworded Cherubim, but you always pick firmament. I bet you don’t even know what it means.”

“Of course I …” began Adam, and then realised he didn’t. “Anyway, it’s your turn.”

Eve glared at him. “Is this seriously how we’re going to spend the rest of our lives?” she asked.

“Well, no,” said Adam. “Our job is to tend the Garden.”

“The problem with tending the Garden of Eden,” said Eve, “is that it doesn’t need tending. The lawn is always perfect, the flowers are always in full bloom, and there aren’t any weeds.”

“Well, what would you like to do?” asked Adam.

“I have dreams at night,” said Eve. “Visions, really. I know that there are things that couples will eventually do.”

“Such as what?” asked Adam, a little nervously. He had seen the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields up to some things that had frankly astonished him.

“Throw dinner parties,” said Eve, to his relief, “and invite the neighbours over.”

“We don’t have any neighbours,” said Adam.

“I’m all too well aware of that,” said Eve. “If ever there was a property that truly deserved the term ‘exclusive residence’ this is it.”

“What other things do couples do in these dreams?” asked Adam.

“Um … shop at Ikea,” she said.

“I understand only one word in that sentence,” said Adam.

“As far as I can make out, “ said Eve. “We would go to some giant shed, barter lots of paper for things we don’t really need, then have to assemble them ourselves, shouting and arguing with each other as we do so.”

“Sounds more like a nightmare than a dream,” said Adam. “Anything else that the couples do?”

Eve thought for a moment. “Water-ski,” she said eventually.

“What’s that?” asked Adam.

“One half of the couple drives a boat while the other one slides along the water behind it on a plank,” said Eve.

Adam looked at the little boat in the ornamental pond. “We could try it,” he said doubtfully, “but you’ll have to row awfully fast.”

Eve opened her mouth, then decided there was no point. The two sat in silence for a while.

“I was talking to the snake this morning,” she said.

“Really?” said Adam. They had adopted the snake as a sort of pet, since it was the only creature that didn’t seem to be part of a pair, and it was also the only one that could talk (well, apart from the parrots, but all they said was ’Polly wants a cracker’, and since neither Adam nor Eve knew what a cracker was, they tended to avoid them).

“Yes,” said Eve. “He wanted me to eat an apple off that tree. He called it the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

“What’s Good and Evil?” asked Adam.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve

“I wouldn’t know,” said Eve patiently, “since I haven’t eaten anything from the Tree of Knowledge of Them.”

“Good point,” said Adam. “What did you say to him?”

“Well, I said no, of course,” said Eve. “God told us not to.”

They sat in silence again.

“God, this is boring,” said Eve. “I wish I could think of a way out of here.”

*

(The image is from Wikimedia Commons and is by, well, God presumably.)

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