Trouble in Paradise by Dorothy Snelson

The first Sunday of Creation was a beautiful day. God was taking a well-earned rest from his labours. He had switched on the sun to make sure it was working properly, because it would need to last an eternity. On the whole he was pleased with the way things had worked out ,and today he would sit back, relax, and watch his protégées, Adam and Eve ,explore their sylvan setting and hopefully each other!

They really must get along, because soon they would have to share much more than just a peck on the cheek. They needed to PROCREATE. One thing was niggling at him though. He wondered if he hadn’t made Eve too feisty for her own good. Adam might be a bit dull and plodding, but he was fully up to the job of procreating which, after all ,was to be his main function in life. Eve meanwhile was definitely a charmer, but with strong views which she wouldn’t hesitate to express. He hoped Adam had the sense not to mention the rib to Eve. That would cause a commotion. She wouldn’t take that lying down and lying down( he was an advocate of the missionary position) was just what he needed her to do if she was to fulfil her role. This creation thing had the potential to go disastrously wrong if Eve didn’t co-operate. The Women’s Lib thing wasn’t supposed to happen for at least another billion years; subservience was to be the order of the day. Did he have a Plan B? Well mating Adam with a cow or a hyena wasn’t going to be very satisfactory. No, he would just have to keep his fingers crossed that they hit it off and did what should, after all, come naturally.

Adam was behaving true to type by lounging languorously among the foliage contemplating his navel. Eve meanwhile was rummaging amongst the bushes fashioning fig leaves, and winding blossoms in her hair. God heaved a sigh of relief.

Things were progressing true to type. There was a lot at stake here; the future of the human race in fact.

Suddenly Adam noticed Eve. In truth he saw a pert little posterior protruding from a nearby bush , and was sufficiently roused to go and investigate. He ventured a playful slap on the pert posterior ,and was rewarded by a stinging blow around his ears, and a stream of invective .He retreated to the safety of a smooth boulder to nurse his wounds, and his severely dented pride. Eve followed , hands on hips, to confront him.

‘I take it you’re Adam’ she said with a pout.

He nodded, his ears still ringing. ‘And you must be Eve I gather. My intended mate for life, God help me’ he added looking heavenwards.

The old man cringed.

‘We’re supposed to get on, you know,’ Adam continued, ‘We have to go forth and procreate for the future of mankind.’

‘Well, I’m not averse to procreating,’ she said hesitantly, ‘but that’s as far as it goes, and it will be on my terms. No strong arm stuff. Not that you strike me as the he-man type’ she said somewhat disparagingly.

God shook his head and sighed. He knew now that he should have done meek, pliable, pious, and sweet when he’d fashioned Eve. That rib had a lot to answer for. That smidgen of feistiness had mushroomed into a whole lot of trouble. In fact he may have to go back to the very beginning, and start over again if this didn’t work out. Perhaps he could imbue two donkeys with intelligence instead of the humans. Yes, a donkey master race might be preferable to all this. He looked back down into the garden and did a double take. Things were looking up. Adam and Eve were sitting side by side on the boulder , he with his arm around her shoulders and she with her hand resting on his thigh. This was better. He strained to hear what Adam was saying, making a mental note to get something done about his deafness. He might need a hearing aid soon.

‘Yes, you see Eve God made me first in his own image ,and then he went on to make you from my rib. So that means that I’m God around here. You Eve are similar, but missing a few essentials. Then again you have a few extra bells and whistles to make up for that.’

Eve leapt up horrified. ‘Look here Adam, if you think that you’re going to play God around here you are very much mistaken.’ she shrieked.

Adam put a placatory hand on her shoulder. ‘Whoa there. Just think about it. We need to play along here or it could be our undoing. He might be a benevolent, kind, and just God, but he is all-seeing, and he can just as easily be vengeful too if he’s thwarted. If he thinks we’re messing about with his master plan things could get tricky. If we don’t do as he expects us to , what do you think will happen?’

Eve wrinkled her pretty little nose and shook her head.

‘Why he’ll look elsewhere’ Adam said emphatically. ‘He’ll look to the hippos, the giraffes, the warthogs even ,and we’ll end up the underdogs, kowtowing to a frog, or a monkey even.’

God pricked up his ears. This lad was proving to be smarter than he had thought. He was doing a good job of convincing Eve to co-operate. That bit about the monkeys too had caught his ear. Failing all else, those monkeys would definitely make a better job of ruling the planet than donkeys. They seemed quite bright already, and just a bit of extra intelligence, and they could shape up nicely to be the master race.

Meanwhile, down below Adam was in full flow. ‘ We’ll end up being the dumb creatures if we aren’t careful. I want to rule the world with you by my side Eve. Imagine our offspring continuing our line down through the ages. Does it not give you a thrill Eve, just thinking about it?’ He put his arms around her and held her close.

Eve’s head was bowed ,and she was getting her thrills from the contemplation of Adam’s rapidly rising fig leaf.

Seconds later they were dashing hand in hand into the undergrowth, fig leaves abandoned, along with any inhibitions.

Up in the heavens God fingered his beard thoughtfully. Some relaxing Sunday this had turned out to be . Then again it looked as if things might have been pulled back from the brink, judging by the squeals of delight and rapturous sighs coming from that undergrowth. His all-seeing eye was working much better than his hearing, and it was telling him that all was now well in the Garden of Eden, judging by the billing and cooing coming from the woods.

Adam and Eve were curled up together on a bed of soft leaves. Their faces were wreathed in beatific smiles. ‘I love you Eve’ said Adam. ‘You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.’

‘I love you too, Adam’ she sighed. All this snuggling up together was making her want to procreate again, and she could definitely feel that Adam was thinking along the same lines.

God gave a sigh of relief. It had been a stressful week but it looked as if all was well in the Garden of Eden at last. He was still a bit unsure about that slippery serpent but that was a matter for another day. He was going to have a quiet word with Eve tomorrow, because he knew she was going to be a bit disappointed.

‘Look here Eve my dear’ he would say. ‘I know it’s going to be a billion years before there’s any of that Women’s suffrage, or Women’s Lib business, but believe me a billion years is just a blink of an eye in the scheme of things. Think about it, Eve. What would have been the only alternative left to me?

Well I’ll tell you. A PLANET OF THE APES!’

He was sure she would see sense. The human race was safe, at least for a trillion years, and then he’d have another look at the whole thing again.


Published in Issue #26

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