The snake, curled tightly around a branch, watched with amusement as Eve danced toward him. When she was within hearing distance he called her. "Hissss! Hissss! Hey, Honey! Come over here! Yeah! You! The flower-child with the roses in your hair!"
Eve, who was spinning and waltzing as she came, danced over to the snake with a vague smile on her face. "Hi, my name is Eve. Can I give you a flower?" She tried to give the snake a flower but he snapped, "Now, where, exactly, are you going to put that thing, seeing as how I don't have any hair or even a button hole? No, I don't want a flower!"
Eve stood there swaying back and forth, looking at the snake with a sincere but very dull smile, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
The snake gave her a long amused look, "Have you been over near the poppies by any chance, darlin'? Are you on something, sweetie?"
She smiled again and whirled in a circle, "Oh no! I'm high on life! Isn't this the best place on earth to ever be?"
He looked contemptuous, "Yeah, sure, babe! Look, you need something to straighten your head out, kid. First of all, you're running around here naked and that's got to stop, although.....I do have to admit, that's one fine body you've got there. Tell you what. Here, eat one of these". He held out a piece of fruit from the tree he was curled up in. She stopped smiling and stepped back, frightened, "Oh no! Don't you know that God said we'd die if we ate any of that fruit. That's forbidden fruit, you know?"
"Don't be silly, cutie! I eat this stuff every day and maybe you've noticed - I'm Not Dead!" He held the fruit out farther toward her and she danced closer, interested. "You mean you ate the fruit and it didn't hurt you? Golly, God said that anyone who ate it would die." She reached out and touched the fruit tentatively but pulling her hand back, giggling.
"See! Did that hurt? Look, did He also tell you that this will make you as smart as He is? I'll bet He didn't, did He? Look, Honey, you've got the looks, you're gorgeous in fact, so why not get some smarts too? God knows you could use some."
"Well, I would like to talk more intelligently to Adam sometimes. You know, when he starts putting me down and saying I'm just one of his ribs and that kind of thing. I really don't know how to answer that and I really don't like it."
The snake flicked his tongue in and out, growing frustrated with her, "Look! Try it! What's the harm? God's not here right now and your boy friend isn't either. Go ahead, give it a try. I won't tell."
She reached out and took the fruit, nearly dropping it but then, gripping it tighter. She put it to her mouth and licked it, smiled and looked up at the snake.
"For goodness sake! Eat It!"
She slowly and carefully bit into the fruit, chewing slowly and smiling as she ate the whole thing. "She looked at the snake and he instantly knew she was different - she had changed. "So, Sugar, how do you feel?"
She dropped the core on the ground and stepped back, looking at her body and realizing she was naked, "Oh! My God! How did I get like this?" She ran behind a fig tree and covered herself with leaves before coming back out and posing seductively, "So, snake, how do I look in this outfit?"
"Well, I've got to admit there was a lot to be said for the way you were dressed, or undressed, before. But still, those fig leaves look real fine on you."
"I do have just about a perfect body, don't I? It's probably wrong to cover up a body as good as mine. Still, I felt a little uncomfortable standing there naked in front of a snake."
"Oh, thanks a lot, Babe! Did I take advantage of you? Didn't I give you the fruit from the tree of knowledge? Why do you want to hurt me like that?"
Eve suddenly looked contemptuous, "First, you little twerp, stop whining. I'll be happy to say 'thanks' for your help, if you did help, but don't go overboard here. You just handed me a piece of fruit, remember, and that's all you did."
The snake was not at all angry or hurt by her attitude, "Well, you sure have changed, haven't you? So tell me, how are you going to deal with your boyfriend?"
Eve smirked, "Listen, I know exactly how to deal with Adam. He's such a little boy at times but I'll have him jumping through hoops in no time, you wait and see."
Just then Adam came through the garden and saw Eve talking to the snake. He danced over to them, twirling as he came, but with a worried look on his face, "Really, Eve, I don't think you should be talking to that snake, especially here at the forbidden tree. And, by the way, why are you wearing those fig leaves?"
"First", she snapped, "Stop dancing like that, Adam, it looks funny! Second, come over here and try this fruit! It's the best I've ever had and it makes me feel like I know everything!" She plucked a piece of the fruit from a low branch and held it out toward Adam.
He recoiled in horror, shielding his face with his hands, "No! God said we'd die if we ate it! We don't dare eat it! Oh my Lord! You didn't eat any? Please say you didn't eat any!""
"I've got news for you, Sweetie, I did eat it and it's wonderful.", Eve sneered. "Do I look dead to you? Of course not. God was just kidding us. He didn't want us to be as smart as Him, that's all. Now eat the fruit!"
Adam hesitated, staring in disbelief, and Eve flared, "If you don't eat it you don't love me! It's that simple! I ask you to do one thing, one little thing and you refuse me. Is that what I have to look forward to? You refusing everything I ask of you. Well, no thanks, Mister, I can't live like that!" She flounced down on a bed of flowers and started to cry, although sneaking peaks at Adam as he stood there holding the fruit and looking extremely confused. She cried into her hands, looking at Adam between her fingers, "No! Don't eat it! Why would you do something for me? I don't mean a thing to you and this proves it!"
Adam looked at the fruit, at the snake and back at Eve. As the snake chuckled knowingly to himself Adam finally took a huge bite, chewed and swallowed, "See, Eve! See? I did it. See, now you know I love you."
Eve looked up at Adam and smiled, "Well, Baby, how do you feel?"
"You know, I feel great and I certainly feel a lot smarter. Maybe we should have done this long ago!" He laughed for a moment but then looked down and realized he was naked, "Oh, My Lord! I don't have any clothes on!" He jumped behind the fig tree and laced some leaves together to cover himself.
He came out from behind the tree and looked at Eve, long and hard, "You know, Eve, whatever was in that fruit really suits you. I mean, you look fantastic! I don't think you've ever looked more beautiful." Eve smiled seductively, "You're not a bad looking guy yourself, big boy. You want to come up to my place sometime?"
They were both feeling very good about themselves when they heard God's voice, calling them from across the garden, "Adam! Eve! Where are you? I need you!"
They looked at each other, realizing what they had done, and panicked completely, "What are we going to do? He'll know! What'll we do? What have you gotten us into?", Eve hissed angrily at the snake.
The snake was enjoying it all, "Hey, all I did was hand you a piece of fruit. Remember? Those were your words, right?", he shrugged, "You didn't have to eat it."
She was about to attack Adam next but God came through the flower bushes and saw them standing there in their fig leaf outfits, "What are you doing with those fig leaves? Why are you wearing them?" He stopped, knowing the answer even before He asked the question but wanting to hear what they had to say.
Eve looked from Adam to the snake and back to Adam again, trying to decide which one to blame, "Well, the snake made me eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil. I didn't want to do it but he made me. It wasn't my fault! I tried to resist but he was too strong!"
God looked at her with complete contempt and slowly turned to Adam, "Well?"
Adam wanted to admit the truth but he couldn't, "Eve made me do it! Yeah, it was Eve!", he blurted out in a panic, almost without thinking, "She did that woman thing and said I didn't love her. She said I had to prove I loved her! You know how they always do that! She made me do it!"
Finally, God turned and looked at the snake who just shrugged, "Hey, God! You made me a snake! What do you want me to say? Okay, I'll say it! I'm a snake."
God turned away for a moment, shook his head and turned back to face them all, "Well, Adam, well, Eve, you've done it this time. This is too much to ignore. I warned you. I told you not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil. You had to do it, didn't you? You couldn't listen to me, could you? Okay, here's where we are. Get your things together and leave the garden in the morning. From now on you're both going to earn your way in the world. You're going out there and you're going to get a job. And you know in these times that means working long hard hours, bell to bell so to speak, and there'll be no waltzing through the garden anymore. By the way, you're going to die much younger. No more laying around for hundreds of years, not having to think about anything but your next meal. In fact, now that I think about it, your children are going to have a hard time of it too! Now get going and consider yourselves lucky I'm letting you off so easy."
He turned to the snake, "And you! As for you, you will have to crawl on your belly and be stepped on by humans for the rest of eternity. How do you feel about that?"
The snake looked at him with an incredulous expression, "Ah ... God, maybe you haven't noticed the way the way you built me? It would seem to me that you already laid that punishment on me, seeing as how you made me into nothing more than a soft stick! I already crawl on my belly and I get stepped on all the time, or haven't you noticed!" He finished with a temper tantrum and then lay there quietly, carefully watching God's expression.
God looked at him for a moment and, in spite of Himself, had to laugh. "I suppose you're right! It would seem I've already doomed you to that life, haven't I?."
The snake slid farther back into the tree and watched Adam and Eve as they hesitated for a minute, considering whether one more excuse would help their cause. They then walked away, arguing ferociously as that went, while God stood there watching them, hands on his hips and sadly shaking his head. Eve was waving her arms wildly and saying, "Letting us off easy? Letting us off easy? Is that what He calls letting us off easy?" Adam tenderly put his arms around her and whispered something very quietly as they walked.
The last thing God heard as they disappeared into the undergrowth was Eve saying, "What? are you crazy? Not a chance! Not tonight! No way! I have a headache!"
Dan Barham © 2006