Eve here and, let me tell you, I’m sick of the blame game. I know what comes to mind when you hear my name: forbidden fruit – sneaky serpents – an official pass out of paradise. If you’re ready for the truth…the gospel, if you will, then listen up!
First of all, forget Adam’s rib. Think about it. We’re told that the Big Guy gouged a hunk out of Adam’s side then used his heavenly trowel to patch and pat until the hole was filled up.
Oh, please! Adam would have awakened, grabbed his side and whined pitifully to all the animals that creepeth on the earth, “Oh man, my side hurts! I bet nobody’s side ever hurt as bad as mine!”
But, let’s get to the real story.
When Adam fell into his deep sleep, I was high atop a banana palm, gathering fruit for a light supper. Suddenly, an unfamiliar buzzing sound set the palm leaves a quiver. I paused in mid-pick and scanned the ground. Imagine my delight when I spotted the inert form of a fellow human being sprawled in a nearby clearing.
“Oh ho,” I exclaimed, leaning out from the tree for a better look, mesmerized by his accoutrements, so very different from my own. I shinnied down the tree and sidled through the bushes. Was he the source of the strange vibration resounding through our garden paradise?
My heart swelled with tenderness when I stood over the creature spread-eagled on the ground, his mouth slightly agape, bristly cheeks vibrating with an oddly comforting humming sound. Such sweet vulnerability! It was obvious he needed looking after. Besides, I thought, the nights were growing chillier in paradise and he looked so warm and cuddly with that nice thatch of light-brown fuzz on his chest.
I nudged him gently with my toe and, when he didn’t respond, picked up a pointy stick and gave him a sharp jab in the ribs. (No doubt this accounts for that silly Adam’s rib myth.)
“Hey,” I said in my outdoor voice, “Up and at ‘em.”
With a yelp of surprise and possibly pain, he jumped to his feet. A gamut of emotions scampered across his face – first alarm then incredulity and finally, a look of dazed delight. His warm brown eyes darted over my ample attributes like a bucket of ants on a Kool-Aid spill.
He eventually found his tongue and asked, “How did you know my name?”
“Adam…you called me Adam,” he insisted.
“Okay, whatever,” I said. “Would you like to come over to my bower?”
Without waiting for a reply, I turned and walked away. As expected, I heard the clump of big feet behind me.
“Hey, wait up. I want to ask you something. Since I woke up and saw you, a certain word keeps running around inside my head. It’s driving me nuts.”
“And what would that be, Adam?”
“It’s cle…..” he began. At that precise moment, he tripped over an exposed root and pitched violently forward, his voice an octave higher as he finished, “eeve!”
“How sweet! You know my name,” I said, helping him to his feet.
“Your name’s cleave?” he said, with a big goofy smile.
“Close enough,” I said and took him by the hand.
Well, the days drifted by quite happily as they tend to do in paradise until one fateful morning when Adam decided it was time for an outing.
“I know a place where the grapes grow as big as my fist beside a pool of water the color of morning glories,” he said. When I asked where it was, he waved his hand vaguely in a southeasterly direction and said, “Just over there.”
Five minutes down the trail, the trouble started. Adam stopped and scratched his head. I had to say it.
“I thought you knew the way.”
“I do know the way.”
“Are you sure?”
“Stop nagging and let me think!”
“There’s a watering hole. Let’s stop and ask the giraffe.”
“I SAID I know the way.”
“Look, there’s a monkey. He can use his little fingers and point the way.”
By the time I realized Adam would rather fall face first into a nest of fire ants than ask for directions, we were hopelessly lost.
Somewhat mollified, the First Man hoisted me up, his shoulder under my rump, his hands busily pushing and squeezing a bit longer than necessary. A look of happiness bloomed once more on his manly face.
“Could you please get your mind off cleaving for a few minutes?” I asked, slapping at his offending digits.
As I scaled the tree to scan the horizon, Adam shouted from below, “Do you see anything?”
“Just a snake,” I hollered back. “But, a very unusual snake – he has blue eyes, a big fang-filled smile and beautiful pink and purple paisley skin. I’m going to ask him for directions.”
“A snake, eh?” Adam said and commenced humming, as he was wont to do when deep in thought.
As I reached out to touch the lovely creature, he slithered out of reach and hissed, “Ssssso, you’re losssst.”
“Yep. Do you know the way to the morning glory pool?” I asked, picking a luscious red apple that dangled on a nearby branch.
His bright blue eyes sparkled and he replied, “Yessss, I believe I do.”
As I opened my mouth to take a bite, I could hear Adam blathering away.
“Wait a minute…it’s coming back to me now…snake…apple…”
So, there you have it - the real story of our fall from grace. On the up side, was it really paradise without cute shoes, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and pedicures? And, for those of you who crave a bit of justice, my saucy brown curls are now held firmly in place by an exquisite headband - a pink and purple paisley headband.