Two monkeys sit on the savannah. Suddenly, one keels over.
“What now?” the other monkey asks — these are evolved monkeys.
“Gahh”, the first monkey says, and struggles to a sitting position.
“Where?” the second asks.
“No no”, the first says. “I just got a conscience.”
“I mean, I have morals now. And when I die, I will live on in a different, better place!”
The second monkey thought about this for a while. “Place with no gahh?”
“No gahh”, the first monkey said, beaming. “But you’re not getting there because you got no soul.”
* * *
“What’re those?” the saint asked, pointing an uneasy finger at a dingy, shadowy corner of Heaven.
“Poor creatures”, the angel sniffed.
“They… they’re monkeys!” the saint yelled. “What are monkeys doing in glbnd glbnd—”
The angel kept a hand on the other’s face, and whispered: “Shhh. They don’t like being called that. They’re the Unlucky.”
“The Unlucky. You see, you toga people have souls, all of you. That took a bit of time… you don’t know it, but some ee-voo-luu-shun. It’s complicated. First there were… em-oh-nkeys with no souls, then with really small souls, then some had souls some didn’t, until finally everyone had a proper soul and they were people.”
“Nn thss r?”
“These are… well, think of them as not all that bright monkeys, that are two million years old each. And because of the small souls, some of them are not all there.”
The angel withdrew his hand; the saint wiped his lips. The flesh of angels was sweet and scented with oils, but still. “They don’t have harps.”
The angel shrugged. “They don’t know how to play.”
“Honestly, do you want to see a mo… a stooped hairy thing in a robe?”
“I’ve seen the Irish.”
“Trust me, these would be worse. And they’re not up to much big praying or anything, and their theology’s horrible.”
The saint looked at the clutch of morose monkeys, mostly just sitting in place, apathetically looking at each other or the sun of Heaven; and then he turned back at the angel.
The angel shrugged, again. “Basically just disapproval.”
“Of most things.”
* * *
Grok looked across the valley at the approaching pack of Big Men, and growled.
Grak did the same, except instead of growling growled, “Those be them?”
Grok nodded. “The Big Men. The Evil Men. Has no souls. Has no conscience, no morals, no guide and no good.”
Grok continued: “Will never do no good. Will never understand us. Will never live forever; are nothing but animals. Is well known, this.”
Grak kept nodding; this was a quality sermon. Behind Grak, a hundred or so of their kin fingered stone axes, and waited as the Big Men grew closer.
Grok raised a spear and yelled. “If we is to not taint us, we is to not live with the Big Men. Death to the Big Men!”
And so the Cro-Magnons’ genocide against the Neanderthals began.
* * *
It was a day as days usually were; it began with someone knocking at the tent door.
The tent door being a flap of cloth this wasn’t much of a sound, but the old woman had grown familiar to it.
“Yes?” she called.
“Who lives there?” a male voice called from the outside.
The woman sighed. “Sarah daughter of Tubal-Cain?”
“No you aren’t”, the voice said.
The woman sighed, again. “Why do you ask if you know, stranger?”
The man outside laughed bitterly. “No reason. I just dropped by, like my fathers and brothers before me, and like my mothers and sisters before me, to tell you to go fuck yourself.”
“Right”, the woman said.
The man snorted. “And now I’m back to the backbreaking toil and stuff. Thanks a million, Eve. Have a bad day.”
“Do I ever”, the woman said.
* * *
“Oh shit! Get more towels!”
“There’s so much blood!”
“Give me the saw… quickly! Ah, it slipped!”
“Lay down, darling — lay down —”
“Ahh, I got it. Towels, string, sew it! Sew it before… so much blood—”
And on the next day, Adam and Eve were forced to admit that their sons could not get brides through the rib extraction method.
* * *
And the day after the terrible Day of Expulsion dawned in the Paradise that was Eden, and Yahweh the God Himself stretched, scratched and walked the lily-lined avenues, content with Himself.
“How goes the watch?” he asked of the Angel With A Flaming Sword — “I have seen nothing, heard nothing, and I don’t have a nose”, the Angel answered, “I have gone round Paradise every hour, waving this great big flaming sword in front of me, and observed nothing.”
It said that, and Yahweh was content.
He went to the center of Paradise then, to drink from the dew pools and to have a bite of the Fruit of the Tree; and going there, found Paradise quiet. The animals bowed as Yahweh passed; all animals, save the Serpent, which had thought it wise to lie low for a bit.
Meanwhile, quite a distance away, two human forms were walking away. Both were weary, but both had walking sticks at least.
Yahweh came to the dew pools and drank, and was content. He found an axe by the pools, and was puzzled.
Yahweh went to the Tree… and found the Tree stripped of its Fruit, and cut down.
Meanwhile, quite a distance away, two human forms were walking away. Both were weary, but both had walking sticks, and a big bag of Fruits to eat; and both were grinning like maniacs do.
And the morning of that first day there was a cry in Paradise, and that cry was: “FFFFUUUUUU—”
* * *
“Wait”, Eve said. “Snakes talk?”
“Thisss one doess”, the Serpent said, with a voice indicating it would have shrugged, had it had shoulders.
“Who else talks?” Eve asked.
“Huh?” the Serpent replied.
“Do lions talk? Rabbits? Mice? Butterflies?”
“I am… unsssure”, the Serpent hissed. “But lisssten, there’s thisss Fruit—”
“You wait”, Eve interrupted. “This changes everything! Oh, you don’t know how boring Adam can be; it’s nice to have someone else to talk to.”
“Talk to?” the Serpent hiccupped.
“Why, yes! Adam is such a man, and so is God — and they never told me animals could talk!”
“Well, it isss—”
“Oh no!” Eve cried. “If animals talk, they think!”
“And Adam’s been making steaks of them! Oh, how can we appear before the face of God ever again!”
“Sssse, there’sss thisss tree—”
“Oh, never mind the fruit, unless they talk too.”
“Well no, but there isss thisss lamb—”
“The horror! The horror! What if Adam slaughters and cooks it next?”
“What, cooksssss the Lamb of God?”
* * *
In Paradise, man was in harmony with the animals.
The woman also; but accounts of this time, being written by men, usually forget to mention this.
Man being in harmony with the animals, could not bear to injure them; would not spill blood; and hence man could not eat flesh.
For the reason of this harmony, man needed not weapons, nor clothes; and since the gardens of Paradise provided, he needed to do no work, nor toil to provide for himself. He knew not shame, nor guilt; not grief, nor fear.
And by the Downfall these pacifist vegetarian nudist hippies became… well, curiously enough, persons that the more they adore the memory of Paradise, the more they disapprove of any pacifist vegetarian nudist hippie they see. The more they see themselves as fallen, the angrier they are at those who exist in an imitation of the unfallen state.
The wrath of God is a perverse and circuitous thing.