Social and Political Commentary

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Off to a bad start

... once upon a time ...

by Carol Nelson

On the very first day in the Garden, Adam and Eve discovered a small roundish thing. Adam nearly broke a tooth trying to bite into it, but it was not a thing to be eaten. They buried it, for a time, watered it, and patiently waited for it to sprout; eventually digging it up again. For a while, it looked interesting on the mantel, a conversation piece for when the neighbors finally came over.

They thought they would leave it to the children, who eventually fought over the thing.

It had no name, just like everything else. They thought constantly about what to call it. Apple had already been used, also snake, fig leaf, and big toe.

On bad days when it rained, or Eve was discontented, or Adam disgruntled, they argued over it for want of much else to do. He said it was a manly object and Eve should stick to more ladylike things, like laundry. And so it went, until one day, in a fit, she threw it out. It came to rest under a bush where Cain, or Able, found it and tossed it about in the yard, yelling and behaving badly as boys do.

As they grew up, Cain began to notice details and saw that the thing had a ring at one end and, being bored and curious, Able pulled the ring before throwing it at his brother. Thus he eliminated him from the garden, and revealed what it was for, simultaneously.

And so it had begun, quite early on, and continues today ...



September 2, 2005


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