And Adam looked back at the gates of the garden God had driven them from and saw the angel there, with the fiery sword, to prevent them ever entering again. Eve turned to see what he was looking at and said “Well , what are we supposed to do now.” She put her fists on her hips and cocked her head to one side; then her hands behind her back, head down, and tapped her foot on the bare ,rocky, un-garden-like ground. She then folded her arms across her breasts and stared off in the distance, trying to demonstrate that she had no use for him at all. Having no mother or sisters to learn from , she was forced to invent a way to express her unhappiness with her mate.
As luck would have it, Adam looked at her just as she was creating pouting, and the sight struck him as so preposterous that he invented laughter, which inspired Eve to create the full-bore –don’t you even think about it bub – look when Adam reached out his arms to her to share in his delight, which brought his mind back to her question – What do we do now?
” Well, I suppose we follow HIS commands”.
“Are you going to keep bringing that up?” She sat down and tried “crushed”
“No-no-no”, He crooned, patting her head. She wasn’t sure if she liked that or not. “I meant the first commands HE gave us, not the rules”.
” What commands?” the familiar voice startled them. They stood together and turned to see the Devil walk up. “What Commands?” he repeated.
Adam poked a finger hard into his chest,” You’re the cause of all this.”
“Hey hey!!! I’m the same boat with you guys,” spreading his hands, innocently, ” I just made a harmless suggestion, to increase your enjoyment of this life, and BAM !! All hell breaks loose.”
” Whats a boat?”, asked Adam.
” Whats hell?” asked Eve.
” Look, I feel kinda responsible for you two kids, so lets join forces and we’ll find a solution to our problems. So, whats this ‘commands’ thing.”
Shrugging the arm off his shoulder, Adam turned to Eve, slipped his arm around her waist and said;
” Walk with me a while”
Eve liked that, so dropping her experiments in silent communication, she slipped her arm around him and asked:
Adam stopped, turned to her, and recited;
“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.
“Well, that’s all well and good, but what does it mean?” the devil inquired.
Without taking his eyes from Eve, Adam took her hands and explained to her:
“It was by the river, right after He made you and brought you to me. He said that we would love each other and that love would bear fruit just as the trees do and there would be more of us. He showed me how the earth could be taught to provide everything we would need, and that we must tend it so that it replenishes what we have taken from it so that there would always be a provision for those who come after us, our children”.
Just then the devil stepped in between them and put his arm around Adams shoulder, brushing Eves arm aside, and leading Adam away from her, he spoke in a concerned and soothing voice;
” Listen my friend, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Subdue the earth?”
Turning to face him, he continued;
” If your going to subdue the earth you’ve got your work cut out for you. You can’t subdue it until you understand it and that means you have to study and experiment, sweat and blood, all hours of the day and night. Your going to have to invent sciences and disciplines that don’t exist yet; Geology, Botany, Hydrology, Physics and Engineering. Why just tilling the soil will roughen your hands, bend your back, and turn your hair gray.”
Pointing to Eve he whispered, ” And what do you think this lovely thing will be doing while your digging yourself an early grave?”
Surprising them both with her superior hearing, Eve stepped between Adam and the devil, wrapped her arms around her mate and said; “I’ll be helping him.”
Putting his scaly hands on their shoulders, he spoke in a conspirators voice; “There’s an easier way.”
“Instead of breaking your back, straining your brain, and living by the sweat of your brow in an almost certainly endless struggle to ‘subdue the earth’, take the easier more profitable path. Subdue your fellow-man.”
The devil gently pushed them down on a convenient rock and paced back and forth in front of them, warming to his subject.
“To ‘have dominion’ you must have knowledge, and to get that is an endless task you will never finish in your lifetime. To fully understand creation you have to understand the Creator, and hey, that’s why we’re all out here in the first place.”
Squatting in the dirt before them, with his hands palm up towards them, he brought his pitch home;
” To subdue the earth will take enough ‘ Sweat of your brow’ to fill an ocean. Subdue your fellow-man, and live off the sweat of his brow, let them break their back, rack their brains, dig themselves an early grave. All it takes is a wink and a nod, a few clever words and well turned phrases, like; ‘I’ll help you get Your fair share’, and ‘Why should he have more than you?’, ‘ I’m only thinking of your best interests’.”
Standing erect and raising his arms as though directing a vast orchestra; ” And the number one sucker bait motto of them all – ‘GIVE ME THE POWER, I WON’T ABUSE IT’ “.
Chuckling to himself; “God I love that one”.
Adam abruptly stood up and walked a quick twenty paces away from them ,as though he was chasing something. Stopping, he turned to face Eve, and stood looking at his hands, the stain of the fruit he had taken from her still on his fingers. His thoughts ran back to the evenings walking in the garden with his Creator, the long talks, the patient explanations, the deep well of love in those eyes, those eyes. The memory of the sorrow on the face that had turned away from him for the first time, came welling up in him and he staggered with the unfamiliar heaviness in his heart, and it was all he could do to stop the sob crowding into his throat. He fell to his knees, leaned forward and digging his fingers into the dirt, scooped up the dark earth in his hands and sat there on his haunches staring at the rich soil.
Eve knelt in front of her mate and gazed expectantly into his face trying to read the emotions there.
Adam looked up from the soil in his hand and smiled at her;
“HE said ‘ Whatever you plant, will grow and multiply’.”
Dropping the dirt he grabbed both her hands, and with a fierceness in his eyes that frightened her, repeated; “HE said ‘Whatever you plant, will grow and multiple’ .”
Holding her hand Adam rose up and , with firm, sure steps, strode over to the devil until he was almost nose to nose. Satan backed up, unsure of what was happening; these new creature were going to be harder to read than he thought.
Adam stood there, staring at the fallen one with a hardness the devil did not like at all;
” Why was there no guard on the tree?”
Backing up a step, the devil replied in a small unsure voice; ” I don’t know ”
Adams face took on a look of disgust, and he turned and walked away from the confused devil.
He walked ,with Eve beside him, until they came to the top of a low hill overlooking the river. They stood there a moment, quietly gazing at the broad , calm water looping lazily through a green plain scattered with trees of every shape and size. Turning to face him, Eve took Adams hands in hers and looking at the determined face of her love asked; ” Why wasn’t there a guard at the tree?”
Adam watched the water drifting by for a moment, then turned to her and smiled, a bit sadly;
“Because whatever you plant will grow”.
He led her over to a great tree that had fallen by the river and they sat on the trunk facing each other.
” Do you remember the creatures that always hovered around when HE would come to talk to us, the ones that looked like us but weren’t really like us?”
Eve smiled with the memory; “Yes, I thought they were pretty.”
” They were made by HIM to serve HIM”, waving a hand in the general direction of the devil; ” He was one of them, before.”
Standing up he continued; “HE calls them ‘ servants, or messengers because their only purpose is to serve HIM; the tree did not need to be protected from them, because they can only do what HE commands of them. Only you and I, among all of creation were able to pick from the tree.”
Eve; “Then why didn’t HE put a guard there?”
Adam; ” HE did”
Eve, confused;” Who?”
She saw a tear start from one of Adams’ eye; ” HE put us there, you and me, we were the guards, the only possible guards, because we were the only ones with HIS breath in us; all of the other creatures on this world HE spoke into being, but you and I, HE breathed HIS Spirit into us.”
Eve stood up with him and took his hands; “Whatever you plant will grow !!!” Adam looked into her sparkling eyes and his heart overflowed joy to have such a mate.
“HE took me out into the fields once and explained to me what HE called ‘The Law of the Harvest’ ; that whatever you plant will grow and multiply a hundred fold.”
Adam squeezed her hands and his face took on a fierce expression, but it did not frighten her anymore.
“HE planted HIS breath, HIS Spirit in us, so that it would grow and multiply. All other things here have life, or awareness,” he pointed in the devils direction, ” but only you and I have HIS spirit in us, only we have Free Will, only we can Choose. That is why HE made us, to choose.”
” But we chose wrong”, she exclaimed.
” But we chose, and next time we’ll do it better. We will choose between HIS command, or his.”
Turning to face the devil he continued; “We can follow HIS words, and subdue the earth, train it, tend it, and reap the harvest it gives, and train up our children to do the same, always choosing to follow where HIS Spirit leads us.”
With Eve tucked under his arm ,beside him, Adam started walking towards the devil, who seemed to be shrinking with each word.
” We will not crush that Spirit by taking away the free will of our fellow-man, denying them the gift GOD has given us; to Choose, to use our free will, well or poorly.”
Stopping, he looked down at the ever diminishing former angel.
” We will follow HIM, and all of our children.”
Picking him up by the horns, Adam looked him in the eye and said; ” GO “, and tossed him into a nearby briar bush.
Hand in hand, Adam and Eve started walking back up the hill.
” Eve, have you given any thought to where we should build our home?”
” Someplace close to the river.”
” Why the river?”
” So you won’t have to carry the water so far.”
” What water?”
The devil sat in the brambles and listened to Eve laughing, in a high, clear, musical voice, all the way to the top of the hill.