When Adam delved (and Eve span— on a spanning wheel) in the Garden of Eden, he made neat rows for the seeds— but there was a problem. The seeds didn’t come in brightly coloured packets from a reputable seed merchant like Rowans of 1-2 Westmoreland Street. My father always planted a fine crop of packets in Springtime. He impaled a packet on a stick at the end each row and regarded his work in satisfied anticipation. Everything in the garden was perfect.(Old Japanese adage : If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; for a week, get married; for a lifetime, become a gardener. Ah so!) The packets, fluttering in the wind, made a cheerful display, telling us children where to weed and hoe and not play chasing. There is nothing as annoying to a gardener(one who cultivates a garden) as hoers (one who uses a hoe) rooting up the wrong seedlings.
Adam’s problem was that he had to name everything in the garden, including the animals and insects and all the creatures that creep upon the earth,( Some of them are definitely a bit creepy) before he could get down to work. He started not surprisingly with A. Actually he began with Aardvark, just to make sure, He moved on to Ants, Apples, (spoiler alert) Artichokes. (He had tried to eat one raw.) Armadillos, also a bit prickly and so on. He wasn’t too worried about alphabetical order and eventually he hit on a scheme, whereby he devised names by observing what the creatures (Things that have been created out of nothing,) were doing at the time–The Bee-eater (bird), The Tree-creeper (bird, also know as the Xenops. He was in rather a hurry to put one under X.) He checked back regularly with head-office, to let God know how he was getting on. “There’s a big hairy creature with a long nose, a bit like the aardvark. What would you recommend as a name, Lord?” “Oh, I dunno. What’s it doing?” “Eating the ants.” “Just call it an Ant-eater, then.” “Ant-eater. I like that, Lord. Very succinct.” “Good. Good. Carry on then.” It was the seventh day and the Lord God of all the Universe, was trying to get a bit of rest. “What about all those little creatures with six legs, buzzing around the place?” “Use your loaf. What are they doing?” “Not much, Lord. Just flying around.” “Oh good Christ” muttered God under His breath. “Just call them flies then.” Being a Catholic and therefore Irish, God had already developed a slight tendency to swear. I had a feeling that I would have trouble with this Mankind idea, He mused. It had been a hard week. The Milky Way and the space-time continuum, had proved more taxing than He had expected. There were what d’ye’call’em, holes, in everything. Galaxies were slipping into other dimensions. He had decided to have another look at it on Monday. Be ready Wednesday.
Knock! knock! That bloody fellow again. God was beginning to sound a bit a bit like my father. He even wore soft white tennis shoes on his day off. “What is it now, for crying out loud.?” Adam had a small wriggling, tubular, creature in the palm of his hand. It had no legs, arms or head. “I found this at the bottom of the garden. I was thinking of calling it a worm, because it worms its way in everywhere and makes holes in things. What do You think, Lord? I need a W.” “I don’t give a damn what you call it,” growled God. “Call it Wiggly Woo if you want to.” “Brilliant!” exclaimed Adam. “Thank you Lord.” He went back to the bottom of the garden and drew a picture of the wiggly woo on a piece of bark, (not very difficult,) which he impaled on a stick. He was humming… and his name is Wiggly Woo... God put his feet up on a nice soft cloud. Worm holes? Worm holes! Of course. Just what He needed. He would write them into the laws of quantum physics—on Monday. There might be hope for that lad, Adam, after all.
Meanwhile Adam was grappling with the letter S…sneaky, slimy, sneery, snarly, slobbery, sloppy, snarky,sly, snooty,slippery, snotty, scornful, snakes and serpents. There was one already slithering around the garden, with a most unpleasant stench of sulphur. Adam tended to avoid it. There wasn’t much about S that he fancied. Not much to write to write home about. He carried on with a spot of hoeing. He noticed that wherever there were wiggly woos, the soil was good. Even the lowly worms had a purpose. He took care not to hurt them as he worked. God watched him through the window (wind-eye. Nice one, Adam). Maybe I’ve been a bit hard on him, the poor little divil, He mused. I know what I’ll do. I’ll create a partner for him and then he’ll have someone to practice language on. It’s not easy to learn language on your Sweeney. I mean, the Cameleopard. He laughed at the memory. His laughter reverberated throughout the firmament. The heavenly bodies danced with joy, the harmony of the spheres. “You’re having a giraffe,” he had said. “Okay, it’s humpy and it has spots and a long neck. A Cameleopard. Come on. You can do better than that.” Adam was a bit aggrieved. “I thought it was a good one.” He was finding language difficult enough without God playing around with slang. “You know,” he said tentatively, “I like that. A Giraffe. It sounds right.” God smole a little smile. “You’ll get the hang of it. Language will never stop evolving, if I may use that word. It will give joy and grief, depending on how it is used. I will make you a companion to keep you company. You will increase and multiply and fill the earth. All your problems will be over.” Multiply, thought Adam. I’m only getting the hang of joined writing. A companion sounded interesting all the same.
The following Thursday, Adam stopped to lean on his hoe. He had a bit of a pain in his side. It felt as if there was a bit taken out and that someone had stitched him up again. He winced. He saw a creature approaching, more beautiful than all the creatures that he had named. “I am Eve,” she said softly, “the mother of all mankind. I am your partner and helper. Would you like something to eat?” She held out an apple. “That’s not from the Tree of Knowledge and that… is it?” “Don’t worry about that old nonsense.” Adam was entranced. He took the gift and bit into it. He saw half of a wiggly woo in the white flesh. He spat it out in disgust. He felt a chill wind and noticed goose bumps rising on Eve’s beautiful skin. The sky was darker and the trees bent in the wind. He shivered. “Eh, It’s a bit nippy in here. Do you know how to span? We will have to make what d’ye’callem, clothes” He heard sniggering in the bushes. There was a definite stink of brimstone.
“Bloody Hell,” muttered God. “Another fine mess.”