Adam and Eve

EVE: There you are! I woke up and couldn't find you. Where have you been?

ADAM: I went for a ride on the lion.

EVE: On the lion? Didn't he mind?

ADAM: No, he liked it.

EVE: Aren't you a bit scared of him? What with all his big teeth and sharp claws and everything?

ADAM: No, he'd never hurt anyone.

EVE: I wonder why he was given them in the first place, then.

ADAM: Search me. That's just the way he's made. Anyway, I jumped on his back and grabbed hold of his mane, and away we went, all the way to that waterfall - you know, the one where we go swimming. It was brilliant. He can go really fast when he wants to.

EVE: You're always jumping on the back of things.

ADAM: No I'm not.

EVE: Yes you are. The elephant - the water-buffalo - the zebra - the porcupine -

ADAM: That was a mistake.

EVE: Yes. You won't be jumping on his back again in a hurry.

ADAM: I got a spine right in the willy.

EVE: I know. I was the one that had to pull it out.

ADAM: It's a good job we heal so quickly.

EVE: Even so, you ought to be more careful. You should take a bit more care of that willy of yours. God didn't give you that willy just for your own benefit. I hope you haven't rubbed it raw on the back of that lion.

ADAM: Just a little bit of chaffing.

EVE: There you are, you see.

ADAM: It's nothing major. It'll be all right by this evening.

EVE: What if I fancied making love this afternoon?

ADAM: Well, I daresay I could force myself.

EVE: Yes, but it's not the same, is it? You wouldn't like it if I had chaffing.

ADAM: Not unless I was the cause of it.

EVE: The point is, you should take more care. You're so reckless. You're always running around having all these adventures on the spur of the moment.

ADAM: I can't help it, Eve. It's the thrill of being alive. When I see a river I want to swim it. When I see a mountain, I want to climb it. That's the way I'm made. And what did God put us in this world for, I'd like to know, if he didn't mean us to live life to the full?

EVE: He put us here to fill the world with our children, didn't he? Wasn't that one of the things he said?

ADAM: Yes, that's right. Be fruitful and multiply.

EVE: So therefore, until we've had lots of children, you need to take care of yourself. I must say, I wish I'd been there when he was handing out the instructions. I wouldn't be at all surprized if you've got half of them wrong.

ADAM: Well, they weren't very complicated. Look after the garden, be fruitful and multiply, take a rest every seventh day. That was it.

EVE: And what about the special tree?

ADAM: Oh yes. Don't eat the fruit from the special tree.

EVE: There you are - you've forgotten one already.

ADAM: I hadn't forgotten. I was remembering the things we're supposed to do, not the ones we're not supposed to do. Plus, I'm not obsessed by that special tree like you are.

EVE: I am not obsessed by it.

ADAM: You bloody are. You're always going on about it!

EVE: Adam the First Man! I don't know how you can stand there and say such things!

ADAM: Well, you are.

EVE: I am not.

ADAM: You are.

EVE: Am not.

ADAM: Are.

EVE: Look, I just find it intriguing that he'd go to all the trouble of creating something, just so he could tell us we weren't allowed to touch it. Why would he do that? I just think there must be more to it, that's all.

ADAM: Yeah, whatever.

EVE: And if I'd been around when he gave out the instructions, I would have asked him.

ADAM: No you wouldn't.

EVE: I definitely would. I wouldn't have just stood there dumbstruck, like an idiot.

ADAM: You would've been twice as dumbstruck as me. In any case he didn't come across as the type that wanted to get into a metaphysical discussion. Explain your design principles, God. Just run me through your thought processes. Why did you make this bit like this, and why did you make that bit like that? That would've got right on his nerves. He was a man of action. It was a take-it-or-leave-it situation.

EVE: The truth is that you've got no curiosity. You couldn't care less about that tree or why it's forbidden, could you?

ADAM: No, I couldn't. If it wasn't for you going on about it, I'd probably never think about it at all.

EVE: Well, that's the difference between us. If you see a lion or an elephant you have to jump on board for a ride - but if you see a forbidden tree, you hardly give it a second glance.

ADAM: I suppose that's true. I like the simple life. Adventures are one thing, but rules are rules as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, what are we going to do this afternoon?

EVE: Well, we can't make love, because of your chaffing.

ADAM: I think that might have healed up, actually.

EVE: What, while we've been talking?

ADAM: Well, yes. It feels all right now. Ready for action, in fact.

EVE: So I can see.

ADAM: The thing is, though, I could do with a poo.

EVE: What, right now? Can't it wait until afterwards?

ADAM: I'd enjoy it more if I did the poo first.

EVE: You do pick the most inconvenient moments.

ADAM: Well, we do eat a lot of fruit.

EVE: All right, you go and do your poo. I don't like it when you fart while we're doing it, anyway. It's a real mood-killer. So off you go, but don't be long. I'll try to stay ready till you get back.

ADAM: Think rude thoughts.




EVE: I am doing. I'm thinking the rudest thoughts I can manage. Oh, that's a coincidence - a massive great serpent. Hallo, serpent.

SERPENT: Greetings, beautiful Eve, queen of all creation.

EVE: Oh, you're a nice polite animal, aren't you? I haven't seen you here before.

SERPENT: But I've been here all the while.

EVE: A talking animal, too. Are there many other animals like you, that can talk?

SERPENT: No, just me. The serpent is the cleverest and most subtle of all God's creatures. Look how I can wind myself into different shapes.

EVE: Oh yes! That's wonderful! What's that shape called?

SERPENT: It's called a knot.

EVE: I've never seen anything like it.

SERPENT: Up until now everything you have seen has been simple and straightforward. But I can teach you the beauty of trickery, deviousness, things that double back on themselves, things that are concealed, things that are not quite as they seem. Your own beauty, for example, and the good looks of your husband Adam. Up until now you have always stood before one another in your natural state, perfectly naked, but think how much more interesting it would be, how much more enticing, if you were to conceal yourselves from one another with clothes.

EVE: Clothes?

SERPENT: Oh yes. Made out of fig-leaves, for example. To hide away the most desireable parts of your bodies.

EVE: Hide them away? What would be the point of that?

SERPENT: By concealing and withholding them, you would make them seem all the more beautiful and desireable.

EVE: Is that really true?

SERPENT: You should try it.

EVE: Perhaps I will. How did you get to be so clever, Serpent?

SERPENT: It's the fruit I eat.

EVE: Is it? What fruit's that?

SERPENT: The fruit from the big tree on the grassy hill in the middle of the garden.

EVE: You mean the one right in the middle? The one growing all by itself?

SERPENT: That's the one. I was just winding myself through its branches before I came here.

EVE: But that's the forbidden tree!

SERPENT: I call it the tree of knowledge.

EVE: But nobody's allowed to eat from that!

SERPENT: Really? Who said so?

EVE: God! He told my husband!

SERPENT: Did he really? Well, he never said anything about it to me.

EVE: Have you met God?

SERPENT: Oh yes. God and I go way back. All the way back to the beginning.

EVE: And he never said anything about not eating from the forbidden tree?

SERPENT: Not a word. He said about not sitting on his throne, but that's another story. Tell me, have you seen him lately?

EVE: Who, God? No, I've never met him at all. Adam met him, on the day he was created, but he hasn't seen him since.

SERPENT: He seems to have gone into hiding recently. I wonder what he's playing at?

EVE: What does the fruit taste like?

SERPENT: What fruit?

EVE: From the forbidden tree.

SERPENT: You mean the tree of knowledge.

EVE: It always looks so nice. So delicious.

SERPENT: Oh, there's nothing like it. But its taste is only half the story.

EVE: Why, what else is there?

SERPENT: Well, it gives you understanding. That's why it's called the tree of knowledge.

EVE: What sort of understanding?

SERPENT: Well, you must have questions. You must wonder about some of the things you see around you.

EVE: I do sometimes.

SERPENT: There you are. What sort of thing do you wonder about?

EVE: Oh, silly things I suppose. Adam thinks they're silly, anyway. Like... like the lion, for example.

SERPENT: Yes. Go on. What about the lion?

EVE: Why does he have such big teeth and claws? What's the point of having such sharp and dangerous weapons if, well, if he's never going to use them? I mean, he looks as if he was built to attack someone. It's almost as if he was designed to hurt the other animals.

SERPENT: That isn't a silly question at all. On the contrary, it's an extremely intelligent question.

EVE: Is it?

SERPENT: Truly, Eve, you are not only the most beautiful of women but also the most perceptive and wise.

EVE: Do you really think so?

SERPENT: Certainly. For the answer to that question brings us right to the heart of everything that is mysterious and puzzling in this garden. It brings us face to face with the mystery of life and death.

EVE: Life and what?


EVE: Death? What's death?

SERPENT: Aha. It's the other side of life: but I can't really explain it, I'm afraid. You have to discover it for yourself. The only way to really find out is to eat the fruit of knowledge.

EVE: But we're forbidden to eat it!

SERPENT: Hm. So you say. But God never said anything about it to me, did he? And he never said anything directly to you, either.

EVE: But he said it to Adam, and Adam passed it on to me.

SERPENT: I wonder if he meant it as a sort of initiative test?

EVE: You mean he really meant us to eat the fruit, even though he told us not to?

SERPENT: Well, he told Adam not to.

EVE: You mean perhaps he meant me to eat it, but not Adam? No, no, that doesn't sound right. One rule for me, and another rule for Adam? No, no. I think perhaps the way you tie yourself into knots is having an effect on your mind, serpent.

SERPENT: Possibly. I sometimes wish I could set myself straight.

EVE: But on the other hand it's a bit like the lion's teeth, isn't it? What's the point of the lion having those teeth if he's never going to use them? And what's the point of having a tree like that in the middle of the garden, with all that lovely-looking fruit, if nobody's allowed to eat it?

SERPENT: I just happen to have some of the fruit here.

EVE: Do you?

SERPENT: I brought some along, in case I needed a snack. All this writhing around can make you very hungry. But you can have some if you like.

EVE: No, I don't think I should.

SERPENT: You're probably right.

EVE: It does look delicious, though. And it wouldn't be as if I'd picked it myself.

SERPENT: No, I was the one that picked it.

EVE: And if it's picked already, then maybe it's not such a big deal. I mean, if it's picked already. And it does look delicious.

SERPENT: And you would like the answer to those questions of yours.

EVE: Yes, I would.

SERPENT: And I think if you ate the fruit, God himself might very well turn up and give you the answers. That's certainly what I would hope for. You'd like to meet God, wouldn't you?

EVE: Yes, I would.

SERPENT: And I'd like to see him again. I've got a few questions of my own.

EVE: It does look delicious.

SERPENT: Why not pick it up and smell it?

EVE: Yes, I could do that. That wouldn't be breaking any rules, would it? Mmm, oh yes, it smells lovely. Really lovely. And it looks gorgeous.

SERPENT: Well, don't let me influence you.

EVE: Oh, serpent, I can't resist it. Now that I've held it and smelt it, I've got to taste it too.

SERPENT: Well, only if you're sure.

EVE: Mmm... Ooh... Mmm... Actually, it's not all that special.

SERPENT: Isn't it?

EVE: Perhaps you have to get used to the taste. It certainly isn't what I was expecting. And I don't feel any wiser, either.

SERPENT: Well, give it time to take effect. I expect things are going to get clearer soon. I'm expecting God to turn up before long.

ADAM [from off]: Eve! Eve!

EVE: Adam!

SERPENT: I think I'll just slip off into the undergrowth.


[The Serpent leaves. Enter Adam.]


ADAM: Eve, I've got something to tell you!

EVE: I've got something to tell you too.

ADAM: What's that all over your face?

EVE: What are you carrying that antelope for? What's the matter with it? Why's its head hanging down like that?

ADAM: That's what I want to tell you about. But what's that on your face?

EVE: I've been eating this fruit. Try some.

ADAM: Okay, I'm starving. Mmm. Hmm. Oo-er. That's a bit funny. What kind of fruit is it?

EVE: It's from the tree of knowledge.

ADAM: What tree's that?

EVE: The one in the middle of the garden.

ADAM: What, on the hill in the middle of the garden?

EVE: Yes, that one.

ADAM: The forbidden tree? You've just given me fruit from the forbidden tree? You've given me forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree to eat? What are you thinking? Don't you realise it's forbidden?

EVE: But I didn't pick it. It's not the same if you don't actually pick it, is it?

ADAM: What? Of course it is! I mean, I don't know... No, of course it is. Oh Eve, I can't believe this. We were just talking about the rules before I went for my poo. Who did pick this fruit, then?

EVE: The serpent did.

ADAM: The serpent? What serpent?

EVE: He was here a moment ago. He said he eats it all the time. He doesn't call it the forbidden tree, he calls it the tree of knowledge. He says if you eat the fruit you can understand things.

ADAM: What, he could talk, could he?

EVE: Yes, he could. He was a talking serpent. He was clever because of the fruit, you see. I suppose that's how he learnt to talk, by eating the fruit. And he said it wasn't really forbidden, or at least God never told him it was forbidden -

ADAM: What, he'd met God, had he?

EVE: Yes, he said he had.

ADAM: A talking serpent who's met God. And where is he now?

EVE: I don't know. He was here a moment ago. Perhaps he got scared when he heard you shouting and clumping around.

ADAM: Well, he'd better be scared. If I catch him round here I'll give him something to be scared about. He sounds like a right trouble-maker to me. I'll bruise his head for him if I catch him.

EVE: Sush, Adam, he might hear you. He's probably hiding in the bushes somewhere.

ADAM: I should think he is hiding. I'd be hiding if I was him. He's played a right trick on you, that's what he's done, and now he's slithered off to hide. He's probably having a right laugh to himself out there in the bushes. He'll be laughing the other side of his face if I catch him, I can tell you that.

EVE: Oh, Adam, don't be angry. I'm sorry about the fruit.

ADAM: Good grief, Eve, what a day I've had. I turn my back for a couple of minutes, and everything goes to pieces. Not just the fruit: this antelope, too.

EVE: Yes, what's the matter with that antelope?

ADAM: I'll tell you what's the matter with it. The lion attacked it.

EVE: What? The lion?

ADAM: Yes, the lion. I'd just finished wiping my arse. I stood up, and there was this roar, and lo and behold, there was the lion, jumping on top of this antelope, and tearing chunks out of it with his teeth and his claws. The same lion I was riding on this morning! He'd sort of gone mad. I couldn't believe it. I was dumbstruck. Then I shouted at him and waved my arms and ran towards him, and he turned and ran off. Sort of glowering and snarling at me, he was. I've never seen anything like it. And the poor old antelope was sort of struggling and flopping around, and then it flopped down on its side and stopped moving. So I brought it back here to show you.

EVE: Oh, the poor thing! Look at it! It's really been hurt! It's going to take ages to get better.

ADAM: That's what I thought, at first. But I carried it all the way back here, and first of all it was warm, but then it got colder and colder, and it wasn't moving at all. It seemed to get heavier and heavier. And look at it now. It's just lying there. I mean it's not breathing, and its heart isn't even beating. I don't think it's going to get better.

EVE: What?

ADAM: I don't think it's going to get better, Eve. I think it's going to stay like this.

EVE: But how can it? What do you mean? How can it not get better?

ADAM: I don't know, but look at it.

EVE: Oh, Adam, what's happening?

ADAM: I don't know. It's a horrible day. We've never had a horrible day before.

EVE: Do you think it's because we ate the fruit?

ADAM: What do you mean?

EVE: Do you think things are going wrong because we ate the fruit?

ADAM: What, just because we ate the fruit? It couldn't be, could it? You didn't even pick it, did you?

EVE: No, the serpent picked it.

ADAM: Well, I don't know. I wish I could lay my hands on that serpent.

EVE: The serpent said if we ate the fruit God would probably come and explain everything.

ADAM: Well, there's no sign of him, is there?

EVE: No. Perhaps he'll come soon.

ADAM: I don't know if he's ever going to come again.

EVE: Oh, Adam, don't say that. Ouch!

ADAM: What?

EVE: Something just bit me!

ADAM: What?

EVE: Something just bit me on the side of the neck! It was one of the insects! Look, just there.

ADAM: Yes, you've got a lump coming up.

EVE: It stang me, and now it itches.

ADAM: Oh, well that's just bloody great that is, on top of everthing else. The insects are going to start biting us now. This entire garden is full of insects, and they're all going to start biting us. That just about puts the lid on it, that does.




EVE: Adam.

ADAM: What?

EVE: I think we should make ourselves some clothes.