Chapter One - The Beginning
Friday, October 28th, 4004 BC
“Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth each after their own kinds.” Those words were the first thing I knew. As soon as they were spoken, their vibrations still in the air, my body materialized. I looked myself over. I was real!
It wasn’t just me, though; there were many other types of creatures around me, all just as amazed as myself. “And it was so,” the mighty voice said again. I looked up and beheld the sight of which I will never forget. A great light filled the air above me. It moved and shone in such a way I had no doubt who my Creator was.
All of us creatures stood in awe of The Great One. We did nothing, what could we do with such greatness before us? All was silent. Even the air movements seemed to pause at His presence. We stood for what seemed like ages. The first thing to draw my attention from The Great One was when the sky started lighting up on its own.
A bright circle rose into the sky, bringing light to the world. But the light was wrong, inferior to the power of The Great One’s light. I could not comprehend how much greater the light of The Great One was over created light. I felt that I would be in the dark without The Great One present.
The Creator’s voice sounded again, but not to us, nor the earth, but at Himself. “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
The words excited me. We were going to have an appointed leader we could touch! One we would not feel afraid to ask questions to! One to help us understand everything! I was not the only one who felt this way; cries of joy filled the air as creatures big and small rejoiced.
The Great One floated down to the ground. I, for the first time in my life, used my legs and backed away to give The Creator room to work. The other creatures did as well, and we all waited in silent anticipation.
The Creator took His time. Whatever He was making I could not see through His light, but He was crafting it with care. Almost as if wanting to be sure He did it right. The sound of a deep breath emanated from The Creator. He released it slowly and purposefully.
The Creator floated back up into the air, and as He did, He spoke, “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.”
For our first time, we gazed at our new leader. He looked both ways and saw all of us gathered around. He sat up and scanned us all. He then looked himself over as we had all done. He flexed his hands, bent his arms, and folded his legs. He then looked up and saw The Great One. He reached a hand up and The Great One took it in His own. He lifted our new leader to his feet.
The Great One then told him lovingly but commandingly, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
The Great One then turned to all of us creatures, still holding the man’s hand, and added, “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat.”
The man nodded thoughtfully, then smiled. The Great One then waved His other hand at me, signaling me to step forward. I was honored, excited, and scared all at the same time. What could our Creator possibly want with me? I stepped up to the man’s feet anyways, who was I to disobey The Great One?
I looked up at the man inquisitively. He returned my question to me before passing it on to The Great One. The Great One just smiled, patted the man’s shoulder, and said, “Adam.” He then turned the man towards me. Revelation hit the man’s face and he nodded happily at The Great One, who floated away slightly.
Adam looked at me in deep thought. I was still awaiting the answer to why I was here. After several long moments of nothing, Adam knelt down and reached out to touch me. I was startled and moved my head away hissing and flicking my tongue.
Adam pet my head and smiled. He then began examining me. He felt my scales, lifted my front paws, looked at my back talons, and frankly it was getting annoying. I hissed again in irritation and flicked my tongue at him.
Adam stood up thinking again. After another moment, he said to me, “I shall name you after your ‘hiss’. You shall be called: Serpent.”
I felt half silly about my actions and half angry that I had to wait this long to have my question answered. It was great to be the first named, but it seemed so small to make me wait over. The other animals were crowding around hoping to be the next named. The Great One signaled them into a straight line, which Adam then began his work of naming them all.
I looked at the long line as it formed. Adam had a lot of work to do, seeing there must have been around ten and a half thousand kinds gathered. I studied each animal kind as Adam named them. The first one that was similar in size to myself had an irritating habit of going ‘baa’. Adam named it a ‘Sheep’. I much preferred my scales to its fluffy coat of fur.
Though, I looked at myself again, I did have odd forelegs with paws. Were there any others with similar to mine? I decided it would be quicker to walk along the line than to wait for Adam to get to them. My eyes brought me an amazing alignment of sizes, colors, and shapes. The Great One had an interesting imagination to create such variety.
I was growing bored of my search by the time I spotted one with similar paws. They were the same golden color as mine, only larger. I looked back down the line. It would be a while before Adam got here. I hissed at needing to wait yet again for my question to be answered. An idea hit me; why not try The Great One?
I searched the area for Him, but didn’t see Him anywhere! When had He left? Why had He left? Where did He go? I decided to look farther away. It was then I spotted Him. The Great One was working with the dirt again, but at this distance I had no clue what for.
I heard a splash in the opposite direction. I looked over and saw some kind of large fish jumping out of the water. I had noticed the sea already when I watched the greater light rise into the sky, but until now, it had not occurred to me that the water would house creatures that could jump out of it. I started over to have a look.
It must have saw me coming as it began squealing at me. It didn’t seem upset or scared, though, more like it was excited. Excited about me? Why would anyone be excited about me? Could I be special and this creature knew it? I was the first one named, could it be The Great One saw more potential in me? I raised my head up high, firmed my muscles, and walked more purposefully.
When I reached the seashore, the creature stopped its jumping and poked its long snout at me. I couldn’t see any nose, though. “How do you breathe?” I asked.
“With this blowhole atop my head here,” it answered rolling onto its side. It then looked at me again. “How do you breathe?”
I pulled my head back slightly. How could it not know? “With these nostrils,” I said lowering my head so it could see.
“Wow, you have four while I only have one!”
“Your eyes must not work very well out of the water, I only have two,” I answered.
“Well, then what are the other two holes for?”
“What two?” I asked looking at my reflection.
“Those two,” it said poking its gray snout at my head’s reflection.
“Please,” I said angry. “I can’t see if you make waves.”
It looked at me a little surprised and perhaps hurt by my remark. “Sorry,” it said.
I sighed. It was going to be hard to learn to get along with other creatures, but I would have to. The waves had dissipated and I could see my reflection again. “The ones on the side of your head,” it said again. I looked and sure enough, behind my nostrils there were two other holes. I could not think of a single use for them.
Frustrated I closed my eyes, but to my shock, I could still see! It was not the way I used to be able to, though. I could detect the body heat of animals! I reopened my other eyes and turned back to the sea creature. “They’re eyes!” I said amazed.
“Really? Wow!” it said also amazed. “So you have four eyes!”
“Yes, I do!” I said as I tested them again. The world looked vastly different this way, but I could still interpret the information just as well. I noticed the animal I wanted to know the name of was now just two away. I opened my eyes and said, “I need to go.” I then ran off.
I needed to wait but a short time more before I found out my front two legs were those of a ‘Lion’. I now needed my back talons identified. They didn’t look very land animal like so I looked into the trees at all the fowl. Many of the larger feathered ones had such feet as mine. An interesting combination of animal types was a part of me.
The day dragged on from there. I had nothing I wanted to do anymore, except spend time with our leader, but he was busy naming us all. It was evident that The Great One had done a lot of work as I could see some sort of arrangement of plants that had not previously been there. He wasn’t done, though, as He continued tilling the ground.
Several of the different creature kinds began making friendships. The wolf and the sheep were eating grass side-by-side. The leopard and the goat were lying in the shade of a tree conversing. The horse, the lion, and the bull were playing together. Everyone got along with each other. This, above all else, had to be the single best thing.
The sun was lowering itself in the sky by the time Adam finished naming all the animals. Finally, I could spend some time with him! I pranced over and looked up into his face. He didn’t notice me though. He was looking around franticly. “You’ve named us all,” I told him.
He looked at me and smiled slightly. He pat my head and felt my horn. But he soon continued his search. Even more fervently, as he ran amongst the groups of creatures. I had to work my shorter legs double time to keep up. Sadness began to fill his face. It was a powerful emotion, one that seemed to control his soul.
After Adam had searched all the animals two times through, he fell to his knees and put his hands on the top of his head. “What’s wrong? We’re all here,” I said, but it only seemed to make it worse. Water began dripping from his eyes.
I couldn’t understand what was wrong with him. He had a whole planet to rule and thousands of animals who cared for him. More importantly, The Great One was here, and would not abandon any of us. What more could you want?
The Great One returned and picked up the crying man in His arms. He then carried the man over to what He had been working on. All of us animals followed. I could now see what The Great One had done. He was planting a garden!
Every tree that produced food grew therein. But also all those that were pleasing to look at. A wall of stone surrounded it, which made no sense at all. Why build a wall? There was a gate, out of which a river flowed. The river then parted into four heads. Their names were Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates and the garden they flowed out from was Eden.
The Great One laid Adam down at the entrance to Eden and said, “Of every tree of The Garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Evil? What on earth was that? I wondered. Adam wiped the tears from his eyes and nodded. The Great One spoke again, but quietly and to Himself. “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” The Great One then raised His arms over Adam and the man laid down and fell asleep.
The Great One then sent us all way. Apparently He wanted to do what He was about to alone. Most of the animals gathered in their groups again, but I stood off by myself. I watched the sky change colors as the sun prepared to lower below the horizon.
The Great One called us all back before that happened, though. I arrived in time to see the man awake from his sleep. He was confused as to what had happened. But the confusion left him as he looked into the Garden of Eden and saw another of his own kind.
He stood up and walked mesmerized by the sight before him. He stroked the longer hair of this new member of mankind. He then placed his hand on its head and said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
Adam then took her hand in his and they walked into the Garden of Eden. All of the animals began to follow, but all of us included in ‘beasts of the field’ were not allowed in. I was one of them. I was furious. Now I understood the wall, it was to keep us out! We had a leader and now I could not even spend time with them.
I hissed and stomped away. As I left, The Creator rose into the air. I stopped to see what He was going to do. He beheld everything He had made and said, “Behold, it is very good!” The sun slid below the edge of the horizon and The Creator added, “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
James Ussher’s date for Creation in The Annals of the World,
The ‘Mushrushu’ from the Babylonian Ishtar Gate