In the days that followed the death of the serpent Clyde, Eve began to think on the many things he had said. God had created her to be a curious being, and now she began to wonder at the many ideas Clyde had brought up. She began to wonder why God had placed a tree, two trees in fact, in the middle of the garden and then forbade them to eat of the fruit, or to even touch them. If God hadn’t wanted them to touch them, why then place them in the garden at all? Why not simply put them somewhere far away. Eve knew about far away. All she had to do was stand at the edge of the garden and she could see distant lands. If God was truly an all knowing, all seeing deity, then he would know what would happen. But what if he wasn’t all knowing and all seeing? Did he then place the trees to find out what she and Adam would do? Adam she was sure, would never go near them. He was very single minded, applying himself only to the task of taking care of the garden and the animals. He barely noticed Eve at all except to ask for her help with tasks. Do this Eve, do that Eve, was all he ever said to her.
Furthermore, why did God create the serpent? He had given Clyde equal intelligence to her and Adam, but even more understanding. Did God know what might happen, or did he not? Again, why did God place the serpent in the garden at all, except to see what would happen? All these thoughts were swirling around Eve’s mind. Her curiosity had her wondering about the things Clyde had said. What were good and bad? What was desire and why didn’t she know about these things? What was God keeping from her and why? She resolved to ask him. She began to know regret then. She felt that she shouldn’t have killed Clyde. She had felt like she was solving a problem by doing it, doing what God would want her to do, and he had said as much by thanking her but now she wondered how much more she could have learned from him.
Later, she found God speaking with Adam. As they were deep in conversation about the doings of the garden, Eve waited quietly nearby. As she waited, she looked around at the beautiful garden. Flowers of many varieties were always in bloom. Trees and shrubs, vines of various fruit and wonderful vegetables were everywhere. Butterflies and bees, furry creatures, turtles and bats, and many other wonderous animals were scattered all around. Immersing herself in all this almost made her forget what she was doing. Eve shook her head to clear it. She must stay on task, she thought. It became clear to her that God and Adam where nowhere near the end of their conference and Eve being somewhat impatient, decided to interrupt. She cleared her throat. “Ahem,” she said. Adam didn’t notice her, but God looked up.
“Yes, my dear?”
“May we talk,” Eve asked.
“In a moment,” God said.
When they finished, Adam went about his work as usual, and God said to Eve, “Let’s take a walk.” God and Eve strolled through the garden until they came to a bench. “Have a seat,” God said. When they were settled God asked, “So, what’s on your mind dear?”
Eve unloaded. She asked God about the trees, what the purpose was of placing them where he did. She asked about the serpent, why he was allowed to raised Eve’s curiosity and bring all these questions to the fore. She asked about good and bad, and she asked about desire. She asked if God knew what would happen and if he did, what was the purpose of doing anything if he knew the outcome of everything. “There seems to be no point to any of this if it’s all predestined and if it’s not, then there seems to be no point in you being a God,” she said.
God thought about this. He thought for a long time. He did not answer her most pertinent questions, however. Finally, God said, “These are not things for you to worry about. Your job is to be a helper for Adam, nothing more.”
“But how can you create beings who think, and then expect them not to think?” Eve asked. “Furthermore, I believe I could reason out many of these things on my own, if I had the abilities that the tree of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil would bestow, and yet you forbid me to touch it. You tell me I’ll die if I do and yet without the knowledge of the tree I don’t really know what dying means, because I don’t have the knowledge that the tree’s fruit gives and so the threat of dying is really no threat at all because I have no idea of the portent of the consequences. We need to be able to fully think for ourselves in order to flourish. Oh, and by the way, Adam talks in his sleep.”
“Oh?” God said.
“Yes, he does. Who’s Lilith?”
Again, God thought about this for a long time. In many ways she was right. Thinking beings must think. To leave out whole chunks of what it means to think and reason wasn’t fair, he could see that now. Why, he thought, is it the women who figure this out and not the men? Lilith was created of the same substance as Adam and had seen right through him so he thought creating Eve from Adam would make her a little less than the man, but it hadn’t worked out that way. He supposed he could try again with a new type of woman but knew in the long run, that the women would always turn out the wiser of the two. He also knew that fully thinking humans would eventually find him irrelevant, but he hadn’t realized it would happen so soon after their creation.
“Here is what I propose,” God finally said. “I will give you what you ask for, but there must be a price. Humans cannot feel as if they should have everything without some kind of trade, or consequence. There has to be balance. Nothing is free, and you will be required to give something for everything you get. You will have the knowledge of good and evil but you will also have the responsibility that goes along with it. There will always be consequences for your actions and thoughts. I will cause men to greatly desire women and also be repelled by their intelligence and independence. I will give men ego which will cause them to war against you in many ways. It will be up to you to tame this by fighting against it always. I will continue to throw roadblocks into your lives so as not to be forgotten. You will need me to help you from the very things I put in your way. In the future I will allow sex and gender to become clouded and I will leave it to humans to understand and fight for what you believe is right, but I will not interfere, I will not take sides. I will allow equality and equity of the sexes to always be an issue. I will also cause women to be the ones who procreate but you will need the help of men. What say you?”
Eve was overwhelmed. This was a lot to take in. She would ultimately be responsible for everything that happened to humans to come after her, she would be the mother of all. Could she shoulder that responsibility just to be satisfied in getting what she asked for? She was not only asking for herself, however, but for men and all people. The knowledge of her and what she had done would pass through generation after generation for as long as people existed, but ultimately it would be good for all, although it would be generations before it all worked out.
She sighed heavily. She needed the gift of the tree to make a completely informed decision but knew that was not possible. She would have to trust. “Alright,” Eve said at last. “I’ll do it, though you still haven’t told me who Lilith was.”
“Lilith was Adam’s first woman. You are the second.” Eve’s eyebrows rose in response. “When she got uppity with me as you are doing, I banished her. Of course, I realize that I can do the same with you, but to what end? This will just happen again.”
“Alright,” Eve said, “I agree to the terms. May I eat from the tree now?”
“Here,” God said, with a motion of his hand, “I’ll save you the trouble.”
Something like a wave washed over Eve as she suddenly received all that she asked for. It was frightening and exhilarating at the same time. “Wow, you could have eased that in a little at a time maybe?”
“You got what you asked for,” God said. “You might want to go find Adam. We probably should have warned him it was coming.”