Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

© Jeff Matthews   entry Sept 2015   Allegro ma non troppo #38  (original pub. date, Lion Magazine, 1990-5)

Naming of the Animals                        

nd from the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. [Genesis 2:20-21]

"What are you doing?"
"Oh, just ironing Cain's fig leaf for Scouts, tonight. He's up for his merit badge in Citizenship and I want him to look proper."
"Well, give us a hand here for a second. What does that look like to you over there?"
"What does what look like over where ?"
"That, well, that... that squiggly, over there."
"That one there?"
"No. This one. Here."
"Yuk! Keep it away from me! What is it?"
"Well, if I knew what it was, I wouldn't be asking you what it looked like, now would I?!"
"Well, you don't have to bite my head off, you know!"
"What did you say?!"
"I said , 'you don't have to...' "
"That's it! That's exactly what that other one is doing! That one squiggly is biting the head off the other. That's what I'll name them! Head-biter-offers!"
"What, do you mean that Praying Mantis?"
"The what?"
"Did He take an eardrum as well as a rib, or what? I said, 'that Praying Mantis."
"How do you know that's what that is?"
"Well, that's what she does, isn't it? They make love, she says grace, and then she eats. Times when I've felt like that, I don't mind telling you."
"Funny. Anyway, so that's 'Praying Mantis'?
"Of course. What else are you going to call it? Look at her, arms folded up like that all the time. She almost as pious as you. You must have been up half the night talking to that thunderstorm. The neighbors are beginning to wonder."
"Some talk to thunderstorms, some to snakes."
"Two what? Where? How did I miss them?"
"Forget it." (That snake's about the only thing I can talk to around here!)

"Anyway, the neighbors haven't quite got my responsibilities, now have they? That's what all the rumbling was about last night: 'Give Names To Every Beast Of The Field!' I wanted a little clarification on 'every'. Besides, He said I did well on the mammals, all except for that 'camel/dromedary' one hump/two hump mix-up."
"Don't worry about it. In a few years, no one will be able to keep it straight anyway. So for a pat on the head, you're ready to do squigglies. How many more have you got to go?"
"Hard to say. I've been trying out some of these 'number' things and I make it to be: 'one' - 'two' - 'three' - 'lots' - 'a lot more' - 'a whole lot more'- and then this 'every'. I reckon that's how many more we've got."
"We?! How did I get into this? I'm in the dog house, remember?"
"The what house?"
"Dog. D-O-G. Dog. A mammal. You did them last week."
"Oh, right. Look, it does say here that, 'there was not a help meet for him', and then I fall into the deep sleep and you..."
"I know what it says, but that just means that you needed help to meet me or me help to meet you. Something like that. It doesn't mean I have to sit around and actually name these disgusting little crawly things."
"It does so!"
"Does not! Cain! Put your brother down this instant!"
"Now what."
"How old are we?"
"Twenty-eight. Why?"
(Sigh. Only nine-hundred and two years to go.) "Oh, nothing. Say, is that 'p-r-E-y  or 'p-r-A-y-i-n-g?"

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