The Reluctant Serpent - A Story About Temptation in Eden, NSW
This is a story about why snakes are reluctant to leave whenever you see them (see the video). They should scurry off post-haste when you encounter them, but they hang about, tempting fate – yours and theirs. Why?
A reluctant snake is a serpent wishing to repent for unfulfilled temptations. The short story explains why this is so.
It all started a long time ago in a nudist colony in the botanical gardens at a lovely place called Eden on the far south coast of New South Wales, Australia (see the map).
All the animals the animals and plants in the garden were created by the good gardener Gavin to be perfect in every way. There were the two nude humans in the garden - Angus and Eva.
Gavin had build the perfect garden. He told the couple that they could do anything they liked and live the good life in the Garden, on welfare for ever. There was only one rule - they could eat anything in the garden they liked, apart from the fruit of the apple tree that Gavin planted in the centre of the garden.
Apples have special properties, which Gavin did not want to share with anyone. Gavin said that if they ate apples they would surely die. While ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ it did not apply to them, only to him as head gardener.
Eden Botanical Gardens, NSW, Australia
Don't Eat The Apples!
The ‘don’t eat the apples, or you’ll die’ rule was not really a tough test for Angus and Eva because there was plenty of other fruit in the garden, and no diseases or ailments. They were on welfare forever, and did not have to work. There were no weeds in the garden and it was a Permaculture garden that required no digging or tendering on their part. Gavin did everything for them. There were heaps of other fruit in the garden to eat – pears plums, oranges and peaches. So Angus and Eva had no real need to eat the apples, forbidden by Gavin the gardener.
Gavin liked the garden that he had created very much, but he said that the garden was too perfect and boring. Angus and Eva were such goodie goodies, they always did what Gavin said without thinking. He wanted Angus and Eva to be faced with the choice of obeying him or not, and therefore showing that they would always choose good over evil, even when tempted. So far, they had goodness thrust upon them - time to play the 'temptation for evil' card!
Now this created a problem for Gavin because he was so good he could not possibly be evil. Tempting Angus and Eva to disobey him, was definitely evil. So what could he do. Then he remembered Devlin the evil gardener that Gavin had banished to the dark, dank swamps at the back of the garden. Devlin was evil personified, and was definitely up to creating some luscious temptations if he was allowed to.
So Gavin when down to the dank, dark swamp and told the evil gardener, Devlin, that he had a job for him. "I want you to tempt Angus and Eva to do evil by disobeying me." he said. " I know, you can’t do it yourself because I have used a spell to stop you being seen and heard by any animals or humans in the garden. I’m not going to change that because your evil ways would turn the garden into wrack and ruin. So you can borrow my animal creator tool to make one, but only one, evil animal in your own image to do your wicked ways," he said. "But don’t break the creator tool, or I’ll banish you forever. Remember you can only use it once," said Gavin.
Now Devlin was very inexperienced as a creator - he had never done it before. He wanted to make a lizard because they look pretty cool – slippery, slimy and evil. The way they poke their tongues out and flick them about - that definitely had evil possibilities. They had scaly, shiny skin and long curly sinuous tails – all good evil stuff. So he decided to would make a really evil looking lizard, to tempt the couple. The existing lizards were all good, definitely not evil in any way. So he would have to create a unique, special evil design for the creature based on a good lizard, but with very evil features.
Gavin let Devlin borrow the creator tool to make an evil beast. All Devlin had to do was make a template out of clay. It was a 3D printing machine that followed the basic clay template, and added the flesh, bones, blood and color and breathed life into it so it would come alive and stomp about and start tempting.
Devlin was so proud of himself, and chuffed that Gavin had let him use the Creator tool. He spent hours making the template. But Gavin shouted at him before he had finished to hurry up and stop trying to make myriads of evil things. So Devlin had to rush the last bit and finish the template.
He loaded all the chemicals into the machine, plugged it into the power socket, switched the machine on, and let it warm up. He inserted his template and pushed the "Go" button.
There was lots of banging, smoke and smells – finally the bell rang, lights flashed and it was done. Devlin opened the chamber and started to peel back the plastic covering over the wiggling creature he had created. He saw a beautiful head, lovely shiny, scaly skin and a long slinky tail. Wonderful! Marvelous! What a success!
Devlin was so pleased with himself. He said to the creature "Stand Up, I want to see all of you". The creature hissed: "How?” “I have no Legs". Devlin was devastated he had stuffed up the template, Gavin had rushed him and he had forgotten the legs. Disaster!
Devlin went back to Gavin and said; "Hey, can I have another go. You rushed me so much my creature has no legs" Gavin said: "That's too bad - I knew evil would never triumph over good. You'll just have to make do with what you've got. I can't let Eden be ruined by exotic foreign evil animals," he said. “This is just an evil trick, I won’t stand for it. Besides evil always stuffs up and you’ll probably get it wrong again. The creator tool is old, and fragile, and I don’t want it broken. Move on, get cracking on that temptation job. The apples are ripe now,” Gavin said.
So Devlin was stuck with the legless creature which he called a serpent or snake. The new creature hissed, complained a lot and constantly poked his tongue out offensively, but he was evil, so that was expected. Devlin thought he might give the snake a sex change and call the creature “Mona” but he resisted the temptation.
Eventually the snake got used to slivering about on its belly and stopped constantly hissing complaints, curses and moaning about having no legs.
One Day Devlin decided it was time for the evil temptation to begin. He had been looking forward to it for such a long time. The legless issue had caused delays but now it was over. It was Temptation Time!
He said to the snake: "It’s time to do what I created you for. You must tempt Angus and Eva with an apple. They have not seen an apple close up, nor smelt the delicious aroma of a lovely red apple, so it should be child’s play. They are such goodies goodies that they have never been close to the apple tree, let alone handled and smelt one – it should be a piece of cake for a snake."
The reluctant snake said: "Great, but how am I going to carry the apple when I have no hands or arms - not even a pouch or pocket, you bloody idiot." Devlin muttered. “More bloody delays.”
Devlin said: "Use your bloody initiative you silly serpent. You can learn to coil your tail round the apple and carry it that way". The reluctant snake hissed and slithered off. He cursed Devlin for being stupid and setting him impossible temptations. He wanted so much to tempt Angus and Eva, but why did he have to jump through hoops to do it?
The Serpent Learns to Carry an Apple
After a week of practice with lots of hissing and swearing and discarded piles of bruised and squashed apples the snake learnt to coil its tail around an apple and to carry it without any damage.
Devlin was very impatient. He said to the snake: “Enough Already! Go and Tempt or I’ll rip your bloody arms off”. He learnt that expression from Aunty Jack who lived at Wollongong, a little further up the NSW coast. Devlin’s evil tantrum meant that he forgot snakes don’t have legs – but no matter, the shouting had its effect.
The snake hissed loudly, poked his tongue out, and gave Devlin the evil snake-eye stare. He then reluctantly slivered and slinked off, to the center of the garden. He climbed the apple tree - he was good a climbing. He chose a lovely ripe, red apple, coiled his tail around it and climbed down. He was careful not to bruise or drop the apple that was red, ripe, firm and juicy – just perfect for tempting.
He found Angus and Eva, and slithered up to them nonchalantly. "What have you got there” they said to the snake. "It’s an apple” the serpent said "from the apple tree." Eva said: "Why have you brought it to us, you know we can’t eat apples because Gavin told us not to eat them. Gavin said it would kill us if we disobeyed him and ate an apple," said Eva with Angus nodding his agreement.
"You won't die" said the serpent. "The birds eat them all the time. Gavin eats them as well, and he’s still kicking. Come on one bite is not going to kill you.”
Angus and Eva saw that the apple looked so nice – all red, shiny and juicy. By now the lovely aroma of the apple had slithered into their nostrils. So Eva took a bite from the apple. It was juicy, lovely and delicious. But, suddenly, funny feelings arose in her. She looked at Angus and saw that he was staring at her.
She thought: “Oh my God I’m starkers!"
She was suddenly overwhelmed with embarrassment. She tossed the apple to Angus in a desperate attempt to free her hands so she cover her private parts.
Angus caught the apple, but he could not understand why Eva was covering up all of a sudden. After all it was a Nudist Camp in the Garden of Eden. He thought she was just playing a game. He took an enormous bite out of the apple and it tasted so delicious, lovely and fresh.
He too looked up, and saw Eva staring at him after eating the apple.
He had the same reaction: “Oh my God I’m starkers” he thought.
He dropped the apple and desperately tried to cover up his private parts with his hands. The apple dropped and whacked the snake on the head. "What the hell is going on," thought the snake.
Nudity had never been a problem in Eden, but the snake and the apple changed all that. The snake was very disappointed at the side-effect of eating apples. He liked to see humans nude. Nudity would give him the edge for future temptations. He had an artist appreciation of the human form.
But both humans had suddenly rushed off to find clothes – how weird, how disappointing, not at all what the snake had intended.
Conclusion and Moral of the Story
So that is the end of the story about the reluctant snake and how he tempted humans to eat apples, and disobey Gavin the Gardener.
The snake was very pleased his temptation had worked so well. But there was one bad apple in the outcome – the side effect, and so his temptation was unfulfilled and imperfect.
The snake was very disappointed with the side effects – humans became embarrassed about being nude and always wore clothes. This disappointed the snake who liked to see humans naked.
So why are snakes reluctant to leave when you see them?
Let me explain
“A reluctant snake is a serpent wishing to repent for unfulfilled temptations”
The snake in the grass hangs about when you see it because it wants to repent to you and reverse the past temptation with its bad side effects. The snake wants humans to strip off and be naked.
The snake is saying with a vibrating forked tongue: “Come on” “Forgive me” “Get your Bloody clothes off Now!”
© 2012 Dr. John Anderson