Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dangers in Eden

It's around noon on a beautifully sunny Saturday, and I've been sitting outside on a comfortable chair and reading yet another superb book by Richard Dawkins.

As you can see from this image of the book in question, resting on my knees, along with an aesthetic view of my feet, I'm wearing shoes. Half an hour ago, this was not the case. I was wearing the comfortable sandals I bought in England last year—see End of English excursion [display]—when the weather was so hot.

I was so wrapped up in my reading that I hardly noticed the presence of a little beast as it slid over the toes of my left foot. As it wriggled away in the clover, I jumped up, grabbed a pair of long-handled clippers, and cut the snake in two.

It's a small viper, only 28 cm long and no thicker than a pencil. I spent a while convincing myself that I hadn't been bitten. I guess I'm more worried for Sophia than for me, because she would be capable of plunging at such a creature, just as she does with lizards.

Here are a few humorous sentences from the page of River out of Eden that I was reading when the reptile arrived:

It is as though cheetahs had been designed by one deity and antelopes by a rival deity. Alternatively, if there is only one Creator who made the tiger and the lamb, the cheetah and the gazelle, what is He playing at? Is He a sadist who enjoys spectator blood sports? Is He trying to avoid overpopulation in the mammals of Africa? Is He maneuvering to maximize David Attenborough's television ratings?

And notice the image on the dust jacket of the Dawkins book:

Spooky, no? One obvious explanation is that God sent this serpent to warn me of the dangers of reading Dawkins. If this were the case, then my cutting the beast in two with garden clippers has surely got me into the bad books of the Creator of tigers and lambs... not to mention the Dalai Lama.

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