Not Quite Bible Stories –
By Iris Slocombe
“First Dog’s Story of Creation”
The two Labs, Cocoa the brown female, Shadow the male, were lazing in the hot sun.
“Tell me a story, please,” asked Shadow.
“My favorite, please.. First Dog’s Story of Creation.”
Cocoa sighed. “I’ve told you that one so often – you ought to know it by heart.”
“Oh! Please, Please, just once more,” Shadow whined.
“Oh, all right.” Cocoa sounded a little grumpy.
“Long, long ago, when the world was new. God made everything. Last of all he made a human being, First man. God looked around as though something was not quite right.
“You need a companion, It’s not good to be alone.”
God told First man to call all the animals together, and to choose one to be his companion. First man looked at them, and shook his head. Then First dog came. God knew what she wanted, and stooped to rub her tummy. First dog sat up and thumped her tail on the ground.
“Me, me,” she barked. “Choose me, I’d be perfect.” At that time all the animals could think in words and speak plainly, just as we do.
“Well, No,” said God, “You’re not exactly what I had in mind.”
“But I would be perfect for him,” argued First dog, who wasn’t afraid of talking back to God. “I would take care of him and tell him when strangers were around, and play with him, and go with him for walks. I would help in every way I could, especially if he was going hunting”
“Excuse me, First Dog?” said God. “What part of ‘NO’ don’t you understand?” She stood up, her head hanging down and her tail drooping between her legs, and walked away slowly. She stayed close enough to see what would happen next. God asked First man to lie down for a nap. Then, while the man was asleep, God did what seemed like magic, he pulled out a couple of his ribs and fashioned a “Thing” and the thing became a human, almost like the First man. First dog sniffed it, and at once knew it was female. Then First man woke up and saw the Thing God had made, and he was unhappy about it.
Shadow interrupted Cocoa. “I thought you said God doesn’t do magic, Cocoa.”
“He doesn’t, He does miracles, but this is the way my mother used to tell the story. Please don’t interrupt me again, Shadow.”
God said, “Now, there are a couple of rules you two must keep, or something not for your good will happen to you. The first thing is, when you are hungry, you can have all you want to eat that grows in the garden, except you must Not touch the fruit of that tall tree close by.”
“Is that all?” asked First man.
“No,” said God. “I must give you a name. I want you to be called
“What about that Thing you made for me?” asked Adam.
“Her name is Eve,” said God. First dog growled and asked, “What about me?”
“Your name already is ‘First Dog’,” said God. “It’s like mine, only spelled backwards. You don’t need any other name, though at times you will be given different names.”
“OK,” said First dog agreeably. “What happens now?”
“You can go anywhere inside the garden, but not outside, and you must be good and guard Adam and Eve, and protect them if anything bad tries to get at them.”
God left them, as it was evening, and the sun had almost set and went wherever he lives at night.
Soon First dog heard it, a slithery sound under the bushes. She saw it.
It was something long and thin wriggling along the ground. She sniffed, and bristled with alarm.
Adam and Eve had made for themselves a nest out of branches and dry grass, and were curled up fast asleep together. Eve woke on hearing the sound. The wriggly thing started talking to her. Back then, every creature spoke the same language.
“Aren’t you hungry?” it asked
“Yes, I am, but I don’t want to wake Adam,” Said Eve.
“You don’t need to. Look there’s a tall tree with beautiful fruit right close to you. You could pick and eat almost without having to move.”
“No,” said Eve. “We aren’t allowed to eat that fruit. God said we can eat of any fruit in the garden but NOT from that tree.”
“Nonsense,” scoffed the creature. ”God eats it all the time. He fears you might become like Him. Go on, you don’t need to be afraid. Be sure to give some to Adam.”
First dog growled, but it was too late. Eve had already broken off two fruits and bitten into one herself.
“Isn’t it good?” asked the wriggly thing.
“Delicious,” said Eve, as she turned to where Adam was sleeping. “Adam, wake up. I’ve brought our breakfast.” She handed the second fruit to him and he bit it at once, for he discovered he was very hungry.
“Mm, good,” he said, and then he stared at Eve. ” Oh, Eve,” “God’s made a mistake.” “Look, you are quite different from me.”
“Of course I am,” said Eve, “I’m female, we are different from males.” Adam heard God calling him.
“Goodness, Eve, we can’t let God see us like this, he’ll know he has made a mistake. Quick, let’s pick some leaves and cover ourselves.” Adam broke off a huge leaf off a banana tree. Eve did the same.
“What in the world do you two think you are doing?” asked God.
“Well” said Adam, “We looked at each other and saw we were different, and felt embarrassed about it, so we thought we should cover ourselves before anyone saw us, especially You, in case you’d made a mistake!”
“I never make mistakes. Who told you were different?” asked God. “Have you done what I asked you not to do?” Adam blushed and Eve started giggling.
“God,” he said, “it wasn’t my fault.” She, that Thing you made for me, she gave me some of it to eat without telling me what it was.” God looked at Eve very sternly. “Why have you done this?” He asked.
“It wasn’t my fault, either,” she replied quickly. “That wriggly thing over there said it would be alright and that nothing bad would happen if I ate the fruit.”
God replied. “That wriggly thing’s name is Snake. Now I will have to do something that I never wanted to do. I’ll have to think about how best to protect you and all my creation.” God sighed and went to the other side of the garden where he killed First Lamb, to get its skin, to make coverings for First Man and First Woman. Just then, First Dog came along and grinned up at God cheerfully, and very sassily said:
“Boy, did you ever blow it! You would have done much better to have listened to me, and let me be First Man’s companion. I would have been absolutely obedient, and I couldn’t have tasted the fruit, because I can’t climb trees. And if that snake had come along, I wouldn’t have talked to it, I would have killed it!” she boasted. Never trust anything with less than two or more than four legs, I always say. That First man you made is pretty pathetic,” she continued. “He couldn’t even tell Eve was female without actually looking at her. We dogs can tell at once with a quick sniff.”
God loved His cheeky First dog. “Maybe, but you can be Man’s best friend. He will still need you as a helper when hunting and you can carry things for him, and care for his little ones, and warn him of danger. You are a good female, First dog, and if you are very good, the humans will choose you themselves, and some will treat you as if you were a human. Some of them will love you as if you were their own children.”
First Dog wasn’t through yet. “Please, God, please, can I still be able to talk to Adam and First Woman?” she begged, rolling again on her back to be petted. God obliged her and smiled.
“You will always be able to talk, you can learn to bark in lots of different ways that mean different things. They’ll understand you by the way you wag your tail, the look in your eyes, and rolling on your back to be petted. You’ll just have to be patient with humans because they aren’t quite as smart as you are. You can train them to throw things for you, like sticks, balls, and even Frisbees. Go and tell all the animals. This is their own story of Creation.
“Thank you, Cocoa,” said Shadow, and curled down for a snooze beside Cocoa. Listening to a long story always made him feel tired and hungry, and before going into doggie REM sleep he quickly grabbed Cocoa’s last biscuit in appreciation for her story.
(Note: Iris Ruth Slocombe is a longtime Lakeside resident and a former pastor of the Anglican Church in Riberas del Pilar.)