Chapter 25


The next morning after breakfast, Yahweh and Gaia were weeding in the garden. On his hands and knees, Yahweh was oblivious to the dirtiness of his once-clean linen robe. He carefully pulled weeds from around each bean plant and tomato stalk, each flower and herb. Some were difficult to pull out, with their long tap roots sunk deep into the hard, dry soil. Others had long tendrils with firmly rooted segments that popped apart when pulled, leaving much of the plant still in the ground. Yahweh cursed to himself.

"What was that?" Gaia asked sweetly.

"Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all," he said as he continued clawing at the roots.

Flies started buzzing around his head as it got warmer. He slapped one particularly loud, irritating one when it landed in his beard, but it buzzed away unharmed.

"Why we invented those pesky things I'll never know," said Yahweh angrily.

Gaia just smiled to herself and continued working.

"Mother? Father?"

Gaia and Yahweh looked up to see all the children standing just outside the garden fence.

"Yes?" asked Yahweh as he struggled with Gaia's help to stand. He noticed that the other parents were also there, standing behind the children.

"It's time to go," said Jesus.

Yahweh looked perplexed.

"We have a job to do," said Benigna, who stood beside him.

"We're going as well," said Abel, who stood with Christian and Cain.

"But why?" asked Yahweh.

"That's wonderful," said Gaia, as she slipped her hand around Yahweh's waist. "We wish you all the best."

"But Gaia," said Yahweh, still perplexed. "Why are they going?"

"Because they have to, my dear," she said.

He looked at her for a moment, then smiled and said, "Ah yes, of course." Then he turned to the children who were no longer children. "We do wish you the best in all your work. There is indeed much to do."

Satan came forward. "I'd like to stay and help out here if you don't mind."

"Not at all," said Yahweh with a smile, "I'd like that."

Each of the children hugged each of the parents, then turned and walked down the hill towards the road.

"I've got to feed the animals," said Satan as he went to the barn.

Nicholas, Erdmuthe, Adam and Eve came into the garden and stood beside Yahweh and Gaia. They looked down the hill towards their children, who had reached the bend in the road. They turned and waved to their parents on the hill, who in turned waved back to them. Then the children turned the bend and walked out of sight.

"Will we see them again?" asked Erdmuthe.

"Sometime. Someday." replied Adam. "For now, they are needed other places."

"I'm proud of them, you know," said Eve.

"Yes," said Nicholas. "We've left things in good hands."

"I'm glad of that," said Yahweh wearily, "Because these particular hands are tired of weeding and there's still a lot left to do. I swear these weeds come up faster than I can pull them."

"You're not hinting for help, are you?" asked Gaia.

"It would be greatly appreciated," he admitted. "My back and knees are not what they used to be."

So the six of them got down in the dirt and started weeding.

"You know," said Adam, "Those brothers are going to be pretty surprised when they return. How are we going to explain all this?"

"Perhaps the same way I can explain my pregnancy," said Gaia calmly.

Yahweh looked at her in amazement.

"You're pregnant?" he shouted.

"Now, now, dear, remember your blood pressure," she said soothingly.

"But how? When?"

"Just like last time," she replied archly. "It's a miracle!"

Yahweh glowered at her for a moment, then smiled, and everyone laughed and laughed.