Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. They ate food food and drank water, but there was one that God said, “This isn't good for you. It would be good if you didn't drink from it.

Everything was in order: predictable seasons followed one on the other, food was abundant, enough to support hundreds of people so Adam and Eve made a few and they grew into happy children.

Then one day while they idled about, they decided to take just a sip from the spring — just a sip. What could it hurt? They didn't want the kids to know, so told them they were just going to pick some apples, but kids, being human, sneaked along behind them so they saw when Eve sipped and then said “Holy cow! This is almost better than sex!" No man could take anyone's word for that, so Adam cupped his hand and swallowed. And thus humanity learned of Vanilla Milkshake.

Well, food was good and water still hard to beat on a hot day, but of course they went back now and then. It wasn't long before they noticed that the kids weren't eating as much food and water as they used to. They weren't hanging around at home as much either.

“What are you guys doing all day? Eve wanted to know.

“Oh, you know, just hanging out, exploring new trails and stuff,” they said, but in a way that made Eve's eyebrows want to go up, an experience she never had before. It didn't take long to find they'd worn a new trail to the Milkshake Spring, and not much longer before they started getting fat and saying, “You're not the boss of me” when Adam and Eve pressed the issue.

The seasons rolled on, and on, and Adam and Eve had a large family and got old. They began to notice things that were different from when they were younger. For one thing, there were multiple trails heading down to the Vanillaville. They noticed too that when they used to eat food and drink water, plants grew well where they went to the bathroom, but where the kids went to the bathroom, the plants died.

Generations later, Eden lost more plants but still grew enough food and water to support maybe 50 people. But this didn't concern their progeny because Vanilla Milkshakes may not be as healthy, but they work good enough to grow more kids, and so they did. More of Eden died, more people called it Progress, and, as if God was in agreement, they found a few more Milkshake springs, one of Chocolate, and another of Strawberry. Needless to say, there were trails everywhere now, and the Eden that God made looked like a dog with mange, like the hillsides they logged every few decades.

Now Eden made enough food to feed a few, and Eden was dying at a rapid rate. That didn't worry them much, not even when the milkshake springs stopped flowing because they made straws to put in them, and pumps to suck.

“That takes know-how. That takes technology,” their leaders said. “There is something special about Humans.” Most of them believed it, even when they began to hear a gurgling sound coming from the bottom of the straws.

There were some worrywarts who said that this could be the end of Eden, and maybe the end of humans too. But they went on electing leaders who told them comforting things, such as that they would make longer straws, and more powerful suckers, that there are always worrywarts who think that scientific evidence means something, but intelligent people like us don't believe in it.

JACK SCHARBACH

Naselle

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