(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
February 17, 2018)
It is only because of King’s James’ personal dislike for dogs that nobody knows about Canis and Chien – for no accounts of our parents can ever be complete without mentioning them.
When Adam and Eve were exiled; Canis and Chien – the first dog couple followed them, trailing not far behind them. When out of paradise, the dogs didn’t look back longingly to paradise. They sat there oblivious as Gabriel made prophecies about future. And seeing Adam and Eve troubled by the knowledge of sufferings to come to them and their children, Gabriel pointed towards the two dogs sitting nearby looking at the setting sun and told them that they might suffer but, unless they chose to, they won’t have to suffer alone.
While Adam listened to Gabriel who continued on with his prophecies, Eve looked at the two animals and wondered why must they leave paradise. They who didn’t sin, couldn’t sin – they, whose place was paradise, why should they follow them? What had she or her husband done for them? Nothing. They had always found their own food like any other animal in paradise and food was available in plenty there. And yet …
She remembered how she first met them – she was in the garden on day enjoying the aroma of flowers when she saw them – only puppies back then, playing on the other side of stream. She found them adorable – but only looked at them from a distance in the beginning – as Chien took Cannis’ ear in her mouth and pretend to bite while Cannis tried to run away with a stick. Enchanted by their beauty and with some daring she moved closer and, though at first, they were scared but she extended her hand towards them – imploring for trust. Cannis trusted quickly and started to move towards her but Chien was still suspicious and barked trying to warn Cannis- Eve laughed in esctasy at the little sounds the bitch created and implored some more “please come” she said “pretty please” and Chien too moved towards her. And Eve ran her hands on both their bodies. They ran, jumped around her their tail wagging and Eve, still filling Paradise with her mirthful laughter played with them. They threw themselves in their back and chewed at her fingers.
When she had had her fill, Eve stood up and started to leave and needless to say they followed her to their sheltar, and everywhere else in all these years – to the gates of Paradise and out of it and she knew, if need be, they would follow them to hell too.
Adam too had liked them. Though it was only years after their exiled that he could tell why. “They are somehow better than us. We may have eaten from tree of knowledge, but they are the ones who seem to have gained wisdom.” Sometimes he envied them – for they smelled of heavens while he and Eve were already smelling of earthly sweats. Though the envy was of a friendly sort. He liked them. They helped Adam in hunting for food in exile. And just how, through their innocent playfulness, they created a sort of heaven wherever they were. Adam was grateful for that. Till now he had dealt with God and His servants and his Eve – his love, but, now for the first time, he had found in these beasts something as soothing as love without its demands – friendship.