The Professor Explains Creation (Frag. 4)

The Book of the Story

"And secondly, this "pattern" you're finding only applies to the first few verses of the chapter. The next motif is the planting of a garden, while the first chapter goes on to talk about the creation of the firmament…

"I know, and…"

"Please let me finish, Miss Simple. While there may be a handful of similarities in the first few verses, the rest of the two chapters go their separate ways. Do you really think you have spotted something which has eluded scholars for thousands of years?"

She glared at him. Her cheeks were burning red.

He hated to pull rank like this, but she needed some reality contact.

"Well? Do you?"

Still no answer. He thought he caught a glimmer of moistness in her eyes.

He sighed.

"I'll make a deal with you. I will go through the rest of the chapter with you, point by point. But you must agree to keep an open mind, as well. When your theory breaks down, you must be willing to admit it. You have done a very good job of building this theory, on very slim evidence. I'm really quite impressed. There's no need feel bad if it doesn't pan out."

He smiled, sympathetically. "Deal?"

He thought she relaxed a little.

"Please?" he said.

She sniffed, and gave an almost imperceptible nod.

"Good. Now—as I said, the first chapter goes on to take up the creation of the firmament, which was the space that later became the sky—a space for the creation, separate from the chaos. Do you have a theory about how the second chapter parallels the creation of the sky?"

She sniffed again, and flashed an apologetic smile.

"The Garden?"

"Ah, well, that is the next thing created, but how, exactly, is a garden supposed to be like the sky?"

She put the end of her pencil into her mouth, made a face and pulled it out again. She contemplated the tip where the eraser used to be.

"Well, I thought, they're both spaces, like you said—spaces separate from the chaos. I mean, back then, a garden was walled off from the desert, from the dryness and wildness, it was a safe place for life to be—like the firmament was…"

There seemed to be no end to the young woman's ingenuity.

"Fine. I'll give you the garden. And…"

He stuck up a hand.

"…before you say it, I'll give you the trees as well, which could parallel the creation of plants in the first chapter. But after that, in the first chapter, we come to the fourth day of creation, and the sun, moon, and stars. In the second chapter, we have a description of four rivers. How, pray tell, can you connect those?"

"You are mad at me."

"No, I'm not."

"Really?"

"If I say I am not angry, Miss. Simple, then I am…not…angry."

She smiled.

"Okay."

"The rivers, Miss. Simple. Do you have a theory about the rivers?"