He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”
The Woman smiled and said to the serpent, “Not at all. Actually, God did not tell me anything.”
The serpent was puzzled. “Wait, you mean you think you can eat from any tree in the garden?”
“Yes, that’s right,” she said, humming to herself as she sniffed a flower.
“This is too easy,” murmured the serpent. “Well then, have your tried the fruit from this tree here in the center? It is the best in the garden. In fact, it will make you smarter than your husband, as smart as God! You really need to experience it for yourself.”
The Woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.
She half-reached an arm towards it…
Then she shook her head regretfully. “No, I better not!”
“What?! Why not?” whined the serpent, confused. ” I thought you could eat whatever you want.”
The Woman laughed at the comical expression on the creature’s face. “Of course I can, you silly serpent. But the Man can’t.” And with that, she started to wander away from the tree.
“This can’t be happening,” muttered the serpent to itself. “What could she possibly mean?” It hurriedly slithered after her.
“Excuse me,” it said as it caught up to her. “Why can’t the Man eat from the tree even if you can? And why would that stop you from even tasting it?”
The Woman seemed surprised the serpent was still pursuing the conversation, but smiled indulgently and sat down next to it. She leaned over conspiratorially and whispered, “Can I tell you a secret?”
The serpent nodded its head eagerly, forked tongue flickering in and out.
Her eyes glittered as she began her tale, but her voice was strangely husky.
“Well,” she said, “you know that the Man was created first. At first I was in awe of him. He was so strong, and he knew so much about the garden and all the animals. I began to wish I was more like him, because it seemed like he could do anything!”
She paused, and the serpent leaned forward eagerly. Maybe this was the opening he needed!
[Stay tuned for Part II]