Eve looked at the serpent.
‘So you are saying if we eat this apple we’ll get really clever?’
The serpent squirmed a little. He was still getting used to his new marketing role. He was telling the truth, obviously, just not ALL of it.
‘Yes,’ he hissed, nervously. ‘Cleverer.’
‘And no side effects?’ asked Eve, who’d suffered from the first attempts to eat those small chilli peppers they’d found and was now quite wary.
‘Because I’m not spending another evening behind that bush.’
‘Fruit is good for you,’ said the serpent, confidently. ‘An apple a day keeps the Doctor away’.
‘The what?’ Eve was already tiring of this conversation. New things happened all the time here, it was exhausting.
The snake sighed as well as he was able. If she didn’t get on with the apple business there wouldn’t be Doctors, or a whole heap of other stuff, like sex or shopping, or a bonus in his end of year salary. He didn’t feel up to explaining any of this to Eve, who was, frankly, getting on his wick.
‘It’s not important,’ he told her. ‘Just eat the apple.’
Eve looked at him dubiously. ‘But WHY?’ She asked, not for the first time.
‘Jesus, Eve,’ he hissed, forgetting his timeline. ‘Just eat the fricking apple, then you’d be clever and would know all this stuff without me having to explain it all the time.’
Eve sniffed. ‘No need to take that tone, thankyou very much.’
The snake twitched involuntarily. Over the last few days he had tried cajoling, tempting, persuading and threatening. Still the bloody woman had not eaten the apple. It was his one target for this year’s performance review and at this rate he’d never get to use any of the red hot pokers in the currently uninhabited third circle.
‘Eve,’ he said, ‘would you do it for me? Please?’
Eve softened. ‘Well, that’s nice manners,’ she crooned. ‘I had thought my first pet would be a fluffy bear type but as snakes go you’re alright.’
‘Thankyou’ he hissed, as close to a purr as he could manage. ‘So, for me, please will you …’
‘I will,’ she said, and took a big bite out of the apple. As she did, her expression changed. ‘You little shit,’ she said and before the snake could slither away she stomped firmly on his head.
‘Serves you right,’ said Eve to its mangled remains. She chewed thoughtfully. She did feel brighter, lots of things that had previously not made sense were coming into focus. She finished her mouthful.
‘I don’t think I’ll bother Adam with this.’ she decided. ‘It would just muddle his head. I think I’ll keep this wisdom stuff to myself. Let the men think they’re in charge.’
So she did.