Okay, I feel better. I cracked open my copy of James Patrick Kelly‘s latest collection, The Wreck of the Godspeed, and got a few laughs from “Serpent.” Told from the viewpoint of the serpent in the Garden, it’s worth reading (or listening to) just for the jokes. Like all good jokes, the story has plenty to say, raising questions about the demands of faith, and doubts about the Gardener’s power, knowledge, and benevolence. But then, it’s the Serpent telling you this story. Can you believe him?
I could swear I’ve read at least one other story that gets you rooting for the Serpent, but I can’t think of it right now. Like most such stories, this one shows how even supposed villains think they have good intentions. This Serpent speaks highly of the wonderful accomplishments that have come since the beginning of history. And naturally he paints the Gardener as a malign adversary. Gosh, maybe the story in the Bible is wrong. Ya think?
Give in to temptation.