1 In the desert, there was a garden of roses left to the care of a snake.
2 The garden, which was filled with splendor and delight, kept the snake at bay from the rest of the kingdoms.
3 The desert that surrounded the garden, was vast and void of all life, nothing lived in the desert except the garden and nothing could be seen for miles and miles.
4 The snake rejoiced every day in the garden giving thanks to The Lord God who blessed him with such a gift.
5 He kept the flowers beautiful and pristine and manifested them into all colors of the rainbow.
6 In each morning the snake would look up to the sky and sing, ‘Praise be to you my Lord, for peace and praise is what you made me and you are worthy of peace and praise.’
7 And as the snake sang his praises to The Lord God the garden filled with splendor and nourished the roses into a beauty that was intoxicating.
8 Captivated by the wonder of the garden, the snake curled up in to a ball and then slept dreaming of how grateful he was to sit beneath The Lord God, in the garden that was his.
9 This was the life of the snake, which endured an eternity beneath The Lord God, within the garden.
10 Then one day while the snake was singing his praises to The Lord God, a band of men and women came upon the garden, that sat in an ocean of nothing.
11 The snake, curious to what seemed to be a miracle, as nothing has ever entered the garden before, sat quietly in the back to see what would happen.
12 One man, who was exceedingly large and seemed to be the leader, first entered the garden looked at the roses and took a deep breath.
13 As the man exhaled, he said, ‘What place is this that can live in a sea of death and still be so full of life?
14 Come my friends and bear witness to this miracle that our god has blessed us with’.
15 The snake, perplexed as to why the man would consider the garden a blessing to him and his people, sat patiently in the back of the garden and remained still.
16 As the men and women entered the garden, they spoke of its splendor and praised the roses for their color and beauty.
17 After a long while one of the men spoke to the leader and his wife in counsel.
18 He said, ‘do you not notice how we have been here for many hours and yet we are not hungry or thirsty?’
19 And the leader replied, ‘we were just discussing the fact and came upon the decision to bring our children.’
20 The man who approached the leader agreed and went back to the place where he and his wife were settled.
21 And as the men and women became more familiar with the garden, they realized that there was no water or food, but yet they were not thirsty or hungry.
22 To some, this was a sign that they went to paradise, to others it was a calling to raise their families in a place where they will not need.
23 The garden was large, so large in fact, the snake could sing his praises to The Lord God every day before his evening rest and the men and women were not aware.
24 After a few weeks or so, the men and women became concerned, as they wanted to bring their children to the garden but could not avail themselves to leave.
25 The roses were so beautiful they intoxicated all those who smelled them and the splendor of the garden was so captivating that no one could leave it to make the journey across the void.
26 And for many days, nights, weeks, and months, the men and women talked about bringing their families to live with them in the garden and yet nobody ever left the garden to do so.
27 Then one day while some of the men and women were looking for a way to escape the wonder of the garden, they came upon the snake while he was singing his praises to The Lord God.
28 The men and women became anxious with the presence of the snake, as they did not understand how this snake could have survived the journey across the vast wasteland.
29 As the men and women approached, the snake stopped his song to The Lord God and addressed the people before him.
30 The snake said, ‘ask of me and I will tell you’.
31 The men and women stopped dead in their tracks and quivered, as they have never seen such a sight as a snake who could speak.
32 Then one of the men spoke loudly around him, ‘show yourself or I will have this snake eat you’.
33 The snake, mildly humored by such a response, resumed his praises to The Lord God.
34 The men and women were stunned speechless, as the snake did not seem alarmed to their presence and had started to sing.
35 Frightened by the snake’s miracle, the men and women backed away from the snake slowly and went to the place where the leader had settled.
36 After the men and women finished explaining to the leader what they had seen, the leader said with absolution, ‘Absurd, there is no such thing as a talking snake let alone a snake that can sing.
37 The splendor of this garden has turned you all mad.’
38 But the group of men and women were assertive in their claims and did not waiver in their convictions.
39 Eventually, the leader agreed to travel with them to the place where the snake was found, as a way to end the conversation.
40 When the leader came upon the snake, he witnessed what the others had told him.
41 Before him was a snake that was about 5 feet in length and 4 inches in diameter.
42 The snake was tan like the desert sand but had markings which made him distinguished against its background.
43 The leader was aghast with what he saw, the snake was coiled up and indeed singing to the sky.
44 The leader repeated aloud what the snake was saying, as to reassure himself that the snake was not a mirage.
45 As the leader repeated the snake, he said aloud, ‘Praise be to you my Lord, for peace and praise is what you made me and you are worthy of peace and praise.’
46 And while the leader spoke alongside the snake, as it sang, he watched the garden rejuvenate, the flowers bloom and felt the intoxication of splendor overcome his body; it was truly a miracle.
47 After the snake had finished his praises to The Lord God and stopped singing, the man became furious with the snake, as he felt his prisoner.
48 The snake noted the man’s anger and said to him, ‘ask of me and I will tell you’.
49 Baffled, the man exclaimed, ‘what is that supposed to mean!?’
50 The snake then politely said, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
51 You have travelled across a vast sea of death to find this paradise in the void, what are you seeking?’
52 Angered by what the man considered the snakes arrogance, the man rebuked, ‘what?!’
53 And the snake said again, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
54 You have travelled across a vast sea of death to find this paradise in the void, what are you seeking?’
55 Taken back by the snake, the leader was speechless and returned to the place where he and his people settled.
56 Upon their return the leader and his people discussed the snake and what action was to be taken.
57 One woman brashly said, ‘It’s not right!
58 We shouldn’t have to raise our children with this snake around, it’s disgusting.’
59 Another man said, ‘This snake is vermin and we should put an end to it now so we do not have to deal with it later!’
60 And another woman exclaimed, ‘that snake is all alone and does not have a family, let it die off and we will be rid of it.’
61 Decided with his people, the leader set off to where the snake resided.
62 When he found the snake, he noted it was up to his old tricks of singing to the sky.
63 Being somewhat decent, the man let the snake finish his song and then spoke.
64 He said, ‘Snake, why are you here in this garden?
65 How did you come to this place?
66 Where did you come from?’
67 The snake, enlighten by the song to The Lord God, replied, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.’
68 ‘The Lord is my treasure and has made me into this garden so that I may praise him with song.’
69 As he finished speaking, one of the women that heard the snake shouted out loud, ‘Blasphemy, how dare you speak of god you serpent.’
70 The snake did not respond to her comment, as she did not ask of him as the man did and was not interested in conversing.
71 The woman then sneezed at the snake and coughed at him and screamed, ‘Go away!’
72 The leader then conceded to control the people, as they grew increasingly angry at the snake, for violating what seemed to be their interpretation of right and wrong.
73 After the people calmed down, the leader turned to the snake and noticed his amusement with the people’s reaction.
74 The man said, ‘Snake, you must leave this garden.
75 You have made my people upset and they are not comfortable with your presence.’
76 And although the man’s tone was serious, the snake did not reply and continued to sit in silent amusement before him.
77 Curiously, the man asked, ‘Snake do you understand what I just said?’
78 The snake then replied, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
79 I understood what you just said.’
80 After a long pause, the leader became furious with the snake and what he considered a mocking of him.
81 The man then said,’ Snake I am not asking you to leave, I’m telling you to leave.’
82 The snake’s expression denoted his understanding but he did not reply to the man, as he was not asked to.
83 As the man and the snake both stared at each other in silence, tensions grew to a point of verdict.
84 The leader of the people then barked at the snake, ‘what is your problem?!’
85 The snake calmly replied, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
86 I do not have a problem.’
87 The leader then became enraged, along with his people, at what he considered contempt to authority.
88 He then blurted to the snake, ‘That is not what I meant,
89 what I meant to say is, why are you still here?’
90 The snake smiled, as he’s never held a conversation with anyone in the garden before and has started to enjoy the leader’s interaction.
91 The snake merrily replied, ‘The Lord God has made me into this garden, I sing his praises in the morning and sleep through the evening.
92 I cannot leave this garden; this is where I am made to be.’
93 The man could not believe the snake’s arrogance and shouted, ‘that was not a question you stupid snake, get out of here, be gone!’
94 As the snake took in all of the people and was entertained by the leader’s behavior, he became elated and started to sing to The Lord God; as he felt the people as a blessing.
95 The man, being somewhat decent, did not want to interrupt the snake’s song to The Lord God, so he left with his people and vowed to return the next day to rid the garden of the snake.
96 In the morning, after the snake had finished his song to The Lord God, the leader and his people resumed their dialog with the snake.
97 The man, now with an understanding on how to engage the snake, queried, ‘will you leave this garden now so that my people are not uncomfortable by your presence?’
98 The snake, delighted to see the leader and his people again, replied, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
99 I cannot leave this place for this is where I am made to be.’
100 Not wanting to touch the snake, the man asked, ‘are you not physically able to move?
101 Are you injured and cannot leave?
102 Do you need help?’
103 The snake replied, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
104 I am able to move.
105 I am not injured.
106 I do not need help, thank you for asking.’
107 The man, now frustrated again, said and then said ‘snake, would you like me to remove you from this garden or do you want to leave on your own?’
108 The snake curious to the man’s resolve said, ‘you have asked of me, so I will tell you.
109 I would not like you to remove me from this garden, as this is where I am made to be.
110 I do not want to leave on my own, as I cannot leave the garden.
111 This is where I am made to be.’
112 The snake now becoming jubilant, has started to rejoice the man’s conversation.
113 And just before the snake could start his song of praise to The Lord God, the man grabbed the snake and hurled him into the desert, far outside the garden’s border.
114 Now removed from the wonder of the garden, the snake started to become angry with the man and his people.
115 As the snake circled the garden, he noticed the flowers starting to die and the leaves starting to wilt.
116 Saddened by the dismay that has transpired, the snake followed the path made by the men and women back to their village.
117 When the night came and the village was asleep, the snake snuck into all the houses and ate up all the children.
118 Now satisfied, the snake went about his way to the next village and the next and so on and so on.
119 In the morning, when the men and women in the garden awoke, the splendor was gone and the roses were dead.
120 After a short while, of what seemed like waking from a dream, the men and women journeyed back to their village from whence they came.
121 Upon arrival they were met by the sobs of their mid-wives, sisters, and brothers.
122 When the leader found out what had happened, he went back to the garden to kill the snake, but the garden was gone.
1 There is a king who sat upon a large thrown that ruled over all the kingdoms.
2 One day, the king summoned his servant and said, “Servant I am pleased.
3 Go down to the people and bless them with gold, so that they rejoice and praise my name.”
4 The Lord’s servant went to whom the Lord had spoken and blessed them with the gold from the Lord’s throne.
5 The people whom received the gold rejoiced and sang the Lord’s name in praise and were blessed.
6 The Lord’s servant then returned to the Lord upon the large throne, which ruled over all the kingdoms and reported what had happened.
7 He said, “My Lord, I am humble and grateful to be your servant, you are my treasure.
8 The people took the gold upon them with great pride and rejoice and praised your name with prayer and song.”
9 The Lord then said, “I am pleased, thank you for doing what I had asked of you.
10 Now go back down to the people and find those who did not receive gold and give them a blessing of silver, so that they be praised and rejoice my name.”
11 The Lord’s servant acknowledged the request and went down to the people to bless those without gold, the silver the Lord had commanded.
12 When the Lord’s servant started the blessing of silver, upon those who did not receive gold, he was interrupted by a man who claimed to be the leader of those with gold.
13 The man said, “Do not give these people silver, for it will take from the value of our gold.”
14 The Lord’s servant was stunned by the man’s stern tone and did not know quite what to do.
15 Thinking there was some mistake, he continued blessing those without gold, the blessing of silver from the Lord’s throne.
16 He was then interrupted again by the man with gold and this time with his following.
17 The man with gold exclaimed, “Do not give those people silver for, it will take from the value of our gold.
18 You must leave here now and never return!”
19 The Lord’s servant saw the vast number of his following and returned to the Lord to report what had happened.
20 When the Lord’s servant reached the king who sat upon the large throne that ruled over all the kingdoms the Lord spoke, “Why have you returned with the silver I had asked you to give the people who did not receive gold?”
21 The Lord’s servant humbly replied, “My Lord, you are my treasure and I am so grateful to be your servant.
22 Please do not be disappointed in me.
23 I went to the people without gold and started to bless them with the silver you commanded; so that they may rejoice and praise your name.
24 Before they could receive your blessing, I was confronted by a man who claimed to be the leader of those who received gold.
25 He said to me, ‘Do not give these people silver, for it will take from the value of our gold.’
26 And told me to leave at once and never to return.
27 The Lord looked at his servant, and with a stern look of disappointment and disapproval he said, “Go back to the people who received the gold and take it away so that they have nothing.
28 And to those who were to receive the blessing of silver, take to them a blessing
of platinum to punish the greed of those who had gold.
29 Do this now, so that I may be pleased!”
30 The Lord’s servant was astonished by the Lord’s anger and left hastily in order to avoid his wrath.