Read by Will Goodhand
Archaeologists, theologians, historical scholars and general religious freaks have eagerly awaited the release of writings found on a stone tablet recently unearthed near Mount Ararat. What follows is an exact translation plus or minus 20 percent for accuracy from some strange biblical language into Hebrew then into Turkish then into Greek (just for fun) and finally into English. The Stone Tablet’s heading, which was found to use the traditional Times New Roman font in bold, reads:
Morality Laws for Wild Animals Aboard Noah’s Ark
aka: How to Survive 40 days and 40 nights without incurring the Wrath of God.
Beasts of the Ark, it is my God-given privilege as the Lord hath said, that I, Noah, am a Righteous Man. The Lord hath instructed me to shelter you, the clean and unclean animals, aboard mine ark during this time of the Great Flood. The Lord hath sent these waters to wash clear the earth of the wicked and wild ways of man. He hath spared us from death but, between you and me, the Big Guy has been known to change his mind. Let’s not incur the wrath of God by repeating the same wild ways of those humans that are now in the midst of drowning. I have thus reinterpreted God’s Laws for Humans for you wild beasts of mine ark.
Rule #1: Violence
God hath said to the humans, Thou shalt not kill. I, Noah, saith to you wild beasts the same: Do not thou kill other ark residents! I do not want to hear how your hunting instinct accidentally kicked in! There is only one pair of each species on board. God will know when someone is missing.
Also included under the violence heading is a phrase I would like you all to remember, especially at feeding time: Do Not Bite the Hand That Feeds You! Here’s some food for thought: If you bite off my hand, who is going to shovel your poop overboard the next morning?
This brings us thus to our second Rule: Cleanliness
God was displeased with the humans’ unclean thoughts: worshipping idols, coveting their neighbours' spouses. I, Noah, am more concerned with your literal cleanliness. To our avian members: The clean drinking water supply is not a birdbath! And to the rest of you wild beasts: When using the shower stalls, please remember to use a hair trap regardless of whether or not you are in the midst of shedding. We want to keep the drains clog-free for the remainder of our time on board.
Rule #3: Theft
God was aggrieved by the humans’ thievery. By the same token, Noah will be aggrieved by any thievery aboard the ark, be the victim another wild beast or Noah himself. To our elephants: All of the peanuts on board are not yours for the taking! And most importantly, Noah’s wine is for Noah’s imbibing only! Some days, the thought of having that nightcap, wearing my house slippers, is the only thing that gets me through shovelling your crap, feeding your endless stomachs and washing your stinky rumps. Also, please note: It is not humorous to hide your faeces in Noah’s house slippers. God wouldn’t think it was funny and neither do I!
Rule #4: Sexual Immorality
The Lord was displeased with the humans’ lasciviousness. Everybody was having sex with everybody else … Man, I heard those were some good times … Anyway, as I was saying, aboard the ark there will be no interspecies mating. We have horses aboard. We have zebras aboard. Should we disembark this ark with a zorse, somebody is going to be in trouble!
I would also like to take the time now to squelch a rumour that our grain stocks have been supplemented with genetically modified seed. This is completely false! We are a bio-friendly, self-sustaining, non-smoking floating vehicle in which GMs are not welcome. Which reminds me; tampering with smoke detectors is not allowed and must be stopped! Should this continue the giraffes will be placed under continual monitoring. I have been accused of species profiling, but let’s face it, the giraffes are the only ones who can reach the smoke detectors and everyone knows that giraffes are nicotine junkies.
A friendly reminder to our nocturnal guests, please respect the quiet hours between 10 pm and 6 am Central Standard Time, no cackling, crowing, mooing, meowing or hooting or howling will be allowed. This restriction also includes late night tweeting.
And lastly, regardless of how hilarious we all find it, cow tipping is strictly prohibited.
Copyright NOAH. All rights reserved. No passages from Noah’s Ark Morality Laws may be reproduced in any form by any means electronic or mechanical including but not restricted to hieroglyphics, papyrus scrolls or mallet and chisel without the author Noah’s strict consent. When in doubt, please reread Noah’s law #3 entitled: Theft.
© Jody Callahan, 2012
A native of Massachusetts, Jody Callahan has recently moved from a houseboat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Her short plays have been performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. In 2011 she was named a finalist in Glimmer Train Press’s Short-Story Award for New Writers.