The Work of the Sixth Day
A short parable (?) by Marie Noël
Translated from the French by Seung Park
[ As told by Stop-Dog to his little brothers ]
As soon as the Dog was created, he licked the hand of God and God patted him on the head.
“What do you desire, Dog?”
“Oh, Good Lord, I want to live with You, in Heaven, on the doormat maybe.”
“Oh, heavens, no!” God exclaimed. “I have no need of a dog, as I have not yet created thieves.”
“When will You create them, Lord?”
“Never. I am tired. It has been five days that I have worked, and it is time for me to rest. You are done, Dog, you, my best creation, my masterpiece. I had better stop now. It is not good when an artist presumes to try to go beyond his inspiration. If I continue to create, I am very capable of failing in my efforts. Go, Dog! Go quickly and find your place on the Earth. Go and be happy.”
The Dog let out a profound sigh.
“What should I do on the Earth, Lord?”
“Eat, drink, increase and multiply.”
The Dog sighed again, in utter desolation.
“What more do you need?”
“You, Lord, my Master! Will You not come to live on the Earth as well?”
“No!” said God, “No, Dog! I assure you. I cannot at all come to live on Earth just to keep you company. I have too many other cats that need skinning. The heavens, the angels, the stars … I assure you, they’re quite the bother.”
Then the Dog lowered his head and began to leave.
But he came back:
“Oh! Perhaps, Good Lord, just perhaps, there might be a kind of master of your type?”
“No,” replied the Good Lord, “there is none.”
The Dog made himself very small, very low, and then begged with all his heart:
“If you wished to, Good Lord God … you could make it possible …”
“No, it is impossible,” the Good Lord answered, “I have done what I have done. My work is complete. I will never create a being better than you. If I try to create another one today, I swear on my mighty right hand that it will end up a failure.”
“O Good Lord God,” the Dog cried out, “it does not matter how much a failure he is if I can follow him wherever he goes and lie next to him when he goes to sleep.”
Then the Good Lord was astonished at having created a creature so good, and then he said to the Dog:
“Go, may it be done according to your heart.”
And, returning to his workshop, he created Man.
P.S. — Man, naturally, was a failure. The Good Lord had said so. But the Dog is very content!