A Modern-Day Adaption of the Garden of Eden
A father of two-year-old twins—a girl named Eve and a boy named Adam—spreads a big soft blanket out in the backyard. The sun is shining, and a cool breeze is blowing, making the weather absolutely perfect. Onto the blanket, he puts all the children’s favorite toys and all of their favorite things to eat. In addition, he puts a big plate of frosted sugar cookies in the middle of the blanket.
Then he goes into the house and brings Eve and Adam outside and sits them on the blanket. He hugs them and tells them, “Since I love you so much, kids, I’ve given you all your favorite toys and all your favorite snacks so you can be happy playing here all day. You can play with anything on the blanket and eat anything, except that big plate of cookies.” He points out the big plate of cookies and brings the children over to get a good look at the cookies. “Now, kids, do not eat any of these cookies, not even one bite because if you do, I’ll have to kill you.” He gives each child one last hug and kisses them both on the head and goes in the house to do some chores.
A half hour later, he looks out the window, and neither Eve nor Adam are on the blanket, and two sugar cookies are missing from the plate. He goes outside and calls to his children. They come sheepish out of the bushes with frosting smeared on their faces. The father asks Eve and Adam, “Did you eat any of the cookies?”
Adam points vehemently at his sister. “Eve ate one first!”
The father turns to his young daughter. “Eve, did you eat a cookie?”
Eve doesn’t meet her father’s eyes, but nods. “The mean kid from next door came over and told me that the cookies were really, really good, and if I ate one, you wouldn’t kill me, so I ate one and gave one to Adam.”
Learning of his children’s failure to obey the one rule he’d given them, the father grabs Eve and Adam by the hair and drags them into the house. He gets out his belt and beats both of them mercilessly. Then he takes the two crying children and puts them in a dank, dusty, cold room whose floor is covered in sharp spikes. “Kids, I love you, so I really wanted you to play on that nice blanket with that nice food all day, but because you disobeyed me, you will now need to spend the rest of the day in here. Rather than being able to eat all that nice food I made for you, if you want anything to eat, you’ll have to make it yourselves.” There are several cardboard books taped shut with packing tape in the corner of the room. “There are ingredients for food in those boxes.”
He goes to shut the door, and both two-year-olds cry out in alarm. “Daddy, please, don’t leave us here.”
He turns to them. “Don’t cry. I really wanted you to be on that nice blanket, but you couldn’t obey. It’s all your fault that you’re in this horrible room. I’ll be watching and listening to you all day. Since I love you, if you spend the day on your knees admitting what terrible, disobedient children you are and praising what a wonderful father I am, at the end of the day I’ll let you out and take you with me to a really nice place, even better than the blanket was. You will be able to live there with me telling me how wonderful I am forever. However, if you don’t admit that this is all your fault or don’t tell me how absolutely wonderful I am, I will lock you in this room forever, send scorching hot flames into here, and you’ll burn in agony forever. Now I love you, so I don’t want to be forced to torture you for eternity. I’d really like you to come to the nice place with me and tell me how wonderful I am, but if you won’t obey me this time, it will be all your fault that you have to stay in this hellish room forever.” He then closes the door. He then goes to his peephole to spend the entire day watching the kids to make sure that they are admitting how horrible they are and how wonderful he is.
Isn’t this the best, kindest father you’ve ever heard of? There has never been a better father than this in the history of the world. He is the very definition of a good and just parent.
Disclaimer: I’m well aware that two-year-olds can’t speak in full sentences like Adam and Eve do in this fable, but since this a fable, having two-year-olds speaking in full sentences is no less realistic than talking snakes.