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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1754516-The-Learning-Tree
by Amay
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1754516
Early lessons under the Learning Tree and the resulting curse for all parents

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         Poor Angel Gabriel walked away from the learning tree rubbing his head. The goose egg growing on his head pushed his halo to one side.“Talk about your blonde moments. Lord, have mercy! I don’t know what you were thinking when you threw together those two.”

         “You called?” The bass voice of the boss shook the ground.

         Gabriel continued his rant, knowing the Boss hadn’t missed a second of this morning’s lessons. “This will be a piece of cake, you said. Just let them name everything and you’ll take it from there, you said. You’re not the one getting clunked in the head by… now what did she say? A coo coo nut? They should have called it an ‘I see stars nut’. Do you see the size of this bump they caused? I swear to….”

         The Boss tsked, tsked, “Now you know that isn’t nice. You shouldn’t swear.”

         “Whatever possessed you to create such beasts? All of these creatures are so beautiful, so peaceful and they love the planet. They don’t make big messes, they aren’t wasteful, and you know this place would keep running forever. Sheer perfection that was the perfect plan, then you decided to go and make something new. A masterpiece to complete your work here, they’ll run the place, you said. We’ll just sit back and watch, you said. I’m still waiting.” Gabriel stood there with his hands on his hips, his brow furrowed and that totally exasperated look on his angelic face.

         “Your day is coming. Sooner than you think if you keep on griping.” The Boss straightened Gabriel’s halo, erasing the painful goose egg with a gentle touch. “Better?”

         Gabriel straightened his robes and his ruffled feathers. “I guess,” he harrumphed. “Well, I’m not going back. They can work on that basket without me. I need a break.”

         “I’ll go check on the children. You know their just young. They’ll figure things out; it’s all worked out in the master plan. I know everything will be just fine.” So the Boss headed toward the learning tree giving Gabriel a much needed respite.

         Little boy Adam and little girl Eve sat underneath the Learning Tree contemplating the lessons from the morning.

         “Adam, I think he was really mad.”

         “Nah, I don’t think so. Gabriel told us to name the stuff in the basket. That’s what we were doing.”

         “Adam, Eve, where are you?” The Boss called.

         “Uh oh, it’s the Boss. I told you we were in trouble.” Eve started looking for a place to hide. She scurried up in the Learning Tree and sat in the exact same spot where she’d clunked Gabriel in the head.

         Adam fondled the remaining items in the basket under the Learning Tree. After all, he didn’t throw the huge nut on Gabriel’s head. All he had to do was to think up names for the stuff in the basket. He didn’t see any reason to hide.

         “Oh, there you are Adam. Where is Eve?”

         “I don’t know.”

         “Adam, she was here a minute ago. I saw her when I was walking across the field.” The Boss's brow furrowed as he stared down at Adam.

         Adam shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know,” with an extended pause, “exactly.”

         The leaves above rustled above them.

         “Eve, get down here right now.” The Boss yelled.

         Eve looked down at the Boss and replied with wide, but not so innocent eyes, “Who, me?”

         “Well, I am down here.  Adam is down here and you are up there. You are the only one that needs to come down.”

         “Now?” Eve replied.

         “Yes, now!”

         “But you’re yelling at me.” She waited; the Boss crossed his arms and tapped his foot. “It’s too scary to come down.”

         Her voice quivered, “I don’t know how to get down.”

         The boss glared up at her with his hands on his hips. “Eve, you got up there, you can get down.”

         “I might fall.”

         “I’ll catch you.” He opened his arms.

         “That’s what Gabriel said before the coo coo nut hit him in the head. He didn’t catch it and then he started yelling at me.”

         “Eve, he was hurt. The, what did you call it? Anyway, when it hit him, it hurt him. Did you see the big knot on his head? He was lucky that his halo blocked the full blow.” The Boss explained.

         Tears welled in little Eve’s eyes. She didn’t mean to hurt Gabriel. “I just wanted to see if the coo coo nut bounced like an acorn. I didn’t know he was right under me.”

         “Come down, Eve. You’re giving me a crick in my neck.”

         “Okay,” and she shimmied down the tree, faster than any squirrel.

         “I thought you said you didn’t know how to get down.” The Boss said incredulously.

         “Uh,” she paused her eyes darting from side to side, “I just remembered,” as she crossed her fingers behind her back.

         “I know you’ve crossed your fingers, young lady.”

         Eve rubbed her toe in the dirt, and hung her head shamefully, “Sorry.”

         “Uh huh, yeah sure,” Adam mumbled under his breath.

         The Boss looked at Adam, and then looked at Eve. A fleeting thought passed, Gabriel might be right. As he rubbed his beard, he wondered if there were some kinks in this plan that he hadn’t thought of.“Well, are you ready for this afternoon’s lessons?”

         “Sure!” Eve beamed at the thoughts of having lessons with the Boss.

         “Not more lessons,” Adam whined. “I’ve finally finished this basket of stuff. I wanted to go play.”

         “Well Eve," the Boss replied, "if Adam doesn’t want to go, I guess it’s just you and me.”

         Eve jumped up and down. She loved being the center of attention. She started running ahead of the Boss. “Where are we going? Is it far? Are we going to see the baby animals? Are we almost there yet? How much longer? Are you sure we’re going the right way? Where are we going?”

         “Eve! Take a breath!”

         Eve stopped short, and started to sniffle and tear up again.

         The Boss stopped. “Now what?”

         “You’re yelling at me again.”

         “I didn’t yell.” The Boss said softly.

         “Yes, you did.”

         “No, I didn’t.” The tension built in the Boss's voice.

         “Yes, you did.”

         “No! I didn’t!” The Boss yelled, flinging his arms into the air.

         “Now you are!” and the tears flooded down Eve’s face. Her cheeks turned red and her chin quivered.

         “Oh, my word! Eve, we’ll never get there at this rate.”

         Eve immediately turned off the tears. “Are we almost there?” She said excitedly with the twinkle back in her eye.

         The Boss sighed, “Almost, but you’re going to have to be quiet.”

         “I will.” Two steps later, “Are we there yet?”


“          Oh, look Boss, it’s the horsey family. There is the horse version one. Adam called him Onehorse. The horse over there with stripes, Adam said is Twohorse, and that horse with the long ears that just keeps saying Hee-haw,…”


         “… he’s hard headed. Then Adam called him Eve. I don’t know why. You know I’m not hard headed. But that horsey is so stubborn. Oh, there is the tiny horse, I wanted to call him Tinyhorse, but Adam said that wasn’t a good name so he called him Threehorse.”

         “Eve. Remember what I told you.”

         “No, I don’t know.”


         “Oh, when?”

         “How about now?”


         A large shadow passed over. The boss knew it was Gabriel checking on his progress. He heard the laughter as Gabriel slowly glided to the ground.

         “That’s enough out of you.” The Boss stared at Gabriel.

         Gabriel put his hand to his chest, looking rather sheepish.“What did I do?”

         “You know. Gabe, I think you might be right. So, you know what we should do. We’ll leave these two to their own devices. They’ll never make it and the rest of the animals will have a grand time here in the garden when they give it all up.”

         “They’ll never make it? You're sure about that?” Gabriel looked suspicious.

         “I’ll just tell them to go on their merry way. They’ve done their job naming things. They need to look for employment elsewhere.” The Boss replied.

         “Boss, whose going to hire them? You only made those two.”

         “Oh, yeah.” He thought about it, rubbing his beard. “I know, I’ll tell them to be fruitful and multiply. They won’t have a clue.”

         “That’s what you said about the rabbits.” Gabriel laughed at the thought of those two little beasts that had driven him crazy for months multiplying. “You know what, Boss, it’s actually quite perfect. I’m surprised you didn’t have it as part of your master plan. Their punishment for being such a pain, their children will be just like them.”

         The Boss rubbed his beard. “I think I have some revisions to make to that master plan Gabe. Why don’t you take Eve here back to the Learning Tree and let her play with Adam for a while.”

         With a wicked twinkle in his eye, Gabriel smiled and joyfully led Eve back to Adam.

         And that is how the curse began. You know the one. Your mother said it every time you did something awful when you were young. “I hope that one day; you’ll have children that act just like you do.” And the curse will continue, because when you have children, you’ll say it too.

© Copyright 2011 Amay (amay5prm at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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