By Burt Raabe
-Here am I.
-What are you doing?
-I am naming things.
-What do you call me, then?
Adam looked at the speaker. The creature stood upright like Adam. However, Adam had smooth brown skin and black curls of hair on his head. This being was hairless and his body had many colored patterns. His skin was not smooth like Adam’s.
-I will call you … Naga.
-I have other names.
-Who would have named you? I have been given the task of naming all creatures. I have dominion.
At that point, Naga changed his form. It became a bird, a deer, a tiger, an elephant, a wolf, a whale, an octopus, a giraffe, a spider, a bat. Then Naga became itself once again but its skin appeared as the cosmos with galaxies, nebulae, suns, stars and planets all being formed and unformed.
-What have I just seen, Naga?
-You are the namer. What did you see?
-I saw everything. All of creation. Are you able to create? I thought only God …
-You saw what you saw. I can’t create anything but I can change form.
-It was pleasing. I want to see it again. I want to name those things.
-They have passed away.
-Passed away? What does that mean? They were just here, just created.
-What you saw was a part of me. I can give you what you saw.
-Then give it.
Naga began to writhe and its head cracked and his arms pulled up through its skin. In a short time, Naga had cast away its old skin and stood with a fresh, new, multicolored skin. The old skin lay on the ground in the shape of Naga, the same shape as Adam.
Adam picked up the old skin. It was like a husk, translucent, yet without the images Adam had seen. Puzzled, yet desperately wanting to see those images again, Adam examined it inside and out.
-There is nothing in here, Naga.
-There is nothing, it is empty.
-How can all of what I saw come from nothing?
Naga was silent.
Burt Raabe has been a Peace Corps Volunteer, welder, and counselor. He is currently a GED tutor. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Peoria Heights, Illinois.
Editor: Dana Gornall