Read CHAPTER II of Christmas Outside of Eden, free online book, by Coningsby Dawson, on ReadCentral.com.

It was very long ago at the beginning of all wonders.  Sun, moon and stars were new; they wandered about in the clouds uncertainly, calling to one another like ships in a fog.  It was the same on earth; neither trees, nor rivers, nor animals were quite sure why they had been created or what was expected of them.  They were terribly afraid of doing wrong and they had good reason, for the Man and Woman had done wrong and had been locked out of Eden.

That had happened in April, when the world was three months old.  Up to that time everything had gone very well.  No one had known what fear was.  No one had guessed that anything existed outside the walls of Eden or that there was such a thing as wrong-doing.  Animals, trees and rivers had lived together with the Man and the Woman in the high-walled garden as a happy family.  If they had wanted to know anything, they had asked the Man; he had always given them answers, even though he had to invent them.  They had never dreamt of doubting him not even the Woman.  The reason for this had been God.

Every afternoon God had come stepping down from the sky to walk with the Man through the sun-spangled shadows of the grassy paths.  They had heard the kindly rumble of His voice like distant thunder and the little tones of the Man as he asked his questions.  At six o’clock regularly God had shaken hands with the Man and climbed leisurely back up the sky-blue stairs that led to Heaven.  Because of this the Man had gained a reputation among the animals for being wise.  They had thought of him as God’s friend.  He had given orders to everybody even to the Woman; and everyone had been proud to obey him.

It had been in April the great change had occurred.  There had been all kinds of rumours.  The first that had been suspected had been when God had failed to come for His customary walk; the next had been when He had arrived with His face hidden in anger.  The trees of Eden had bent and clashed as if a strong wind were blowing.  Everything living that was not rooted, had run away to hide.  Nevertheless, when God had called to the Man, they had tiptoed nearer to listen.  The trouble had seemed to be about some fruit.  God had told the Man that he must not pluck it; he had not only plucked it, but had eaten of it.  So had the Woman.  It had seemed a small matter to make such a fuss about.  They had supposed that God’s anger would soon blow over and that everything would be again as friendly as before.

And so everything might have been had it not been for the Man.  Instead of saying he was sorry, he had started to argue and blame the Woman.  At that God had refused to speak with him longer.  He had ordered the Man and Woman and all the animals to leave Eden immediately.  He had given them no time to pack.  Lining them up like soldiers, He had numbered them to make certain that none were missing and then, with the Man and Woman leading, had marched them beyond the walls and locked the golden gates of Eden against them forever.

Since then all had been privation and confusion.  The animals, from regarding the Man as their lord, had grown to despise him.  They had blamed him for their misfortunes.  They had told him that it was his fault that they had lost their happiness and that God walked the earth no more.  The woman had told him so most particularly.  Of all the created world only the dog and the robin had remained faithful to him.  The dog slept across his feet at night to keep them warm and the robin sang to him each dawn that he should not lose courage.