Hurry!” yells Noah. Pointing, he says, “Get those other sheep into line. Ham, the gazelles — don’t frighten them.”
Noah’s son gives his father an exasperated look and tries, once more, to coax the elegant, flighty animals into line with the growing collection of earth’s creatures.
The rain just started a few minutes ago, but already the light caramel of dry earth is turning sepia as it absorbs the moisture. The sky, growing dark earlier, is near black now as clouds draw closer to each other and to the ground, the pressure of the imminent deluge filling the air. Little more than a light sprinkle at the moment, very soon that will change.
“Build me an ark.”
“An ark, a ship. Well, it’s more of a barge, really. You won’t actually have to steer it, it just needs to float.”
“An ark. Oookaay. Um, care to fill me in a little more?”
“Absolutely. Here’s the thing, Noah …
Imagine rain, a hard rain, for twenty-four hours, a full day, then two, then three, a week with no end in sight …
The waters continue to rise, covering the land. Any individuals who might have made it to higher ground find themselves facing the same fate as those caught sooner. Two weeks. Three weeks. God said forty days, but already it seems like an eternity …
“Come out of the ark,” says God. Bring everyone out, free all the animals and begin to make a new world. His words are amazingly similar to the Creation. Be fruitful and multiply, he says.