And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
–Genesis 2:19 (King James Version)
God: Hey Adam, come over here. I’ve got a job for you.
Adam: What is it?
God: I thought it would be fun if you named the animals.
Adam: Sure. There aren’t a lot of them, are there?
God: No, this’ll be easy. Shouldn’t take more than…well, anyway, let’s get started with this little guy.
Adam: Let me think. I guess I’ll call it a ‘mouse’.
God: I like that. Here’s another one.
Adam: Well that looks just like a bigger mouse.
God: No, totally different animals, trust me.
Adam: Fine. I’ll call that a ‘rat’.
God: And here’s the next one.
Adam: Wait, are you messing with me here? That’s just a rat with a bushy tail.
God: No, really, no joke, this is a whole other animal.
Adam: Fine. Let’s just call it a ‘squirrel’.
God: Great. Let’s keep going. Here’s something a little different.
Adam: Interesting. I guess ‘lizard’.
God: Cool. And how about this one?
Adam: That’s just a lizard without legs.
God: No it’s not!
Adam: Yes it is! Fine, you want a name for it? I’ll call it a ‘snake’ since I guess ‘we need a lizard without legs for some reason’ is too long.
God: Yeah, not one of my better ideas.
Snake: (muttering) I’ll get you for that.
Adam: I’ll call that next thing a ‘bird’.
God: Are you sure you want to be so general?
Adam: What do you mean?
God: Well, what are you going to call this thing?
Adam: Well, I guess that’s also a bird.
God: Yeah, but don’t you think you should give them different names, to sort of tell them apart?
Adam: I don’t know. How many are there?
God: (thoughtfully) Yeah, Darwin kinda has that same question. Leads to all kinds of stuff.
God: Sorry, getting ahead of myself here. Let’s keep going.
[Several hours later]
Adam: I thought you said there weren’t going to be that many.
God: Well from my perspective it doesn’t seem like all that many. I mean, consider yourself lucky you’re just dealing with one planet.
Adam: One what?
God: Never mind. Let’s switch gears a little bit and I’ll bring up some aquatic life. Here, here’s something you’ll like.
Adam: Okay, well, I guess I’ll call that a ‘fish’.
God: That’s a good general term…
Adam: Are you kidding me? Is this birds all over again?
God: Well…we can come back to that. Here’s something really different.
Adam: GOD! WHAT IS THAT?
God: Hey, hey, hey, watch how you’re using my name. Don’t make me lay down some ground rules.
Adam: It’s just that’s…that’s not like anything I’ve seen so far. It’s…how am I even going to get along with that?
God: Good point. You know what? You’re probably not gonna run into any of these. So just give it a nice quick name and we’ll move on.
Adam: Sure, okay. Wow. A nice quick name. I guess I’ll call it a ‘squid’.
God: Great. Okay, let’s get back to land animals. Let’s look at some that might be useful to you.
Adam: Great, I could use some help around here.
God: What about that thing you called ‘dog’?
Adam: Well, it’s nice and all, but what I could really use is an extra pair of hands.
God: Oh, we’ll get to that. Here’s a nifty little number I think you’ll like.
Adam: Well I wouldn’t call it ‘little’. It makes an interesting noise. I guess I’ll call it a ‘cow’. Hey, what are the dangly things around its hind legs?
God: Oh, those dispense a high-protein beverage called ‘milk’.
Adam: Doesn’t sound particularly appetizing.
God: Your kids are gonna love it.
Adam: My what?
God: Anyhoo, here’s another.
Adam: That looks like a fat hairless dog someone punched in the face.
God: Come on, lighten up. You’re gonna love this creature.
Adam: Yeah? What does it do?
God: Um, well, it eats a lot and spends a lot of time rolling around in its own filth.
Adam: Yeah, great job there. A dirty, disgusting animal. It deserves a blunt, brutal name, something like ‘pig’.
God: That’s it. You don’t like it? Fine. I forbid you to eat bacon.
Adam: What’s that?
God: Your kids are gonna love it. Or grandkids. Somewhere down the line. Speaking of that I think it’s about time we got you some help around here. And I have a sudden craving for ribs.