God made and named almost everything in the world. God made and named Heaven. Godmade and named Earth. God made and named the sun and the moon, the stars and thewaters. God made and named almost everything. God even made and named the firstman, “Adam,” which means “red earth” because God made the first man out of red earth.But God did not name the animals.God thought, “I want Adam and Adam’s children to protect and care for these animals.Maybe if I let Adam name the animals, he will get to know them better and really take careof them!” Well, when Adam heard that he could name the animals, he was so happy. He ranright over to a brown furry with teeth who was sleeping under a tree and yelled in its ear,“I am going to name you!” The brown furry with teeth opened one eye, yawned, and wentback to sleep.

Very soon, Adam realized he didn’t know what to name the brown furry with teeth, or, forthat matter, any of the other animals. Adam sat down on the sleeping brown furry withteeth to think up a plan for naming the animals. Suddenly it came to him: “I know! I will giveeach animal a number. That way, when I want to call an animal I can just call its number.”Adam looked down at the brown furry with teeth, lifted up its ear, and screamed, “You arenumber one!!” The brown furry opened one eye, yawned, and went back to sleep.

Adam spent the rest of that day numbering the animals. He gave numbers to slimy swimmerswith no fins, fuzzy hoppers with twitchy noses, squeaky flyers with colored feathers, chirpingswingers with curling tails, speedy crawlers with tiny feet, scaly swimmers with red eyes, anda whole bunch of gray, black, and white furries with teeth who looked like they were relatedto Number One. In the late afternoon, somewhere between the numbering of the tiny sand-
diggers and the swarming wood-eaters, Adam lost count! He plopped down again on thebrown furry with teeth to think up a new plan for naming the animals.

After a little time, Adam decided, “I will call all the animals, “Hey You! That way, when I needan animal, I will only have to remember one name.”The next day, Adam needed a big rock moved out of his way. He wanted the large-gray-
wrinkled-up- long-nosed-big-eared-white-tusked-tree-eating-stomper for the job, sohe yelled out, “Hey You! Come over here and move this rock!” Instead of the large-gray-
wrinkled-up-long-nosed- big-eared-white-tusked-tree-eating-stomper, a rather smallquite-noisy-banana-eating-chirping-swinger hopped on top of the rock and began eatinga banana. Adam was quite discouraged and returned to the brown furry with teeth to thinkup a new plan for naming the animals, but this time nothing came to him.

Then the brown furry woke up, shook Adam off into a nearby bush, growled a huge growl,looked Adam in the eye, and said to him, “Listen to me! With all your talking you never oncethought to ask us – the animals – what we would like to be named. Why don’t you try that?Now, I don’t know what they call a skinny-hairless-red-earth-foot-walker like you, but theycall me a bear!”

So Adam asked all the animals what they wanted to be called. And you know what? Theytold him! And so Adam began to learn from “all his relations:” his fellow creatures thatinhabited the earth with him.


Type of Custom: Commentary/Meditations

Holiday/Event:

Source: by Marc Gellman. From Sourcebook 2014: Cultivating Justice