This was written by Gary O’Dwyer who gives pastoral leadership to Christ the Servant, a spiritual community near Cobourg, Ontario that we have been privileged to worship with on four or five different occasions. This was written as part of a Creation Liturgy, and while we don’t really know what Noah prayed on board the Ark, this could come fairly close…
I am grateful…Really I am.
We’re all safe in the ark when everyone else is gone.
And Lord, I am sorry about the phoenix.
We didn’t believe the stories;
we thought they were old wives’ tales.
How it got hold of those pieces of flint, I don’t know.
Lucky we smelt the smoke in time, eh?
Pity we couldn’t save the bird.
Shem reckons it was an evolutionary adaptation to nesting in the same place in the desert every year.
‘The fire would get rid of the parasites,’ he says.
I have a rather indelicate matter to raise.
Should I mention this to you?
But you created everything, so you understand about dung.
There are piles and piles of it.
The dung beetles are in heaven – but I’m literally up to here with it.
The others keep saying I mustn’t pollute the oceans.
And that we’ll need it later as organic fertilizer.
But please, would it be OK to chuck some of it overboard?
And Lord, they’re all moaning about Japeth, my eldest.
It seemed a logical division of labor at the time,
allowing specialization, development of expertise.
I look after the mammals, Ham does the birds,
Shem takes the invertebrates
and Japeth the reptiles.
But reptiles only need feeding once a week.
He can witter on as much as he likes about constantly monitoring environmental conditions, but the others reckon he’s on to a cushy number.
And Shem reckons he’s running out of food for the locusts
and they’ll turn cannibal if they’re starving.
Is he having me on, Lord?
And Lord, we started off with two rabbits.
Now we’ve got fifty-four.I thought I’d give the foxes a treat,
a bit of fresh meat.
‘You can’t do that!’ says Madam. ‘Those baby bunnies are so sweet.’ She didn’t object when I fed the baby rats to the pythons. Is that the criterion I use to decide who is to live and who’s to die? Cuteness?
It’s enough to drive a man to drink, it really is.