Friday, October 03, 2003

Storytime, Part 2

The Other Noah

Not many people know that Noah had a twin sister, who was crazy. The family didnít talk about her much. Baba was struck bonkers by God as punishment for her not wanting to have babies like all the other women. But even before The Great and Powerful He whacked her upside the head with his Gonzo stick, Baba wanted to be a sailor. To loose herself in the sea, drink rum with Phoenician pirates and make love on a pile of sailing canvas under the full moon...

Noah did what any good brother would do with a crazy sibling: he locked her in a closet and fed her dates and a little bit of couscous every day. Until the business with the flood. Once Noah was contracted to build a cruise ship big enough for polar bears and penguins and every species of mouse in the world, he didnít have much time to care for his sister. Neither did his wife or sons or their wives. So Noah trained a spider monkey named Hennessey to feed his nutty sister dates and carry his hammer.

Now, Noah was a compassionate man for his time and built a little room at the top of a mast for his sister and there she sat, kicking her legs, shouting out nauticalisms and singing sea shanties, tickled to finally be at sea. But Noah had two of every cockatoo and cockroach to mind so that left little time for Baba. Misses Noah was busy too, sweeping up after elephants and orangutans and so were his sons and their wives. Hennessey was the only monkey on the ark that had a moment to spare and he felt sorry for her, stuck up in the crowís nest with just two little blackbirds nesting in her hair, pecking at her ears.

On the fortieth day of rain, Hennessey snuck into the broom closet and fetched a rope ladder. He waited until that night, when Noah and Misses Noah and all their sons and their wives were zonked from a day of bathing hippos. Then he shimmied up the mast with the rope ladder and helping Baba down so she could stretch her legs.

The moon came out and the sky was clear and Baba was thrilled to have run of the ship. She made Hennessey her first mate and they charted a new course, sailing into new directions and unknown latitudes. They chased the tail of Great Leviathan and were the first people ever to become lost in the Bermuda Triangle, which is why it took them forty more days, even after the rain stopped to find land again.

Noah was livid.

He locked her with the animals in the hold and even after they scuttled the Ark on Mount Ararat and the floodwaters drained off into the sewers, Noah left her in the Ark with just Hennessey the spider monkey and a head full of imaginary adventures to keep her company. But Baba didnít care. She hung her daydreams from the rafters of the ark, right next to the birdís nests and spiderís webs, right where the moon could see them every night when it peeked through the window.


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