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In Memorarium


to our friend and colleague

Dr. Leslie Stanley-Stevens

May 15, 1961 - June 22, 2016

Dr. Leslie Stanley-Steven's short prose piece "Nobody's Fault" originally appeared in New Texas 2001. It demonstrates her wit, edgy sense of humor, and ability to make us smile.

Nobody's Fault:

Genesis 3:1-6 (Revised Stanley per Version)

One day Eve needed someone to talk to, but Adam was busy with his man’s work—naming things. Fortunately, she met a serpent, Pat, who was quite a good conversationalist and before they knew it, it was time for lunch.

“Do you want some grapes?” asked Eve (always the perfect hostess).

“No, I can’t reach them and besides, I think they’re sour. But I brought some bananas. Would you like a bite?”

“Gee, I appreciate your offer” (Never wanting to offend) “but God told us not to eat bananas.”

“Oh, I can’t imagine that,” retorted Pat. “Bananas are the perfect happy food – high in potassium, you know. Also, there’s a great view of our neighbor’s garden from the top of the banana tree.”

“Neighbor? Who is my neighbor?”

“Neighbors are people who fall into ditches. You’re supposed to love them.” 

Pat didn’t realize that God had made bananas the forbidden fruit. God told Pat not to eat pomegranates. (It gets complicated here, but it has to do with serpent digestion.) So when Pat explained that it was pomegranates that were forbidden, Eve doubted herself and bit into the banana.

Adam came by during a coffee break and picked up a banana without even asking what it was. Since Adam was in charge of naming things, it never occurred to him that what he was eating could be a banana.

He had named it “apple.”
Reprinted by permission of New Texas editors Donna Walker Nixon and James Ward Lee.