Of all of the things in the zoo you might find
That the woodworm are probably best left behind;
I suppose, in their way, they are fairly benign,
But there’s just this one thing that has stuck in my mind.
In biblical times, when the skies all turned dark
And all of Earth’s creatures lined up in the park –
At least forty days ‘til they could disembark –
What stopped the woodworm from eating the Ark?
It has always puzzled me, this Ark business. What actually stopped the hunters from eating the hunted? I wonder if everything was given its own little pen? That is quite a construction feat. “Right, so let me just get this straight Noah. You want a boat that’s big enough to hold two of all of the world’s creatures and you want them all to have separate little compartments. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what are you doing about the, er, toilet arrangements?” Also, I wonder, what were the carnivores fed on? Was there, perhaps, a second boat, marked ‘Food’, full of all the animals that Noah didn’t really want to save? If that’s the case, why weren’t the rats on it?
Forty days and forty nights is a long time to be trapped in a tiny cabin with a member of the opposite sex and nothing much to do: “Oh come on, we might not make it you know. There are no guarantees. Besides, what could possibly go wrong? Precautions? Of course…” I admit that my knowledge of boats is fairly limited, but I can’t help but think that if all of the large mammals decided to get it on at the same time the journey might well become a little uncomfortable for the humans on board. According to the Bible there were eight humans on board – why we got such preferential treatment I do not know – but I imagine that if the humans, too, had their own little cabins, life may have become a little fraught after forty days: “Oh come on, we might not make it you know. Well yes, I have seen the mess outside and no, of course I can’t expect you to feel at all sensual with that smell, but I don’t know what I can possibly do about it. Yes, I have opened the windows. No, I don’t know why the ship is so rocky when the sea is smooth. Look, can’t we just rejoice that we are two of only four couples left alive? Well, that’s a little harsh, I must say… You know how much I hate being compared to my brother, particularly in that way…”
As the floods slowly subsided, the Ark landed on mount Ararat, which, I imagine, would have annoyed the heck out of some of the human cargo as it was so far away from all of the ‘sights’ and, while I imagine the positioning was fine for, let’s say, the mountain goats, I can’t help but wonder how the elephants, the rhinos and the hippos went about finding their way down. Especially since Noah’s family, by then, would have been very hungry and elephants are a very big meal…