The animal pals were sitting happily around their picnic blanket on this fine sunfilled day, laughing and singing songs and telling stories, and such, for that is their friendly way. There was the good Dr. Turtledove and Mrs. Turtledove, and their three little turtledoves, who pleased everyone with their beautiful song. And there was diligent Colonel Ram whose ram regiment was known well for its discipline, and his dear old friend Mr. Bull, who had come with his lady Ms. Cow. And then there was Mr. and Mrs. Goat and their kids, and Mr. and Mrs. Pigeon, and Mr. and Mrs. Badger, and various little ones playing in the grass.

And as the day got on into the afternoon, they noticed that wise old Mr. Turtle was sitting under a tree nearby, flipping through a black-bound book with some gold lettering on the cover, and the others asked, "what book is that?" And Mr. Turtle told them, "well this one's called a 'Bible'--"

"Buy bull?" interrupted Mr. Bull "don't know if I like the sound of that...."

"Well," Mr. Turtle went on, "some feller gave it to me. Seemed to be some kind of salesman. Told me to read the stories in it and take 'em as true, and that afterward I'd be kind to get in a habit of giving some money to the group of salesmen he'd come from. Don't reckon I'll do that, but I guess it couldn't hurt to have a look-see at what's in here."

"O, read us some!" the animal pals exclaimed. And so, old Mr. Turtle flipped open to one of the beginning pages.

Mr. Turtle read the story which told of the main character -- apparently a lord of some sort, making a garden and creating all the animals in it, one kind at a time (Dr. Turtledove commented "that's just silly, hasn't he ever heard of natural selection?", but was hushed by the others wanting to hear the story.)

And so on he read. There was some odd bit about this 'lord' intentionally putting a bad tree in the garden, and then one of its animal creations, a snake, getting the humans in the garden to eat some of its fruit. A bunch more stories were all centered on humans and their usual boring human troubles.

But then Mr. Turtle read: "Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made." He looked up just a bit as some of the animal pals gasped; then back down to the text. This lord made a flood, he read, and then: "Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth."

The animal pals sat, stunned-- until finally one of Mr. Goat's kids piped up: "What-- what did the animals do to this 'lord' of the humans that made him want to drown everybody?"

Mr. Turtle flipped back and forth through the pages for some moments before intoning, with a sad shake of his head, "nothing. They did nothing wrong at all."

"Well," shrugged Mr. Pigeon with a nervous laugh, "at least he had somebody save a few of every kind, right?" The other animals glared at the comment, so Mr. Pigeon tried to change the subject, asking "So, uh, what happens after this flood?"

Mr. Turtle returned to the book. "Well let's see. Genesis eight: Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he--" Mr. Turtle stopped and blinked hard at the text for a moment, "he sacrificed burnt offerings on it."

"Wait a minute, now" Mrs. Turtledove interrupted, "so out of all the animals he murders, this 'lord' has but a tiny number saved-- and then he lets some of those get killed as well? As a-- as a sacrifice? That's insane!!"

"Yes, the very definition of it. Quite disgusting," Dr. Turtledove agreed.

Mr. Turtle read on, "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma--"

"What?!?!" cried out several of the animal pals -- "this 'lord' finds the smell of our burning flesh 'pleasing'?"

Mr. Turtle harumphed in agreement with their disgust, and flipped ahead a few pages. "Indeed. Let me see if I can find something less horrific." He began reading from a random page: "And the Lord said to Abraham, 'Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.'" The other animal pals looked on warily. This didn't sound like it would end well. "Abraham brought all these to him, cut them in two--"

Mr. Turtle stopped reading abruptly, while some of the animal pals looked positively ill. He flipped through the book further. "Let me see. Let me see. Oh no, no, more demanding of animal sacrifices." After a pause, "there's a story where this 'lord' tells this human, Abraham, to kill his own son-- the human's son-- but.... at the last moment sends a ram to be killed instead."

"It figures," muttered Colonel Ram, snorting at the insult.

Mr. Turtle flipped on some more, coming to more and more similar instructions of this lord. At one point he read out: "And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins."

"Hey, what the fuck!!" cried out Mr. Badger. "Oh, really," chimed in his wife.

There was more, much more, and it descended into deep horror. One story-- it wasn't even a story, really, just animal slaughter porn-- demanded a bull be slaughtered right in front of some religious meeting tent, that the bulls blood be smeared on things, and specific organs burnt, again so that the smell of the burning flesh would please this horrible lord's nostrils.

Similar instructions were demanded of several rams, with the equally horrific instruction that its blood from its murder be smeared on the ears of certain favoured human children. And the stories went on, demanding the slaying of sheep and goats and various bird for the perverse pleasure of this human lord.

At last, everybody agreed, enough was enough. Mr. and Mrs. goat trotted over and tore and chewed the pages from the offending book. They spat and shoved the remnants of the vile thing into a deep hole dug by Mr. Badger, and after several of the animal pals made a considerable show of relieving their bowels into the hole, they at last covered it over with dirt, never to be though about again.

And then the animal pals went back to their usual way, laughing and singing songs and telling stories.

THE END

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