‘Did you know Noah?’ she asked me seriously. I couldn’t even reply that he got bored of the company he kept just like anyone else. And that’s why he slept with the lions and ate dinner with the rats.

‘I mean, did you know Noah when he drowned?’ That knowing look again. I was never really sure how I was meant to interpret it. Of course I didn’t know Noah when he drowned. Noah never drowned. I hated it when she was cryptic like that. I had no urge to carry the conversation further than that. But curiosity caught me.

‘He didn’t keep any sea creatures to save him’. Deadpan. I couldn’t even try to argue, he didn’t need sea creatures because he didn’t drown. He rode the waves until they settled. At least that’s what my Sunday school teacher always told me.

‘If he didn’t drown he starved or killed those in his keeping’. Smile rising.

‘They didn’t have tinned food you know’. Infuriating grin. Of course they didn’t have tinned food. There was no argument there. I knew it and she knew it. They didn’t have crops for that length of time. Everybody knows that. I’m not sure what point I was trying to prove at this point in the evening. It was late and I’d had too much wine. She knew I was always ready to argue when I’d been drinking. But it always left me confused.

‘There were too many egos’. She never shut up when she was winning. It was never going to finish until I conceded my defeat. And she knew I wouldn’t do that. If I could just find the point I was aiming for. Something about the animals that could swim dragging Noah to safety. Something about Noah being a fable.

‘Did you know Noah?’ Smug.

With my last breath before sleep I replied.

I gave the olive branch to the Dove.

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