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adam's diary.txt

Mark Twain

  Extracts From Adam's Diary

  Translated from the original MS.

  By Mark Twain

  a friend of mine printed a few copies in an incomplete form, but

  the public never got them. Since then I have deciphered some more

  of Adam's hieroglyphics, and think he has now become sufficiently

  important as a public character to justify this publication.--M. T.]


  This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way.

  It is always hanging around and following me about. I don't like

  this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the

  other animals. Cloudy to-day, wind in the east; think we shall

  have rain. ... Where did I get that word? ... I remember now--

  the new creature uses it.


  Been examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the

  estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls--why,

  I am sure I do not know. Says it looks like Niagara Falls. That

  is not a reason; it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no

  chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything

  that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that

  same pretext is offered--it looks like the thing. There is the

  dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it one sees at

  a glance that it "looks like a dodo." It will have to keep that

  name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no

  good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.


  Built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have it to

  myself in peace. The new creature intruded. When I tried to put

  it out it shed water out of the holes it looks with, and wiped it

  away with the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of

  the other animals make when they are in distress. I wish it would

  not talk; it is always talking. That sounds like a cheap fling

  at the poor creature, a slur; but I do not mean it so. I have never

  heard the human voice before, and any new and strange sound

  intruding itself here upon the solemn hush of these dreaming

  solitudes offends my ear and seems a false note. And this new

  sound is so close to me; it is right at my shoulder, right at my

  ear, first on one side and then on the other, and I am used only

  to sounds that are more or less distant from me.


  The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do. I

  had a very good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty--

  GARDEN-OF-EDEN. Privately, I continue to call it that, but not

  any longer publicly. The new creature says it is all woods and

  rocks and scenery, and therefore has no resemblance to a garden.

  Says it looks like a park, and does not look like anything but a

  park. Consequently, without consulting me, it has been new-named--

  NIAGARA FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to

  me. And already there is a sign up:



  My life is not as happy as it was.


  The new creature eats too much fruit. We are going to run short,

  most likely. "We" again--that is its word; mine too, now, from

  hearing it so much. Good deal of fog this morning. I do not go

  out in the fog myself. The new creature does. It goes out in

  all weathers, and stumps right in with its muddy feet. And talks.

  It used to be so pleasant and quiet here.


  Pulled through. This day is getting to be more and more trying.

  It was selected and set apart last November as a day of rest. I

  already had six of them per week, before. This morning found the

  new creature trying to clod apples out of that forbidden tree.


  The new creature says its name is Eve. That is all right, I have

  no objections. Says it is to call it by when I want it to come.

  I said it was superfluous, then. The word evidently raised me in

  its respect; and indeed it is a large, good word, and will bear

  repetition. It says it is not an It, it is a She. This is probably

  doubtful; yet it is all one to me; what she is were nothing to me

  if she would but go by herself and not talk.


  She has littered the whole estate with execrable names and offensive





  She says this park would make a tidy summer resort, if there was

  any custom for it. Summer resort--another invention of hers--just

  words, without any meaning. What is a summer resort? But it is

  best not to ask her, she has such a rage for explaining.


  She has taken to beseeching me to stop going over the Falls. What

  harm does it do? Says it makes her shudder. I wonder why. I have

  always done it--always liked the plunge, and the excitement, and

  the coolness. I supposed it was what the Falls were for. They

  have no other use that I can see, and they must have been made for

  something. She says they were only made for scenery--like the

  rhinoceros and the mastodon.

  I went over the Falls in a barrel--not satisfactory to her. Went

  over in a tub--still not satisfactory. Swam the Whirlpool and the

  Rapids in a fig-leaf suit. It got much damaged. Hence, tedious

  complaints about my extravagance. I am too much hampered here.

  What I need is change of scene.


  I escaped last Tuesday night, and travelled two days, and built

  me another shelter, in a secluded place, and obliterated my tracks

  as well as I could, but she hunted me out by means of a beast which

  she has tamed and calls a wolf, and came making that pitiful noise

  again, and shedding that water out of the places she looks with.

  I was obliged to return with her, but will presently emigrate again,

  when occasion offers. She engages herself in many foolish things:

  among others, trying to study out why the animals called lions and

  tigers live on grass and flowers, when, as she says, the sort of

  teeth they wear would indicate that they were intended to eat each

  other. This is foolish, because to do that would be to kill each

  other, and that would introduce what, as I understand it, is called

  "death;" and death, as I have been told, has not yet entered the

  Park. Which is a pity, on some accounts.


  Pulled through.


  I believe I see what the week is for: it is to give time to rest

  up from the weariness of Sunday. It seems a good idea. ... She

  has been climbing that tree again. Clodded her out of it. She

  said nobody was looking. Seems to consider that a sufficient

  justification for chancing any dangerous thing. Told her that.

  The word justification moved her admiration--and envy too, I

  thought. It is a good word.


She told me she was made out of a rib taken from my body. This

  is at least doubtful, if not more than that. I have not missed

  any rib. ... She is in much trouble about the buzzard; says

  grass does not agree with it; is afraid she can't raise it; thinks

  it was intended to live on decayed flesh. The buzzard must get

  along the best it can with what is provided. We cannot overturn

  the whole scheme to accommodate the buzzard.


  She fell in the pond yesterday, when she was looking at herself

  in it, which she is always doing. She nearly strangled, and said

  it was most uncomfortable. This made her sorry for the creatures

  which live in there, which she calls fish, for she continues to

  fasten names on to things that don't need them and don't come when

  they are called by them, which is a matter of no consequence to

  her, as she is such a numskull anyway; so she got a lot of them

  out and brought them in last night and put them in my bed to keep

  warm, but I have noticed them now and then all day, and I don't

  see that they are any happier there than they were before, only

  quieter. When night comes I shall throw them out-doors. I will

  not sleep with them again, for I find them clammy and unpleasant

  to lie among when a person hasn't anything on.


  Pulled through.


  She has taken up with a snake now. The other animals are glad,

  for she was always experimenting with them and bothering them;

  and I am glad, because the snake talks, and this enables me to

  get a rest.


  She says the snake advises her to try the fruit of that tree, and

  says the result will be a great and fine and noble education. I

  told her there would be another result, too--it would introduce

  death into the world. That was a mistake--it had been better to

  keep the remark to myself; it only gave her an idea--she could

  save the sick buzzard, and furnish fresh meat to the despondent

  lions and tigers. I advised her to keep away from the tree. She

  said she wouldn't. I foresee trouble. Will emigrate.


  I have had a variegated time. I escaped that night, and rode a

  horse all night as fast as he could go, hoping to get clear out of

  the Park and hide in some other country before the trouble should

  begin; but it was not to be. About an hour after sunup, as I was

  riding through a flowery plain where thousands of animals were

  grazing, slumbering, or playing with each other, according to their

  wont, all of a sudden they broke into a tempest of frightful noises,

  and in one moment the plain was in a frantic commotion and every

  beast was destroying its neighbor. I knew what it meant--Eve had

  eaten that fruit, and death was come into the world. ... The

  tigers ate my horse, paying no attention when I ordered them to

  desist, and they would even have eaten me if I had stayed--which

  I didn't, but went away in much haste. ... I found this place,

  outside the Park, and was fairly comfortable for a few days, but

  she has found me out. Found me out, and has named the place

  Tonawanda--says it looks like that. In fact, I was not sorry she

  came, for there are but meagre pickings here, and she brought some

  of those apples. I was obliged to eat them, I was so hungry. It

  was against my principles, but I find that principles have no real

  force except when one is well fed. ... She came curtained in

  boughs and bunches of leaves, and when I asked her what she meant

  by such nonsense, and snatched them away and threw them down, she

  tittered and blushed. I had never seen a person titter and blush

  before, and to me it seemed unbecoming and idiotic. She said I

  would soon know how it was myself. This was correct. Hungry as

  I was, I laid down the apple half eaten--certainly the best one I

  ever saw, considering the lateness of the season--and arrayed

  myself in the discarded boughs and branches, and then spoke to her

  with some severity and ordered her to go and get some more and not

  make such a spectacle of herself. She did it, and after this we

  crept down to where the wild-beast battle had been, and collected

  some skins, and I made her patch together a couple of suits proper

  for public occasions. They are uncomfortable, it is true, but

  stylish, and that is the main point about clothes. ... I find

  she is a good deal of a companion. I see I should be lonesome and

  depressed without her, now that I have lost my property. Another

  thing, she says it is ordered that we work for our living hereafter.

  She will be useful. I will superintend.

  Ten Days Later

  She accuses me of being the cause of our disaster! She says, with

  apparent sincerity and truth, that the Serpent assured her that

  the forbidden fruit was not apples, it was chestnuts. I said I

  was innocent, then, for I had not eaten any chestnuts. She said

  the Serpent informed her that "chestnut" was a figurative term

  meaning an aged and mouldy joke. I turned pale at that, for I

  have made many jokes to pass the weary time, and some of them could

  have been of that sort, though I had honestly supposed that they

  were new when I made them. She asked me if I had made one just

  at the time of the catastrophe. I was obliged to admit that I had

  made one to myself, though not aloud. It was this. I was thinking

  about the Falls, and I said to myself, "How wonderful it is to see

  that vast body of water tumble down there!" Then in an instant a

  bright thought flashed into my head, and I let it fly, saying, "It

  would be a deal more wonderful to see it tumble up there!"--and I

  was just about to kill myself with laughing at it when all nature

  broke loose in war and death, and I had to flee for my life.

  "There," she said, with triumph, "that is just it; the Serpent

  mentioned that very jest, and called it the First Chestnut, and

  said it was coeval with the creation." Alas, I am indeed to blame.

  Would that I were not witty; oh, would that I had never had that

  radiant thought!

  Next Year

  We have named it Cain. She caught it while I was up country

  trapping on the North Shore of the Erie; caught it in the timber

  a couple of miles from our dug-out--or it might have been four,

  she isn't certain which. It resembles us in some ways, and may

  be a relation. That is what she thinks, but this is an error,

  in my judgment. The difference in size warrants the conclusion

  that it is a different and new kind of animal--a fish, perhaps,

  though when I put it in the water to see, it sank, and she plunged

  in and snatched it out before there was opportunity for the

  experiment to determine the matter. I still think it is a fish,

  but she is indifferent about what it is, and will not let me have

  it to try. I do not understand this. The coming of the creature

  seems to have changed her whole nature and made her unreasonable

  about experiments. She thinks more of it than she does of any of

  the other animals, but is not able to explain why. Her mind is

--everything shows it. Sometimes she carries the fish

  in her arms half the night when it complains and wants to get to

  the water. At such times the water comes out of the places in

  her face that she looks out of, and she pats the fish on the back

  and makes soft sounds with her mouth to soothe it, and betrays

  sorrow and solicitude in a hundred ways. I have never seen her

  do like this with any other fish, and it troubles me greatly. She

  used to carry the young tigers around so, and play with them,

  before we lost our property; but it was only play; she never took

  on about them like this when their dinner disagreed with them.


  She doesn't work Sundays, but lies around all tired out, and likes

  to have the fish wallow over her; and she makes fool noises to

  amuse it, and pretends to chew its paws, and that makes it laugh.

  I have not seen a fish before that could laugh. This makes me

  doubt. ... I have come to like Sunday myself. Superintending

  all the week tires a body so. There ought to be more Sundays.

  In the old days they were tough, but now they come handy.


  It isn't a fish. I cannot quite make out what it is. It makes

  curious, devilish noises when not satisfied, and says "goo-goo"

  when it is. It is not one of us, for it doesn't walk; it is not

  a bird, for it doesn't fly; it is not a frog, for it doesn't hop;

  it is not a snake, for it doesn't crawl; I feel sure it is not a

  fish, though I cannot get a chance to find out whether it can swim

  or not. It merely lies around, and mostly on its back, with its

  feet up. I have not seen any other animal do that before. I said

  I believed it was an enigma, but she only admired the word without

  understanding it. In my judgment it is either an enigma or some