Christie Malry 2

Here is the story promised you on page 29, as told to Christie at his Catholic mother’s shapely knee:

It seems there has always existed a God, or it may be that He created Himself. There is no doubt, however, that He claims to have created something He calls the world, though in context this must be extended to cover the universe or universes, too. Into this world He places various creations, roughly interdependent though a certain amount of jockeying for position is evident in the early stages. Amongst these creations is Man and (shortly afterwards) Woman. God gives this couple, known as Adam and Eve, something called free will, which means they can act as they like. If they act as God does not like, however, they will get thumped. It is not by any means clear what God does or does not like. The first thing Adam and Eve do is not to God’s liking. It turns out that God knew this was going to happen, because he is omniscient. It also turns out that He could have stopped it, too, because He is omnipotent. Adam and Eve are of course quite baffled by what is going on, but take their thumping with reasonably good grace. They even go on to have three sons. That’s that, you must be thinking, the family must die out. But no: God has been making it all up as He goes along, like certain kinds of novelist, and He promptly reveals the existence of some tribes who have Women with whom two of the sons (one having been prematurely killed) can mate and carry on what they imagine is God’s Plan for the World…but my editor at Collins says that all this sort of thing has been done before, and at a time when it meant something, too. Certainly Rayner’s re-telling was better.

My point is that when Christie first heard it he lisped:

‘I believe it! I believe it all!’

As we all do at the age of two.