Today is Folklore Thursday on social media! If you want to find out more, follow this link, or click on the #FolkloreThursday hashtag on Twitter! Hosted by @FolkloreThursday.
Continuing my #FolkloreThursday series of selections from the Peasant Bible (Hungarian folktales based on biblical themes). This week I will let you in on a secret: The real reason why women have to do the dishes in the household.
(Shhhh... I'm a feminist too... just keep reading)
Adam and Eve had a fight about who was supposed to do the dishes. Adam did not like it one bit; he was supposed to be the head of the household, and felt like his manliness would the tarnished by doing menial chores around the house. (Cave?). Therefore, he did what any red-blooded man would do when he can't agree with his wife: He went to tell on her to God.
"Please God, I can't deal with her anymore. Take her back."
God took Eve away from Adam. Three days later, Adam showed up again.
"Please God, give her back! I miss her!"
"First you want her gone, then you want her back? Which is it?" asked the Lord.
"I don't know!" Adam wailed.
"You can have her back" God concluded "But next time you have a fight, don't come to me!"
Adam and Eve returned home, and went a whole week without argument. Then the dishes piled up, and the yelling started once again.
Finally, when they were both frustrated and exhausted, the couple made a bet to solve a problem: Whoever speaks first will do the dishes for all eternity (clearly they were not aware of the weight of their actions). They went for quite a few days without either of them speaking a word. Or doing any dishes.
One evening they were both by the fire; Adam was fast asleep, and Eve was just kind of sitting around (probably wishing for books to be invented). They had a cat that was also playing nearby.
Since this is the Time Before the Apple, when no clothes were necessary, all Adam was covered with was a sizable fig leaf (obviously). Well, as he was lying on his back, no doubt dreaming some very appealing dreams, the fig leaf began to twitch.
You do the math.
Eve observed what was happening. The cat froze, large, luminous eyes following the leaf's every movement. As the leaf began to rise up, the cat began to crouch down, tail sweeping from side to side. Ready to pounce.
In the last possible moment
Before the cat pounced
With claws out
At the fig leaf
Eve swatted it away and yelled
"NO! THAT'S MINE! BAD CAT!"
And that is why women have to do the dishes.
You'd think men would be willing to take this chore over, given what we saved them from.
Cat people will understand.
(If you would like to read about other things we can blame Adam and Eve for, here is an earlier post.)