"Here here, now, no pushing. And you two! No cutting, wait your turn."
Noah's deep baritone echoed above the raucous squeaks, shrieks, squawks, and growls of the animals lined up in pairs. The crowd who had gathered to watch the town fool's latest foolishness snickered at today's spectacle.
"Now what's he doing?"
"Startin' a zoo. Or praps a circus? He'll be needin' to hire a clown, though. That sourpuss goodie-goodie twood ne'er make anyone laugh."
"Ha! Right you are about No-No Noah. Maybe that boy of his, Ham, would make a good clown. I mean with a name like Ham"
"If I didn't know better, I would think those animals understood 'im. Did ye see those two funny looking black and white bird-things walkin' on two legs? Looked like they were tryin' to hide behind the rhinos. When No-No shouted at 'em, it 'peered they hung their heads in shame. Then darned if they din't waddle on back to their place in line."
"Oh, the poor giraffe! Just banged his head on the doorjamb. Ouch, that must have hurt. I guess No-No doesn't know everything; he didn't make that door tall enough."
The men were bellowing with laughter now as they continued to mock and jeer.
"Watch out, No-No, that lion is looking at the lamb with hunger in his eyes better keep them separated!"
"I don't see your mentor in line you know, the dodo bird!"
"Hey, Noah, hope you're packing a big scoop!"
"Yah, Noah, and you better get some flowers that new-ark smell will be gone real soon."
Noah was apparently unfazed by the comments from the peanut gallery; he didn't even look their way. He calmly made another mark on his list as the elephants rumbled up the ramp and into the ark. Being ignored didn't stop the crowd it didn't even slow them down. One after another they fired zingers at Noah.
The jackals were last in line, and Noah and his family followed them aboard and closed the doors behind them.
As the men made fun and laughed, drops of water began falling from the sky. This merely added to their amusement.
"Oo-oh, so this is what No-No was so afraid of. The biggest boat ever built - for this piddling bit of puddling."
Soon, rain began to fall in earnest and, before they knew it, became a full-blown downpour. Waters began to overflow the banks of rivers and lakes all over the region and swirl at the feet, then ankles, of the men. Unable to gain admittance to Noah's ark, they became despondent. When the water reached their calves, fear truly started to strike them. Nearby trees served as ladders out of the deep and they clung to the branches for their lives.
As the ark was lifted from its resting place on the earth by the rising waters, then set adrift, a high-pitched barking could be heard from behind its thick walls.
It appeared the hyenas were having the last laugh.
Catrina Bradley grew up in Iowa, but now calls Georgia home. She is happily married to her much better half, has a wonderful 23 year-old daughter, and a precious, long-haired dachshund named Lady.