The garden was alive with the glow of the early morning sun. Lilith had awoken  before Adam, as she usually did, and decided to take a walk alone. It was rare that she had the opportunity. Since the moment she and Adam had been created, he had wanted to spend every second with her. Even after months of living in paradise, Lilith couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing. There was an emptiness deep within her that went unexplained. Adam had no such feeling and in fact seemed quite content to lie around all day eating fruit and watching the animals mate. When she asked him to talk to God about her feelings, Adam told her that God would take care of it and had refused to discuss it further.

Lilith was lost in her thoughts and didn't realize how far into the forest she had traveled. She stopped to watch a small creature, no bigger than her thumbnail with eight tiny legs. Except for a red mark on her stomach, the creature was entirely black. It was busy working to complete an intricate web that appeared to be coming from somewhere behind her little body.

"That's beautiful." Lilith said to the creature.

"Thank you. I have to have this ready before my mate comes back."

Lilith was surprised to discover that the creature was female.

" Why does he leave you to do the work? Shouldn't he share in your labor as he is of the same flesh as you?" Lilith asked.

" We may look the same, but I am the only one who can create more of us. He has no such ability."

" Create more? What do you mean?"

" Shhh. Here he comes now. If you're very quiet, you can stay and watch."

Lilith hid behind a tree and watched while the two creatures clung together.

"That looks familiar." She thought. "Adam says God wants us to do this at least once a day, although he never told me why."

Suddenly the female creature jumped on the male and began attacking him. She didn't stop until the other creature was dead. Lilith came away from the tree and rushed over to the creature.

"Why did you do that? " She asked.

"It is God's will."

The creature dragged the dead body of the male away.

"Wait." Lilith cried. "I don't understand."

But the creature had already left.

Lilith walked on into the forest. Adam had told her that it was God's command that she was to lay beneath Adam. When Lilith refused, Adam became angry and he took her by force. She was beginning to like the idea of the little black creature.

"Hello." Came a small voice on a branch. "What are you?"

"I'm a human female. I'm called Lilith and I was created by God with Adam. Are you praying?"

The creature was larger than the last, about the size of Lilith's finger. It had a long back with two thin hind legs that it rested on. It was green and had a large head. What appeared to be hands were held together in front of it.

" No, I'm waiting for my mate to return. I have a very special surprise for him."

"Oh, you're a female also? Can you tell me of the surprise? Adam likes surprises."

" If you'd like, but you'd better hide, or else you might scare him away."

Lilith once again hid behind a tree and watched as the two strange creatures clung together as the black creatures had. Suddenly, the female lifted one of her claws and cut off the head of the male! Lilith jumped out of her hiding place.

"Why did you do that?"

" It is God's will." With that, the strange green creature walked away.

I don't understand. Lilith thought. Adam tells me we are to do this strange thing whether I want to or not because it's God's command. He tells me that the female is weak so the male must protect her and lay beneath him, yet I've just seen two females who are far superior even though their size is smaller. Is Adam lying? And why do I always feel so empty and hollow inside when Adam seems to feel so content when he removes himself from me.

"God who created us from the same earth, can you answer me?" Lilith called out. " If it is Your will that the black and the green creatures kill their males after mating, is that not what you wish of me as well?"

But no answer was heard.

Lilith continued deep into the forest. The sun was almost directly overhead and she knew Adam would be waking up soon and expecting her to collect the fruits for his meal. And she also knew he would be expecting her to lie beneath him once again when he was finished eating. She didn't care. She had to have the answers. What was she missing? If this was suppose to be Paradise why was she so unhappy?

"Hi there." Came a voice from above her.

" What are you?" Lilith asked.

"A friend. I heard you calling out before. I can answer your questions, but I don't think you're going to like what you hear."

Lilith felt strange. Unlike the other two creatures, this one both frightened and intrigued her.

" Anything you have to tell me couldn't be as bad as not knowing. I have to know why I was created. Why the female creatures I've met do not submit to their mates as Adam wants me to do and why I feel so empty inside."

"Here, take this apple and all will be revealed"

"I can't. Adam told me that God would be very angry if we were to eat from this tree."

"That's because Adam doesn't want you to have the answers. Adam doesn't want you to be smarter than he, to think for yourself or to be able to survive without him. Adam does not want a partner, he want's a slave. The question is, Lilith, what do YOU want?"

"I want my freedom!" She exclaimed as she took a huge bite out of the apple and waitedfor the catastrophe she knew was about to take place.

Nothing happened. She took another bite. Still, nothing happened.

" I don't understand." She told the animal. " I ate the apple and I still don't have the answers. "

"Wisdom doesn't come that easily. It's not in the apple, Lilith, it's within yourself." After saying that, the creature disappeared.

Lilith walked slowly back to the garden, apple in hand. She continued to eat it, cautiously, but still, nothing happened. When she was through, she gave the core to a small winged creature that was building a nest in the tree.

"Thank you, kind Lilith. I've been building a nest for my mate so that she will not be cold at night."

" You're the male?" Lilith asked.

" Yes. The female is over there helping me gather twigs so that we may build a nest together. And when the male and female lie together, the female creates more creatures so we will have a family and our type will continue. That is the purpose of the male."

"The male cannot create more of you?" asked Lilith. " I can create and Adam cannot!"

" That's correct. See how we both work to build our nest. We love each other very much."

"Love? What is Love?" Lilith asked.

" Love is what a male and female share between each other. It's a feeling, like hunger or anger, but much more wonderful. It's what fills your heart and makes you complete as your self, and the two of you complete as one."

"Love!" Lilith cried. "That's what's missing. I have to tell Adam! "

Lilith ran back to the garden excited to tell Adam of her new discoveries; love, working together and her ability to create more of them.

As she expected, he was just waking up. She told him about the black creature and the green creature. She told him about the animal in the woods. Then she told him about the apple.

Adam jumped up and began to walk in circles.

"You ate the APPLE?" He cried. "God told us NEVER to eat from that tree! What have you done? We will be punished. I wish God had never made you! You never listen to anything I say. You always do whatever you want. How could you have eaten that apple!?"

"But, Adam nothing happened. I did NOT learn this from the apple. I discovered the answers on my own. Don't you see? We have wisdom. I can create more of us. We can have love, and share in this garden as equals. I ate the apple and gave the core to a winged creature who told me about Love and . . . " But she never had time to finish.

"I want you out of here. NOW. I'm going to ask God to find me a new mate. One who will listen to me, one who will obey me and one who will lay beneath me without giving me an argument everytime! I'd give my left rib for someone ANYONE other than YOU!"

" That's just fine with me. I know the truth. I was NOT created to be your slave. I was NOT created to lie beneath you whenever you want. The black and green creatures have it right. After you males have served your purpose, females don't need you anymore. Not unless we can share the work and love each other. If I had been created as a winged creature, I would know love and had a mate who would share my life as an equal."

Lilith picked up a handful of dirt and threw it at Adam. " From the dust you came, and from the dust you'll return. I, however will continue on for generations. I don't need you. You will never be able to create a new life on your own. I can, and I will ."

Lilith showed Adam a small bag she had made out of leaves.

"I've been saving this from your body. My friends tell me it's all I need to create more of our kind. They're called children and I will have them and they will be strong. The males will be partners and equals to the females and never force the females to lie beneath them. They will be my children and they will have love and be loved and NOT be enslaved to any male or any male's God. Good-by Adam."

Lilith left the garden, ignoring the cries of Adam begging her not to go. He was scared to be alone, he said, he would change, he said, she could eat as many apples as she wanted, he said. But as soon as she was out of his sight, she heard him talking to another female. Someone named Eve.

"Just wait till she gets a bite of that apple!" Lilith smiled as she went into the sea to begin her own family based on equality, respect and most important, love.