Explaining things to children is difficult.
Today Adelaide asked me, "What is the Devil?"
Me: "Well, he's a guy who-" Wait, wait, that's not right. He's not a guy, as in a man, as in a human being at all.
"See, he's a fallen angel-"
A: "Where did he fall from?"
Me: "He fell from heaven-"
A: "YOU CAN FALL OUT OF HEAVEN?"
Me: "No, no, I didn't actually mean he fell out of heaven, what I meant was that he fell from grace, I mean, he wanted to be more powerful than God, er, didn't want to worship God anymore, okay, I mean, um..."
So we pulled out the Bible and read a passage about Lucifer. She seems to kind of get it now, but I'm really not sure how great of an explanation I gave, in part because all I could think about throughout this whole conversation was Ed the Cat and Harry Potter Price.
I think most of us are familiar with the verse about "our enemy, the Devil, prowling around like a lion, seeking to devour us." (I'm paraphrasing here.)
And I'm thinking about my mom's cat, Ed, and how is he kind of like the Devil. (And no, sisters of mine, he's not the Devil, I don't care what you say.)
See, quite a few years ago, we had this hamster, Harry Potter Price. He was a sweet little thing, all fluffy and fat. He lived in a big old fish tank we had, and Ed would frequently sleep cuddled up next to the outside of the tank. It was pretty cute- the orange cat Ed snoozing on the outside, the orange hamster Harry snoozing on the inside. They seemed to live together in relative peace and harmony.
What we didn't know was that Ed had an agenda. He was lulling us into a false sense of security. How he must have laughed at us: "Those naive humans I permit to live with me in my house. Look at them, aawwing over me and that scrumptious morsel in the tank. What they don't know is that I'm totally into delayed gratification, and someday that hamster is in the for the surprise of his short little life."
Or maybe he just got really hungry one day.
Anyway, I believe it was my youngest sister Stephanie (who was probably all of about eight or nine years old at the time) who, going down to the basement, probably to play Barbies or some other innocuous playtime activity, discovered the carnage.
Harry Potter Price, out of his tank, on the floor. Headless. Bloodstains on the carpet.
Somewhere Ed was licking his chops and laughing.
Just like the Devil must laugh after successfully tempting some poor unsuspecting human.
I did not tell Adelaide this story during our Devil Discussion. She's scared enough of Ed as it is.