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Eve's Diary, Part 1 by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

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Produced by David Widger and Cindy Rosenthal


By Mark Twain

Illustrated by Lester Ralph

Translated from the Original

Part 1.

SATURDAY.--I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday.
That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was a
day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I should
remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen, and that I
was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful now, and if any
day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it. It will be best
to start right and not let the record get confused, for some instinct
tells me that these details are going to be important to the historian
some day. For I feel like an experiment, I feel exactly like an
experiment; it would be impossible for a person to feel more like an
experiment than I do, and so I am coming to feel convinced that that
is what I AM--an experiment; just an experiment, and nothing more.

Then if I am an experiment, am I the whole of it? No, I think not; I
think the rest of it is part of it. I am the main part of it, but I
think the rest of it has its share in the matter. Is my position
assured, or do I have to watch it and take care of it? The latter,
perhaps. Some instinct tells me that eternal vigilance is the price
of supremacy. [That is a good phrase, I think, for one so young.]

Everything looks better today than it did yesterday. In the rush of
finishing up yesterday, the mountains were left in a ragged condition,
and some of the plains were so cluttered with rubbish and remnants that
the aspects were quite distressing. Noble and beautiful works of art
should not be subjected to haste; and this majestic new world is indeed
a most noble and beautiful work. And certainly marvelously near to
being perfect, notwithstanding the shortness of the time. There are too
many stars in some places and not enough in others, but that can be
remedied presently, no doubt. The moon got loose last night, and slid
down and fell out of the scheme--a very great loss; it breaks my heart
to think of it. There isn't another thing among the ornaments and
decorations that is comparable to it for beauty and finish. It should
have been fastened better. If we can only get it back again--

But of course there is no telling where it went to. And besides,
whoever gets it will hide it; I know it because I would do it myself.
I believe I can be honest in all other matters, but I already begin to
realize that the core and center of my nature is love of the beautiful,
a passion for the beautiful, and that it would not be safe to trust me
with a moon that belonged to another person and that person didn't know
I had it. I could give up a moon that I found in the daytime, because I
should be afraid some one was looking; but if I found it in the dark, I
am sure I should find some kind of an excuse for not saying anything
about it. For I do love moons, they are so pretty and so romantic. I
wish we had five or six; I would never go to bed; I should never get
tired lying on the moss-bank and looking up at them.

Stars are good, too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I
suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they
are, for they do not look it. When they first showed, last night, I
tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which
astonished me; then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never
got one. It was because I am left-handed and cannot throw good. Even
when I aimed at the one I wasn't after I couldn't hit the other one,
though I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod
sail right into the midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times,
just barely missing them, and if I could have held out a little longer
maybe I could have got one.

So I cried a little, which was natural, I suppose, for one of my age,
and after I was rested I got a basket and started for a place on the
extreme rim of the circle, where the stars were close to the ground and
I could get them with my hands, which would be better, anyway, because I
could gather them tenderly then, and not break them. But it was farther
than I thought, and at last I had go give it up; I was so tired I
couldn't drag my feet another step; and besides, they were sore and hurt
me very much.

I couldn't get back home; it was too far and turning cold; but I found
some tigers and nestled in among them and was most adorably comfortable,
and their breath was sweet and pleasant, because they live on
strawberries. I had never seen a tiger before, but I knew them in a
minute by the stripes. If I could have one of those skins, it would
make a lovely gown.

Today I am getting better ideas about distances. I was so eager to get
hold of every pretty thing that I giddily grabbed for it, sometimes when
it was too far off, and sometimes when it was but six inches away but
seemed a foot--alas, with thorns between! I learned a lesson; also I
made an axiom, all out of my own head--my very first one; THE SCRATCHED
EXPERIMENT SHUNS THE THORN. I think it is a very good one for one so

I followed the other Experiment around, yesterday afternoon, at a
distance, to see what it might be for, if I could. But I was not able
to make out. I think it is a man. I had never seen a man, but it
looked like one, and I feel sure that that is what it is. I realize that
I feel more curiosity about it than about any of the other reptiles. If
it is a reptile, and I suppose it is; for it has frowzy hair and blue
eyes, and looks like a reptile. It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot;
when it stands, it spreads itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is
a reptile, though it may be architecture.

I was afraid of it at first, and started to run every time it turned
around, for I thought it was going to chase me; but by and by I found it
was only trying to get away, so after that I was not timid any more, but
tracked it along, several hours, about twenty yards behind, which made
it nervous and unhappy. At last it was a good deal worried, and climbed
a tree. I waited a good while, then gave it up and went home.

Today the same thing over. I've got it up the tree again.

SUNDAY.--It is up there yet. Resting, apparently. But that is a
subterfuge: Sunday isn't the day of rest; Saturday is appointed for
that. It looks to me like a creature that is more interested in resting
than it anything else. It would tire me to rest so much. It tires me
just to sit around and watch the tree. I do wonder what it is for; I
never see it do anything.

They returned the moon last night, and I was SO happy! I think it is
very honest of them. It slid down and fell off again, but I was not
distressed; there is no need to worry when one has that kind of
neighbors; they will fetch it back. I wish I could do something to show
my appreciation. I would like to send them some stars, for we have more
than we can use. I mean I, not we, for I can see that the reptile cares
nothing for such things.

It has low tastes, and is not kind. When I went there yesterday evening
in the gloaming it had crept down and was trying to catch the little
speckled fishes that play in the pool, and I had to clod it to make it
go up the tree again and let them alone. I wonder if THAT is what it is
for? Hasn't it any heart? Hasn't it any compassion for those little
creature? Can it be that it was designed and manufactured for such
ungentle work? It has the look of it. One of the clods took it back of
the ear, and it used language. It gave me a thrill, for it was the
first time I had ever heard speech, except my own. I did not understand
the words, but they seemed expressive.

When I found it could talk I felt a new interest in it, for I love to
talk; I talk, all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am very interesting,
but if I had another to talk to I could be twice as interesting, and
would never stop, if desired.

If this reptile is a man, it isn't an IT, is it? That wouldn't be
grammatical, would it? I think it would be HE. I think so. In that
case one would parse it thus: nominative, HE; dative, HIM; possessive,
HIS'N. Well, I will consider it a man and call it he until it turns out
to be something else. This will be handier than having so many

NEXT WEEK SUNDAY.--All the week I tagged around after him and tried to
get acquainted. I had to do the talking, because he was shy, but I
didn't mind it. He seemed pleased to have me around, and I used the
sociable "we" a good deal, because it seemed to flatter him to be

WEDNESDAY.--We are getting along very well indeed, now, and getting
better and better acquainted. He does not try to avoid me any more,
which is a good sign, and shows that he likes to have me with him. That
pleases me, and I study to be useful to him in every way I can, so as to
increase his regard.

During the last day or two I have taken all the work of naming things
off his hands, and this has been a great relief to him, for he has no
gift in that line, and is evidently very grateful. He can't think of a
rational name to save him, but I do not let him see that I am aware of
his defect. Whenever a new creature comes along I name it before he has
time to expose himself by an awkward silence. In this way I have saved
him many embarrassments. I have no defect like this. The minute I set
eyes on an animal I know what it is. I don't have to reflect a moment;
the right name comes out instantly, just as if it were an inspiration,
as no doubt it is, for I am sure it wasn't in me half a minute before.
I seem to know just by the shape of the creature and the way it acts
what animal it is.

When the dodo came along he thought it was a wildcat--I saw it in his
eye. But I saved him. And I was careful not to do it in a way that
could hurt his pride. I just spoke up in a quite natural way of
pleasing surprise, and not as if I was dreaming of conveying
information, and said, "Well, I do declare, if there isn't the dodo!" I
explained--without seeming to be explaining--how I know it for a dodo,
and although I thought maybe he was a little piqued that I knew the
creature when he didn't, it was quite evident that he admired me. That
was very agreeable, and I thought of it more than once with
gratification before I slept. How little a thing can make us happy when
we feel that we have earned it!

THURSDAY.--my first sorrow. Yesterday he avoided me and seemed to wish
I would not talk to him. I could not believe it, and thought there was
some mistake, for I loved to be with him, and loved to hear him talk,
and so how could it be that he could feel unkind toward me when I had
not done anything? But at last it seemed true, so I went away and sat
lonely in the place where I first saw him the morning that we were made
and I did not know what he was and was indifferent about him; but now it
was a mournful place, and every little thing spoke of him, and my heart
was very sore. I did not know why very clearly, for it was a new
feeling; I had not experienced it before, and it was all a mystery, and
I could not make it out.

But when night came I could not bear the lonesomeness, and went to the
new shelter which he has built, to ask him what I had done that was
wrong and how I could mend it and get back his kindness again; but he
put me out in the rain, and it was my first sorrow.


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