In Genesis 3:1, the serpent strikes up a conversation with Eve. It says, “He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Eve doesn’t seem surprised when the serpent begins speaking to her. There is a joke that goes like this: Two muffins were sitting next to each other in an oven.  When one said “Whew, it sure is getting hot in here” the other said “Whoa!  A talking muffin!”  If animals did not talk to humans before the fall, it stands to reason that Eve would have reacted differently at the sight of a talking snake rather than carry on a casual conversation with it.  When I started this study, I believed animals did not talk in Eden, but that Satan “possessed” the serpent and spoke through him. But that left me with the struggle of understanding why Eve wasn’t stunned by the talking serpent. Why did she scream and run away? If I didn’t scream and run away, I’d surely pinch myself to be sure I wasn’t dreaming or make a quick appointment with a psychiatrist to check out my brain.

Now, I do believe that Satan was behind the conversation. There is little doubt about that. But we know he was behind Peter’s conversation when he tried to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross and fulfilling his destiny as well. One reason I believe it was possible for animals to speak in the garden of Eden is because this verse says the serpent was “more” crafty. That seems to imply that other animals were crafty also, but just not as crafty as the serpent. “Craftiness” could include the ability to speak! One web blogger who was answering the claim that animals can’t speak said, “I wish I could tell that to my sister-in-law’s Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot that doesn’t stop talking! Many types of parrots talk by mimicking, so it would be illogical to think that God didn’t give this ability to other animals—especially in a perfect world. Speaking human-sounding words and speaking intelligently, however, is not the same.” But we do see God put intelligent language in the mouth of a donkey in the book of Numbers. Furthermore, and this is important, things changed radically after the curse affecting everything in the world. Is it not possible that animals lost the ability to speak intelligently?

But most of all, I believe that when Christ sets up his kingdom on earth he will restore the Edenic life to us. So, what we see it to be foretold to be like, could help us understand what it was like in the past. In Revelation 5:13 we read, “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” Also, in Revelation 8:13 we see an eagle flying in mid-air calling out woe to those on earth with a loud voice. There’s another thing. I know it is mostly a children’s story but, C. S. Lewis gives us a creative glimpse of what the resurrected earth might be like. In The Magician’s Nephew, King Aslan declares the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, now in Narnia on its first day, to be his kings and queens. The talking animals make crowns for the first king and queen and express their delight in being ruled by these humans. One of the animals who watches this scene is a horse named Strawberry, who drew a London carriage on earth. He toiled, and sometimes his master Frank, a cabbie and a good man, whipped him to make him move faster. Strawberry, whom Aslan renamed Fledge, marvels at the new King Frank in the New Narnia: “My old master’s been changed nearly as much as I have! Why, he’s a real master now.” Honestly, who am I to dispute C. S. Lewis. Wow, now I’m worried about what my cat will say about me in heaven!