If the Bible were set in a purely desert environment (as it is usually depicted in Western films), it would not likely not have produced stories that Europeans could relate to. But it wasn’t. The landscapes of the Galilee and the Judea-Samaria mountain range west of the watershed were (and are) very similar to those found in southern Europe (Greece, Italy, and Spain).
Ooh, I love this question. Here goes:
‘Hey, Bushy. How goes it?’
‘Very funny, Snake-Eyes. You know very well that nothing “goes”, with me. All I can do is just sit here, waiting for another Moses, who I just know won’t come till history starts all over again. It just burns me up thinking about it.’
‘What about Elijah? Wasn’t he here the other day?’
‘Pah! Don’t talk to me about Elijah. The guy was so exhausted for having run all the way here from the Galilee in forty days and nights, one nothing more than a cake and a cruse of water, he didn’t even see me.’
‘Trust me—having to crawl everywhere on my belly just to get around, constantly in danger of being crushed under some human heel, is no picnic either. It’s Toni, here, who has it cushy.’
‘Easy for you to say,’ said Toni dolefully, as she came up the hill. ‘You try riding with bloody Balaam on your back all day long, whacking you repeatedly with a stick because he can’t see God’s angel standing, clear as day, right there in front of you with a raised sword in his hand. You’d be all too happy to slither away or just sit there in the middle of the desert, with nobody bothering you.’
‘The truth is, none of us have it easy,’ said the snake. ‘Life’s a bitch, and then you die.’
‘Yes, well, if you hadn’t tempted Eve into eating from the Tree of Knowledge, none of us would have been in this predicament,’ said the bush. ‘I wouldn’t be burning, Toni here would have frolicked happily with all the other wild asses, and you would still have legs and chatting up birds in the Garden of Eden.’
‘Give him a break,’ said Toni, uncharacteristically spirited as she spoke up in the snake’s defence. ‘He just played the part he was given. The real problem—what all our troubles have in common, in case you haven’t yet noticed—is humans. Take them out of the picture, and the whole world will go back to normal.’
‘True enough,’ grumbled the snake. ‘Fortunately, the way they’re going, it won’t be long now.’
‘Why, what time is it?’ asked the bush, who was not much good at keeping time, since every day was like the next.
‘Two minutes to midnight,’ said Toni explained, helpfully. ‘That’s why I’m here. I wanted a front-row seat.’