Adam and Eve had sons, and their sons had sons, and the sons of the sons had sons. By that time there were lots of people in the world. God sat back and watched them. He saw them hurting each other, being selfish, and not thinking about him very much.
God saw Noah, who was, however, a very good man. He said: “I like Noah, but I don’t like the others much.”
The world had not turned out quite as well as he had hoped, so he decided to have a great storm, which would cause a flood, so he could start again. The flood would soon get rid of all the bad men, animals and everything that lived.
Before God started the storm he told Noah how to build a great boat – the ark. He told him how long it should be, how many rooms it should have, and how many windows and doors.
God said: “Now listen, Noah. When your ark is finished, I want you to get two of every animal, two of every bird, and all the insects and bugs you can lay your hands on. Then get your wife, your sons and their wives, and put the whole lot in the ark. Right?”
Noah said he would do it, and the ark was built. Just as the last nails were hammered in, the sky went black and the lightning started flashing. God had turned on the storm.
“Quick!” shouted Noah. “Everybody in. No pushing, you lions. Hurry up at the back, tortoises.”
Just in time, the door was shut and locked. For nearly six weeks it rained and rained and rained. All the ground was covered with water, and even the trees and mountains were covered.
The ark sailed on. It bounced up and down a bit in the rough sea, but all the animals, all the birds, all the family and even old Noah were safe and happy inside.
After a while the rain stopped banging on the roof, and sunlight started to shine through the cracks in the door and windows. Noah knew it was time to find out if the water had gone down.
He thought: “If I send out one of the doves it will soon tell me if there is any land showing yet.”
So that day, nearly a year after the ark had started its journey, Noah opened the window and the dove flew out into the clear blue sky. Noah looked around. He certainly couldn’t see any land, just sea, sea, sea (as far as he could see). The dove came back looking a bit fed up. “No good,” it said.
A week later, Noah sent out the dove again. This time it came flying back, proudly carrying an olive twig in its beak.
That told Noah the water had gone down enough for some land to appear, so he left it a few more days and then opened the door of the ark. All the animals ran out on to the dry land; the horses prancing about, the kangaroos jumping up and down, and the lions growling happily.
They all thanked Noah for the lift, and went on their way.
God spoke to Noah. He said: “I promise I won’t flood the world again. Go now, and let all your children and grandchildren make the world a really nice place to live in.”
God went away again, leaving a lovely rainbow to show that he was going to keep his promise.