The Invention of Laughter



Margaret entered the inaugural Salisbury Public Library Service Adult Creative Writing Competition in 1997 with the story “The Invention of Laughter” and won first prize.


The Invention of Laughter” is a creation myth. Eden is placed in Australia and is populated by kangaroos and kookaburras, and there is little joy in Eden as Adam is a single-minded fellow who is intent on his task of assigning names, both common and scientific to the various animals there. Thus the Dog, who is important to the plot, is both Canis and Dog. The Serpent is a sardonic character who persuades the Antipodean Eve to take a bite of the apple in order to learn how to laugh. Having learned the miracle of laughter, Eve wonders whether she should introduce Adam to this knowledge. Eventually she does so in order to spare her daughters from living with a humourless mate. This story has never been published.