Religion is where I must begin, decided the Devil. There is no better place to start a war or just cause trouble than in religion. Everyone knows that. They are sure to wind up arguing the merits of this or that and, finally, start to hate each. He knew it didn’t take much to get people stirred up. He remembered that in Russia, people long ago had divided up between those who believed in crossing themselves one way, while the others decided a different way was right. To this day they still did not approve of each other. He smiled, knowing his choice of religion was the right way to make Banios fall from grace and bring the angel back. He would capture her. He would embrace her. He would eat of the Cloud of Goodness. Then, he would know love and God would take him back.
The Devil flew up to the church steeple and shook the bells. As it was in the middle of the night, this woke up everyone. Then they heard him singing. ‘What was he doing?’, everyone asked. ‘What was going to happen now?’ They trembled in fear. Pepito Fourcade pulled the covers over his head and his wife told him that God would take care of it, no matter what happened. ‘God’, Pepito mumbled, ‘is what started it all.’ His wife took back her share of the covers and told him to go back to sleep. Pepito couldn’t sleep. Like most of the people in the village, anger as well as fear kept him awake, because he, like everyone else in Banios, was exhausted with being good and would have liked just a moment of forbidden passion. Even his dreams were pure, which Pepito thought somehow not quite right for a man.
‘Ah’ said the Devil, ‘I will put a little devil among them.’ He imagined the cutest but most devious monkey in the world.