Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The deal

"...and after I had helped father with his duties I had to help mother." Bethuel was telling me, he continued, "She wanted my help with some of the laundry and I was separating out the wet clothes to make it easier for them to dry when she told me something very odd. 'One day' she said, 'you will have others to do this for you my son', 'What do you mean?' I asked her. She told me that the master was giving everything to father and that father would then give everything to me. I was a little excited about this but confused, 'When will this happen' I said, 'when the crazy old fool dies' she said. I asked her who was crazy and she said the master. I was very upset and my mouth fell open."

Bethuel said, "And I said to mother that she shouldn't speak of our master like that and something father said appeared in my head and I said 'God chose him', the master is special. Mother turned to look at me and I was very scared, 'Special?' she said in a very quiet voice, 'Special?' her voice became very high that time. 'I'll tell you about your special master' she said, 'He was a poweful and rich man...' I didn't recognise the name of the place but mother said it was a kingdom, '...and he decided that the people of the kingdom were all mad and that he was the only normal one. Your master then declared that he'd done some kind of deal with one of the gods for some land.' Mother looked at me, 'You never make deals with the gods' she said, 'they always have a way of turning it around on you so that you lose out - you remember that.'

"And what was the deal?" I asked and she told me that this god had agreed to give all of this land to the master if he would only worship him. But that doesn't make sense to me, if the master did a deal not to worship the other gods then really he was only pretending. Because, if he knows that there are others he can only pretend not to worship them, I mean if they were there before his deal they must still be there somewhere?" Bethuel was addressing that last bit to me, he knew what his mother would have said if he'd asked her the same question.

Bethuel was about to ask a very important question, certainly very important to him....

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