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TITLE: A Rock Song
By Anita van der Elst

Would this story appeal to elementary school age children or does it have a broader appeal? Is it too old-fashioned sounding?
808 words

In the still, sunless morning I lay quietly. I’d done so for as long as I could remember. My friends, motionless and cold, lay all around me. Then the sun began to rise. It would be as every day before it—or would it?

For many days now activity had stirred upon the two hills overlooking the valley where I resided. As the stream trickled and murmured, the two armies amassed on the hillsides opposing each other awoke.

From the western hillside a thunderous voice, like an ogre, shouted louder than the wind rising with the sun. The ground shuddered around me as the creature stomped down the valley. I could almost mouth the words he uttered having heard the same message continuously these past many days. Back and forth the monster swaggered as he shouted out his monotonous, contemptuous dare. I was powerless to move. None of my companions were any more able.

Now footsteps approached from the other hillside. I heard a sure, purposeful stride. A stalwart shadow loomed over my hiding place. A hand reached down and began to fumble amongst the rocks and pebbles surrounding me. A smooth, round one was loosened from its place next to me and was slipped into a leather pouch hanging from the confident strider’s waist. I wondered what this could mean.

Now another rock was selected and followed the path of its predecessor. To my complete and utter surprise, strong fingers firmly pried me loose from the sand in which I had so long lain, and then I was jostling in the pouch with my fellows. Two more cool, smooth stones joined us.

I was stunned at this sudden change in my world. I had thought for eons that I was destined to lie untouched, unused, ignored, a nondescript, smooth gray stone. Not even worth being made into a grinding stone for the women to use in their food preparation. Suddenly, after all this time, I was wanted; for what purpose I knew not.

Water splashed as the owner of the pouch in which we were rattling, waded through the stream. The nearness of the arrogant voice taunting from the far side of the stream caused me to feel colder than I’d ever felt before. What were those words I heard roaring?

“Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?”

Other unintelligible mutterings and curses followed, then the ominous taunting continued, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”

But at the next words I heard uttered, the coldness within me seemed to diminish a little.

“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you, and I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands.”

Our pouch carrier’s voice was loaded with authority! I wanted to cry out with triumph at the truth with which he spoke! The pouch bounced and swayed more violently as he ran forward. His hand reached down into the pouch, his fingers fumbling through the five of us, and then—what joy—they curled around me and drew me out into the glorious sunlight now flooding our valley. Before I could think another thought, I was placed into his sling, spun rapidly in the air and within seconds I was hurtling forward.

Oh, the satisfaction when I reached my intended destination and sank into the fleshy forehead of the dreaded fiend. Then the ground rose up to meet us.

And it was as the pouch carrier predicted. He indeed separated the monstrous head, with me still firmly embedded in it, and presented it to the villain’s fellows who promptly fled.

Within hours I was jolted out of my target and set up on a shelf in the armory of the king. Unless I am called upon to cry out, I will spend the rest of my quiet days here until the new dawn comes, reminding the troops of our Creator’s might and how I was used in faith to conquer such a foe and for such a hero.

Luke 19:40
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
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