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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)

TITLE: Wild Honey
By Duwana Brennen



I could hear AnnÉ calling to me from the house, cautioning me with a tone that warned me not to rush through my chores. Why could she not understand that I would lose my favorite spot if I didn’t hurry? I slowed down just enough to keep her from leaving her bread unattended; the smell of the yeast from an earlier batch teased my stomach.

It seemed that the goats were taking their sweet time today, chewing twice before swallowing—taunting me with their foolish grins. Feeding them was taking much too long. Why couldn’t they cooperate? After all, I had cleaned their pen and milked them just after daylight. But now my enthusiasm was making AnnÉ suspicious. I could see her through the cracked shutter as she peaked out with one eyebrow raised. Before AnnÉ could speak, I smiled and reassured her that I was done. She had that (my poor son) look on her face; AnnÉ always felt as if I was wasting my time whenever I rushed off to sit on hilltops occasionally partaking of wild honey.

Before leaving, I shoved a few morsels of bread in some cloth and ran as fast as I could. My feet kicked up the sandy dirt, and my sandals strained to keep up with the demands of my feet. I was almost there.

I plucked a ripe fig from a tree and plopped down in the shadiest of spots where I could see everything. The shade of the fig tree hugged my neck and brought relief to my tired feet. While I waited, I opened up the cloth that held my tender bites of bread—it was a treat to have the bread join the sweetness of the fig. At last, I could see people coming from the west (some had already gathered around to listen to the wild honey man call to them from the water). Some days he called to me, but I was too afraid, too afraid that I would get lost in the dark water. He always worked steadily and solemnly saying something to each person, something that I could never quite make out from the hilltop. Some days, I would move closer, but I still couldn’t hear the buzz of words that left his mouth.

There were always scattered crowds of people coming and going, many of them wept as they left. I watched as the man intently dipped his hands into the water; he would carefully allow water to flow from his fingers and fall on each person’s head. I could see him look deeply into each set of eyes; he never turned away.

Just over my shoulder, a shadow caught my eye. I turned my head while shielding my eyes to block the sun, but I still couldn’t make out the figure. When the man moved closer, I could see his face. He smiled but said nothing. Before I knew it, I was on my feet watching him head towards the water. The wild honey man was looking in our direction, and for the first time, he stopped what he was doing; he seemed to be studying the man who was now at the water’s edge. I was closer now, mesmerized by the honey man as he looked up to the sky. Before I realized what I was doing, I was in the water moving closer. All I could see was Honey man’s back because he was watching the other man leave the water. I was ready for the water to warm my face. He turned to face me, but to my surprise, this man (dressed in camel’s hair) didn’t reach into the water. I knew he could tell I was hungry for the water, yet he just looked into my eyes. “Follow Him,” he said “and you’ll be baptized by something greater than water.”

Not even the thought of AnnÉ’s bread, figs, or wild honey could keep me from following after the Man now on the hill’s horizon.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Johnna Stein10/25/07
I enjoyed your descriptive narrative. Very well written. You and I were on the same line of thinking as I wrote something similar. See Word was out.
Seema Bagai 10/25/07
Good descriptions in this piece.
Carol Shaffron10/26/07
Very imaginative and well told! Good writing and I think should be in the next level up at least..
Donna Powers 10/26/07
Very descriptive and it put me right into the scene. Nicely written and a good rendition of a familiar scene.
LauraLee Shaw10/29/07
Lots of imagination and description to go around here. It was easy to place myself smack dab in the middle of this scene. Great job! Loved your ending.
Joanne Sher 11/02/07
Congratulations, Duwana. Your entry placed sixth in Level 1. The Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 Overall Lists are posted each week in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings Forum of the Faithwriters Message Boards.