“Tell us a story” say my grandchildren at bedtime.
“What sort of story?”
“An adventure story, Grandpa.”
“Well, the greatest adventure of my youth came on me quite by surprise! One day I’m composing a new song for a wedding under the supervision of a flock of sheep. The next I’m heading over the hills, goats with cheese in tow, into new country to find my soldier brothers.
‘Take cheeses to the general’, says Abba. How was I supposed to find him? ‘And see how your brothers are getting on.’ Right, Abba.
“Find him? I found a miserable, desultory army that would make my father cry, cringing in front of some uncircumcised giant who was hollerin’ out across the valley, begging for someone to kill him! He had them all scared, I tell you! And your great grandfather telling us all the while how Yahweh led the Israelites out of Egypt and slaughtered (doing a sword play demonstration) all their enemies, in a hundred magnificent battles, until they were safely in charge of the new land of Israel. And one single Philistine, shouting for all he was worth on the other side of the hill for someone to fight him, had the whole miserable army terrified! Whatever would Yahweh think of that?
The hero, they said would marry the king’s daughter and be a very wealthy man, his father would pay no taxes, What were they waiting for! Yahweh isn’t going to put up with this! So I offered to fix him!
Well, they marched me right over to see the king, and the king make me wear his suit of armour! You should have seen it! I couldn’t walk in it, let alone fight!
‘This is no good.’ I said to the king. ‘I’m not used to it. I’ll just go the way I am!”
But you are the King, Grandpa!”
“That was before I was King”.
‘So I toddled off down to the creek bed to look for some clean, round stones – remember I was showing you some the other day down by the Jordan River. You look for the smooth ones that fly through the air as strait as an arrow. They pack just as much of a punch too!”
“Eh, grandpa, I killed a bird with my sling yesterday.”
Did you now? Very good.
“We put him in the stew Grandpa.”
“Did he taste good?”
“Want to hear some more?”
“You bet, Grandpa”
“Well, I got five stones, and that giant was pacing towards me, yelling about being a dog, and how he was going to feed me to the birds. Nice way to greet a fella! I was glad he said “dog”, because I’d killed lions and bears before him.
In your dreams buster, I thought to myself. I tell you, I was furious. How dare this arrogant imbecile defy the armies of our mighty God, Yahweh? So I let him know he’d better get scared, because I came in the name of the Lord of Hosts, and I’d chop off his head, and feed the whole Philistine army to the birds!”
“Hurrah! Hurrah! Grandpa!”
‘So, as he came towards me, with his monster sword and javelin, I whispered, ‘This one’s for you, Yahweh,’ and I slipped a tiny stone into my sling and commenced to spin it round and around, then I let it loose and it sailed away high in the air, and hit him whhhop!, right in the middle of the forehead.”
‘Down he went like a mountain of rocks, and all the armies on both sides of the valley jumped up and hollered. But he was only stunned. I had to cut off his head. The only thing there was his sword, so I did it with that. You know that sword I keep in the store room, the really big one? That’s what I did it with. That’s the only time I ever used that sword. It’s too big!’
‘Wow! Wowee! Grandpa killed the giant with the great big sword! I’m a giant-killer Grandpa. I’m going to kill a giant one day!’
‘When I lifted up his head all the Philistines ran away, and the army had to go chase them and kill the lot!’
“Cos that’s what I promised. That was the bargain.’
“Did you marry the princess grandfather?”
“Well now, yes I did, but that’s a whole new story. Bedtime for you now”
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