Ready for Paul?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bored and in danger on the road from Bethlehem

Bethlehem's Baby is continuing its blog tour with posts all around the internet. Click here for more links. Meanwhile...if you'd like to tune your TV sets to the millennial Roman channel... here's your chance to enjoy another Sample Saturday. (Don't miss the other samples when you've read this... just follow the Sample Saturday link to the Facebook event.)

Our intrepid reporter has been following a merchant caravan out of Israel. His last report said soldiers were following too, though it’s hard to imagine why King Herod would risk angering the Romans. So, Paul, do have any further comment for us now our cameras have caught up with you? We can see the merchants in the background with their camels. But do any of the other travelers seem likely to attract King Herod’s attention?

Reporter Paul: No, they don’t. There’s a fisherman from up north, but I’ve looked into his background. He’s just a young guy seeking his fortune—says he can’t stand the smell of fish anymore.

Is there anyone else?

Paul: Well, there’s a young couple traveling from Bethlehem. The husband’s a carpenter and his wife’s got a little kiddie with her. Lots of tools on their donkey, but no weapons or anything like that. They’re really not a threat. And there’s an Egyptian family on their way back from the festival. They’ve got a little girl.

Egyptian, you say? Have you checked them out? Could they be spies?

Paul: They seem pretty innocuous to me. The girl’s just over there, playing with a ball. I’ll see if she’ll talk to you. Here, little girl...

Girl: I’m not little.

Paul: Well, okay. But we have a TV audience out there hoping to hear what you think of this caravan you’re traveling with.

Girl: It’s boring.

Paul: Talk into the microphone please.

Girl (holds microphone and shouts into it): It’s boring.

Paul (takes the microphone back): Thank you. So, tell us, how long have you been with the caravan?

Girl: Forever and ever and ever, and it’s boring.

Paul: Uh, yeah. We get that. And where are you going?

Girl: We’re going home.

Paul: Which is where?

Girl: In Egypt of course.

Paul: So you’re traveling with your mom and dad to Egypt. (Girl nods.) Where were you before you started this journey?

Girl: We were in Jerusalem. It was boring.

Paul: What were you doing there?

Girl: Praying in the Temple. It was really boring.

Paul: Just praying? That’s all?

Girl: And eating, sometimes (smiles). Then Dad said it was time to go so we went. And here we are. And it’s...

Paul: ...boring. Right. What will you do when you get to Egypt?

Girl: We’ll go home, like I said. We’re going to take the little boy with us.

Paul: What little boy?

Girl: The carpenter’s kid. You know. He’s going to come and live with us ‘cause King Herod’s soldiers are chasing after him.

Studio reporter, aside: Well folks. This is getting interesting. Ask her some more questions Paul.

Paul: Do you know why they’re after him?

Girl: ‘Cause he’s a king.

Paul: He’s a little boy.

Girl: Yeah, but... Yeah, hey, wait for me (runs off).

Paul: Everyone’s making a run for the border. Those soldiers are getting really close. I’m going to move off the road and watch if that’s okay.

(Sounds of horse’s hooves, shouting, and weapons drawn.
 Egyptian soldiers shout, “Halt! This is as far as you guys go.” Herod’s soldiers shout back. Meanwhile the caravan has gone through the checkpoint and continues along the road.)

Studio reporter: Can you find out anything more Paul?

Paul: I think not. Those soldiers look seriously upset—not a good time to interview them. But I think we nearly had a border incident here. World War Seven averted, I hope. I’m sorry we couldn’t get any better footage for you.

That’s okay. Good job, and thank you ,Paul. And thank you, viewers, for joining us in this week’s report from the mysterious lands of Rome’s outer provinces.   

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