Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
TITLE: The Bejeweled Bride
By Colin Swann
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The sisters went back to the well and asked Moses to accompany them to the camp, as their father wanted to see him.
“Father, we’ve brought him now; he’s outside.”
Jethro then sneaked a peak at him through a peephole in the side of his tent. Standing there was what appeared to be an Egyptian nobleman. His fine clothes were covered in desert dust. Jethro, being a wise and discerning man saw the sorrow and care in this man’s eyes. He thought, ‘We must return his favor.’
“Sort out a bath and get him into some clean clothes. He must have been traveling for days by the look of him.”
“He’s rather slimmer than you; your clothes will never fit him,” said Zipporah his daughter.
“Then get some of your brother’s for him. Hobab won’t mind when he knows what the man’s done for you.”
“Show him in here first, I’d like to thank him.”
The giggly seven daughters dragged the bedraggled Egyptian into their father’s abode.
“Thanks for dealing with those bullies for my girls. They’re a regular pest; it sometimes takes hours to draw water. Are you heading anywhere in particular?”
“No, I’m just wandering, trying to find some place to stay.”
“I would be honored if you would camp with us for a while. My daughters will sort out a bath and clean clothes for you – that’s if you don’t mind wearing a spare set of my son’s clothes. Then as a family we would love you to join us for our evening meal. You can stay with Hobab, in his tent.”
The mealtime was interesting; the girls asking question after question of their new visitor. “Will you help us at the well tomorrow?”; “How long can you stay with us?”; “If you stay, you could help Hobab and the workers to shepherd the flock – will you stay please?”
He answered all the queries best he could but avoided giving too much away of his past.
Moses decided to stay on for a while as a general helper. In the meantime Hobab became his constant companion and bosom pal. They shepherded Jethro’s flocks together until Moses was experienced enough to go it alone. As they lay in bed at night Moses would open up and share about his life in Egypt. He told Hobab how his people were suffering back there.
After a time Moses realized he was falling in love with Zipporah. She was strikingly attractive, with a beauty created by her lifestyle and environment; it hadn’t jaded her but honed and chiseled her like a rough jewel being cut into a precious stone. Moses eventually plucked up courage to ask Jethro if he could take her as his wife.
“Of course, I would be pleased for you to wed Zipporah. I’m just sad that her mother will not be able to see this day.”
All the womenfolk were excited. It was going to be a wedding for them all to enjoy. Their mother had taught the older girls sewing and embroidery skills and they in turn had passed it down to the younger girls after their mother’s death. They set about making the bride’s outfit.
The dress was fine linen, embroidered with colorful flowers and birds, bordered by all manner of tree and shrub foliage strips. This was overlaid with see-through fine silks of muted greens and blues, draped down from shoulder to ankle. Zipporah looked stunningly beautiful in it.
All the girls pooled their best jewelry for her to wear on the day: arm bracelets, mother’s necklace, nose and ear-rings, a tiara and a gold dress brooch. They then persuaded their father to splash out on an expensive perfume to put the finishing touch to her outfit.
Jethro was priest to his clan and performed all the wedding ceremonies; the one of his own daughter was especially emotional.
However, the day went perfectly. Merrymaking went on well into the night. Eventually, the two slipped off to their brand new home to become man and wife through the consummation of their relationship.
Later, they lay there in each other’s arms blissfully happy.
They had no idea of all that lay ahead.
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