30. Micaiah Hikes North – a version of AWOL?

This seems to be a version of Mikey AWOL. So fix them.

25.1. Micaiah Hikes North – a version of Mikey AWOL?

868 BC

Jezreel Valley, Israel

1 Kings 18:3-4

Micaiah followed the column of Assyrian soldiers toward Fort Jezreel, his sandals slapping the road to the beat of their strides. The sun had barely climbed above the treetops when he passed the cutoff to Samaria City, where the Lord had said, “Take this message.” [huhi?]

A bright green parakeet squawked at him from a chestnut tree then sailed across his path.

Micaiah craned his neck. The nearest sentry stood many paces behind, and the path ahead curved around a cluster of boulders.

As he passed the boulders, they stood between him and the sentry, so Micaiah faded off the road and crouched among the bushes. No one called the column to a halt or asked about a soldier out of uniform.

He let the rhythm of marching feet fall off toward the fort then pushed a branch aside and crept around the boulders to the [show steep slope, lots of vegetation] valley wall. With a root, he pulled himself up the slope a step. Testing a rock with his foot, he trusted it with his weight, then pulled himself higher by the limb of an oak. Keeping to the thickest shrubs and trees, he scrabbled up the side of the valley to a field outside Jenin. [- Testing (1) – Keeping (1) – Brushing (1)]

As Micaiah stood panting in the grass, the sun bore down on him from above the trees. He loosened his turban to cover his neck, settled his pack more comfortably on his shoulder, and stepped into the middle of the ridge road.

No chariots. No troops.

Young girls drove gaggles of geese and herds of sheep. [how many women? how many young girls? any babies? toddlers? all teenagers? ] Women led donkeys piled high with melons, pears, yams, or chickens in bamboo baskets. Instead of the yellow-winged torch of Syria, they wore iron-gray robes and matching turbans.

Micaiah headed north. He pulled a pomegranate from his pack and tore away the skin with his fingernails. [He must have some tough fingernails!] With each stride, he broke out a section of the fruit and let the juice stain his fingers red while he crunched the seeds between his teeth. [Tart! Puckered.] He stretched into a lilting stride, and sang, The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Where the path entered a thick wood of oaks and acacias, Micaiah came up behind an old man leading a donkey hung with clusters of pots, shovels, and axes.

Micaiah shut down his song and sprang to their side. The Lord be with you, sir.

The Lord be with you.The man nodded. He wore a checkered gray and white turban wrapped high on his head.

Market day is it?

Market day it is, son. In Dothan.

Micaiah bent over the man’s donkey. For many months he had been cooped up in that cave, unable to rub against donkey, goat, or cow. As he inhaled the aroma of home, his eyes filled with tears. Shes a beautiful beast.

The old man squinted at him and lowered his head. Shes that all right. Old Beors a beauty. Smart too.

From the shade of the woods, a yellowhammerii called zit-zit-zit.

Micaiah probed. Does it seem like Assyrians are racing to take over the valley, sir?

Hmpf!The man flicked at him with his hand. They won that race [when?], son. Not safe to move about down there.

Yes sir. Safe enough up here in the hills, though, eh?

The man shook his head. Dont you go believing it, young man. Theyll soon be surrounding the king in his palace.

The old mans prophecy struck Micaiah at the high point of his stride. <<<So? >>>He had to get the Lords message to the king and fast.

As they came out of the woods, the hill of Dothan appeared off to the right.

Micaiah waved toward path up to the city. Heres your market, sir. May the Lord give you a profitable day.

Good day to you, son. Want to survive in the new order, best be brushing up on your Aramaic.

Brushing up on his Aramaic? Micaiah suppressed a laugh. “I’ll do that, sir.He waved goodbye.

The old man and his donkey took the cut off and climbed the hill to Dothan.

Micaiah strode around the hill and on toward Samaria City.

Long after dark he found familiar paths on the city’s outskirts. Next to the little hut where Uncle Gera managed the olive groves, Micaiah sat on the bench and unlaced his sandals.

While he rubbed his aching feet, a breeze floated up the hill and touched his hair. An owl hooted. The bear and her cubs rose from Gilead and shimmered above his head. He padded over to the tiny spring that bubbled beside the hut and refilled his water skin then washed his feet.

Ah yes. The world outside the cave.

After draping his robe and loin cloth on an olive tree, he dipped the tail of his tunic in the spring and scrubbed the dust of the road from his face. Then from his arms and chest. He climbed back into his tunic then slipped into his robe.

From his pack, Micaiah nibbled the one remaining flatbread, a handful of raisins, and two figs.

Last night he slept under a stone roof with the brush of bat wings. Tonight he lay on a bench among the songs of crickets and toads. To the stars, Micaiah sang soft and low, I remember your name in the night, O Lord.He stretched out on Geras bench, sipped from his water skin, and hummed the psalm.

Thank you, Lord.”

In the morning Uncle Gera would take him to the king.

Or had Assyrian troops already surrounded the palace?

  1. Pacing – Was Micaiah frightened at all? Was it a close shave? did he just miss being caught? None of this seems hard for him. Yet he is in a dangerous place. If you were to quicken the pace here as he moves to get away, it would add suspense to your story.

  2. We don’t really get a good look at the Assyrians. I remember the slap of Micaiah’s sandals, what did the Assyrians sound like? Did Micaih and the young women he passed exchange any words? glances?

  3. Does the story hold your interest/attention? Yes, I liked the descriptive details—his climb up the hill, the peaceful end to the chapter,

  4. My favorite part was the encounter with the man with the donkey. You really handled the dialogue well and drew me right into the scene. The language flows. This is the best part of the chapter I think. Are they going to meet later?


iiYellowhammer maybe another bird?

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