An old man remembers

I was all set to join up as a drummer boy when one night I was out with the other young lads. Well, how I got separated from my mates I don’t know but there I was all on my tod as they say when I came across some shepherds watching out for their flocks. I was a bit hungry to say the least and those kind men fed me. Well, there I was dozing off when all at once there was all this light in the sky and I could hear singing. Well I thought I was dreaming and it was this wonderful dream, but as it turned out it was real. The lights were angels and they were giving these shepherds some message. Next I knew up they got and all of a buzz they were. Before you could say shake a lambs tale, they were off. Well, being one for an adventure I upped and followed them; at a distance mind, me being Roman and them Hebrews. I didn’t want to take advantage; they had fed me.
If I ‘m honest, and I do try to be, when we got to the place I could scarce move as they went in to see this king they were all muttering about or at least he was supposed to be some kind of saviour … if that was the case he went and got born in the wrong neck of the woods…
Hey stay on and hear the full tale … I kept coming across him over the years – with every important time of my life he seemed to pop up. Well being at a lose end I kept an eye on the little family that I saw that night. I thought the man was a bit old for a pretty young girl like her but some folk say he was a man of honour and he married her because she was having a baby. Others say different they say the impossible but I …well… I’ll tell you my opinion later. That night I saw this little baby …the man was holding him in his arms like he was holding the most precious jewel ever known and the mother was leaning back on the straw.. They were in an old stable back of one of the inns… she looked tired out, and it was years later when I realized why.

As I said he kept popping up in my life, the next time wasn’t too long after the first. I had joined up and we were billeted in people’s homes. I remember the family, they had a baby, their first too and a boy. There was a lot of talk that some geezers from the east were looking for a special child king and Herod was throwing wobblers all over the show. I knew where the little fella was so I went to take a gander… you know… to see if those guys were as clever as they were supposed to be. Turned out they were, they were there in the house that the couple were staying in and I could see them through the open doorway. They bowed down to the baby and at the time it seemed right odd but now… well best not to jump ahead of myself…I could see they were leaving gifts and as it turned out they were the cause of the family upping sticks but at least they gave them a way out. You see they didn’t go back to Herod to tell him where the baby was they crept out of the area and then hot footed it back to their own country. That made Herod apoplectic… he was in a right rage and he ordered all the baby boys under two to be killed. Well I never could face that little family where I had been staying after that, so I slept rough until we moved on. It made most of the soldiers sick to slaughter the little ones but orders are orders you know and as soldiers under a captain and captain under… well you get my drift…. I met one of the kind shepherds that had fed me and he told me the special baby king was safe in Egypt, the men from the east had left money so they were able to slip away before the carnage began because the father had been warned in a dream… the shepherd said he had it on good authority because he was related to an old man called Simeon and his wife was a distant relative of an old girl by the name of Anna. Simeon and Anna were always in the temple and they had been waiting for this baby king for years apparently. The couple had nipped in to dedicate the baby to their Hebrew god before going to Egypt and they told Anna or maybe someone else about it.
Well I rose up from drummer boy and grew up at the same time. Met a lovely young woman and got myself wed, that’s when I came across the family again. The mum and dad had been on their way home with all their friends when junior goes missing. First I know is my wife tugging at my arm and pointing to the temple. She always spots interesting news as it unfolds…. well we slipped in quiet like as Romans we were not exactly welcome there. Well I was stunned. There was the lad, about 13 by then he would be sitting holding court with the old fellas actually listening. Of course it was the mum I recognised, even lovelier now, more mature and flushed with worry as to where the lad was. Cool as a cucumber he was when she rebuked him he just said something about doing business for his father… strange thing to say when his dad was a carpenter…

After that it was nigh on twenty years before I set eyes on him again though I heard plenty of tales. He had sort of followed up on john the baptiser. A right wild one he turned out. Seems the two were cousins chalk and cheese … john got his head chopped off but worse was in store for his cousin. Anyway mustn’t run on too quick… by that time I knew his name, Jesus, and I had risen in the ranks, much to my wife’s delight. We could afford lots of good things but all the money in the world is of no value when your child is sick. So, when my wife suggested I went to ask Jesus to heal our child I was all for it… don’t know how come I never gave it a thought myself. I knew when I looked into his eyes he would heal my youngest and also I saw in him a good kind man. That day is one I never will forget. And the rest of my meeting up with him is all seared into my brain too…

… to be continued

An old man remembers

aaeiinnn

Joined July 2009

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Artist's Description

this story will continue next year
it is really for the pre easter time but i hope for feed back
also i intend to expand and add detail

Artwork Comments

  • pat gamwell
  • aaeiinnn
  • Lyndy
  • aaeiinnn
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