With Hatshepsut standing nearby, Moses clung tearfully to his mother Jochebed and father Amram, for the last time.
“I want you always to behave in a way that’ll make us proud” said Jochebed, who was tearful too , but tried not to show it.
“Waaaaahh” wailed Moses, “I don’t want to go. Please don’t make me go. I want to stay with you, waaaaaahh.”
“Stop crying. Remember you’re a Hebrew boy, and Hebrew boys don’t cry” said Jochebed, “If it wasn’t for this nice lady here, you’d be dead, drowned in the Nile.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want to go. Waaaaaahh.”
Come on Moses, let’s go” said Hatshepsut, “you’re going to like it where I’m taking you.”
For Hatshepsut, getting Moses to the royal palace in Heliopolis and settling him in there was the easy bit. To tell her father, the Pharaoh Thutmose I, about Moses was going to be the tricky bit.
Hatshepsut spoke to her father the first opportunity she had.
“There’s something I wish to speak with you about, father.”
“Let me guess, you’re with child?”
“Er……….not in so many words, father. But a child is involved. I’ve adopted one. A boy.”
“And without being married? You can’t adopt a boy and not be married. It wouldn’t be proper. And not to speak of unEgyptian. It’s time you got a husband anyway. I’ll find you one. Let me see this boy. Where did you get him?”
Hatshepsut then told in detail how she obtained the child Moses. When she said Moses was Hebrew, her father went suddenly into a convulsion. He fell to the ground, foam spewing from his mouth, his outstretched rigid legs kicking. A physician was summoned. After intense medical procedures, he revived the Pharaoh sufficiently for him to continue his conversation with Hatshepsut.
“Have you taken leave of your senses? What possessed you?” shouted the Pharaoh, on the point of another convulsion. “Do you know I could have you bound, then thrown in the Nile and drowned for adopting a Hebrew boy? Do you know my sacred counselors have said a baby boy will born from among the Hebrews in Egypt, who, when he’s grown, will lead a rebellion to bring down our Egyptian dominion? Which is precisely why I decreed all firstborn Hebrew boys in Egypt to be drowned in the Nile. How can we know that this boy, Moses, isn’t the Hebrew boy my counselors spoke of? If you were going to adopt a boy, why not a bona fide Egyptian boy? I don’t understand you, Hatashepsut. Really I don’t. I mean, if you want a son, why not marry a man and have a son by him, as most normal young women do. Being as ineffably beautiful as you are, you have the choice of a husband from well-nigh any young man in Egypt, none of whom wouldn’t die to take you to wife. What, then, are you waiting for? You know, I’m starting to think your romantic predilections are………how shall I say…………..unnatural? .
“It’s most unfair of you, father, to imply that my romantic predilections are unnatural – as you so quaintly put it. I can assure you, my predilections in that domain are entirely natural. So natural that no man I’ve met can fulfill what I want, which is to be desired not for my beauty, not as some man’s trophy, but for my mind and my spirit, which are who I truly am. I look upon my beauty as a curse, not a blessing, for I can never know what a man really wants me for. He may say he wants me for who I truly am, but he’s saying this only as his means to something more base. Oh, if only I were plain, for, then, if a man wants me, I know he wants me for who I truly I am, not for how I look.”
“So, no man’s good enough for you?”
“Well, no man I’ve met has been good enough for me. But……..were I to meet a man who I think Moses is going to turn out to be, he would be the man of my dreams. When I first laid eyes on Moses I felt as if transfixed. He had something unearthly and spiritual about him I just can’t describe. He has that effect on everyone who sees him. This is why I’ve adopted him, and not an Egyptian boy. You’ll see what I mean when you see him. He’s standing right outside. Come in Moses.”