Pups and Manners

Soon after crossing into the Land of Midian, Moses got a job making bricks on a building site. While not much of a job, it did give Moses the means to find shelter and clean himself up, for he did look a mess. After work each day he liked to sit in the shade near a well close by, and be alone with his thoughts which were mostly about Hatshepsut.

He thought about how she would have reacted to his sudden disappearance. And to the equally sudden disappearance of Senenmut. What if someone had glimpsed from afar his deadly fight with Senenmut? And seen him digging the hole and dumping Senenmut’s body in it? Did that someone talk to someone else about what he had seen? And did that someone else tell someone else? And did that someone else tell yet someone else? And on and on until the story reached Hatshepsut?

Did Hatshepsut then send someone to locate the hole? And to excavate it to see who it was? How did she react when she learned it was Senenmut? While her grief would no doubt have been intense, would it have been less had it been Moses in the hole? Indeed, would she even have been glad had it been Moses in the hole? Because, then, her precious Senenmut might still be alive somewhere, and soon back in her arms?

Moses clenched his fists in impotent fury and seething jealously at this thought. It gave way to despair whenever he was assailed by another thought, that his pain at Hatshepsut’s betrayal might never go away no matter how long he lived.


One evening when sitting near the well, Moses saw seven young women leading a flock of sheep to it so that the sheep might slake their thirst, and the women fill water containers for themselves. When they reached the well a group of shepherds slouched up. They crowded around the young women, put their hands on them, and said things like, “Hiya babe, you’re so beautiful I could die for you” and “Come to me honey and I’ll show you a good time”. The rest of the comments were of the same genre.

Moses strode up to one of the shepherds who seemed to be the leader, thrust two fingers into the shepherd’s nostrils and jerked upwards, forcing the shepherd on to his toes. Moses put his face close and said, “Don’t let me see you here again, there’s a good chap.”

Moses removed his fingers. The shepherd fell to the ground, blood gushing from his torn nostrils.

“Had enough?” said Moses as he bent down and made as if to re-insert his fingers in the shepherd’s nostrils.

“Let’s leave, boys” said the shepherd to his comrades. “We’ll settle things with this punk another time. We’ll fix him so good he won’t know what’s hit him.” They slunk away.

“I and my sisters thank you ever so much sir,” said one of the young women who appeared to be the eldest.

“All in a day’s work,” said Moses. “I just hope I taught those young pups some manners.”

“Are you from these parts?” said the young woman. “You speak sort of funny, so I’m guessing you’re not.”

“I’m up from Egypt” said Moses. “But, enough about me. Allow me to help water your sheep.”

“That’s so good of you sir. I’m Zipporah by the way. You are………?”


“Moses? What a quaint name. Doesn’t sound Egyptian, though”

“How many Egyptians have you known?”

“Oh…er…..not many. But I remember they had names like Amenemhet, Banefre, Djedefhor, Hepzefa and Ihop. Very different from ‘Moses’. It sounds to me almost Kenite, which is what we are.”

“You and your sisters, you live near here do you”?

“Yes, with our father, Jethro. He’s a high priest in our Kenite religion.”

“What about these sheep, then? Are they all for sacrifice in your father’s religious rituals?”

“Oh you are funny, Moses. I like men who are funny. Actually, my father’s a sheep farmer too. We help him with the sheep.”

“Your father sounds most interesting. I hope I can meet him some day.”


Moses was becoming aware of feeling a bodily sensation that men often feel when speaking with comely young women.

“I come to this well every evening. I’ll be here when next you bring your father’s sheep for watering. I’ll look out for you.”

“Yes………that would be…….er…….nice.”


The watering of the sheep now complete, Zipporah and her sisters, with Moses help, herded the sheep together and then set out back for their father’s house. Moses watched until Zipporah vanished over the horizon. Just before she did she turned and waved…….

Source: Exodus 2, 16 – 18

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3 Responses to Pups and Manners

  1. Lucy says:

    I’d been wondering why you’d taken a two month break before your last two postings.

    I think I now know why. You needed a mental and emotional break in order to replenish the juices that feed your undoubted genius. Your last two sparkling postings show this clearly.

    If the brilliance of what you create is going to mean you won’t post so often, this will have to be the cross I, as your most admiring of followers, will have to bear (sigh).

  2. Christopher says:

    To call me a genius isn’t necessarily a compliment, you know, because genii can also be stupid. Most, arguably, are. I’ve known a few.

    What I am, though, is right-brained. Not a good thing to be in a left-brained world, which ours is.

    Think of the fact that most of today’s leaders and legislators and opinion-makers come out of Law, Economics, Finance, Science and Technology – all left-brained professions. Those coming out of Literature, History, Psychology, Music, Painting, Drama, Anthropology, are almost non-existent.

    Most organisations, whether private or governmental, emphasise rules, obedience, punctuality, and conformity – all products of the left-brain. Hence those who find their way to the top in organisations are for the most part, left-brained.

    And we wonder why the state of our world is what it is?

    • Christopher says:

      I’m going to add that the products of today’s technology reflect their left-brained designers.

      I rented a car the other day – a 2016 model of a well-known make. But it was a car I had the most difficulty driving in all my over 50 years of driving cars. It was because of all its gadgets, that made me feel the car was driving me, instead of me it.

      When you consider that gadgetry is the milieu of that most left-brained of creatures, the geek, you can now see that the contemporary motor car, as an example of contemporary technology, reflects faithfully its left-brained designers.

      Ditto the smart phone.

      I’ve been thinking also of that most right-brained of pastimes, reading literature. But now, literature is being disemboweled by the left-brain, in the form of the notoriously unreadable lit-crit, whose obviously left-brained practitioners slice, dice, and otherwise analyse to death the literature under their purview.

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