Chapter 17 - Ahuv

 “Ahuv?” Rebekah questioned “You’re having a boy? How can you be so sure?” She knew that ahuv meant ‘beloved’, just like ahuva, but it was the word you used when you were referring to a boy instead of a girl.

Mary leaned in a little closer to Rebekah and spoke quietly, “Can you keep a secret?”

Rebekah felt pretty special herself. She and her family had just met Mary and Joseph, but Mary was already trusting her with a secret. No other adult had ever done that before. “I can keep a secret, Mary,” Rebekah replied with a nod of her head.

“An angel of the Lord visited me, and told me that I was going to have a son. Ever since that happened, I’ve been as certain as I could be that the baby I am carrying is a boy,” Mary whispered to Rebekah.  Rebekah took some time to think about what Mary had said.  She had never met anyone who had spoken to an angel before. She had heard about angels from the stories of old, but had never met anyone who had seen one. Mary continued, “My relative, also had a visit from an angel a short time ago. She was told that she would have a son, and it came to pass, just as the angel told her it would.”

“That’s amazing!” Rebekah responded, her eyes wide with wonder.

“What is amazing, Rebekah?” Esther asked as she neared the two of them. She had finished putting away the food and had come back to join her daughter and Mary.

“Oh, nothing, Mother,” Rebekah quickly replied. “Mary was just letting me feel the baby kick.” As if on cue the baby kicked again. Imhotep decided he had enough and  got up from where he was resting against Mary and started trotting off toward some brush not far from where they were sitting. 

“Maybe Imhotep was feeling the kicking too, and is looking for a place to rest that isn’t so actively moving,” Esther chuckled. Imhotep heard his name, and let out a solitary “meow” as he prowled deeper into the brush.  

Mary watched the cat as his ears perked up with interest, staring at a spot that was hidden from their view. “What do you think he’s found?” she asked.

Rebekah got up to get a closer look, but froze when she saw what Imhotep was so hypnotized with. Just a few feet in front of the cat stood an Indian-crested porcupine, exiting a pile of rocks to take a look at the strange animal that was heading toward him. Rebekah had only seen a porcupine once before, and she was with her father then. He warned her of how sharp their quills could be. “Imhotep! No!!” she yelled, with a mixture of fear and concern in her voice. The porcupine, startled by the sound of her voice, quickly retreated into its den, while Imhotep turned and gave Rebekah a puzzled look. He didn’t know how close he had come to a very painful life lesson. Rebekah hurried over to her cat, scooped him up in her arms, and carried him back to where her mother and Mary were sitting. Daniel and Joseph came running toward the group, having heard Rebekah’s shout. “It’s okay, everybody,” Rebekah told them. “I just helped Imhotep avoid a painful lesson about why porcupines are not good animals to pursue.”  Daniel, Joseph, Mary and Esther laughed at this, as Imhotep looked innocently about for his next adventure.

Next: A Ride to End the Trip


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