Plaza, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel
Micaiah bounced to a beat as he led his donkey into the pre-dawn market. He whistled snatches of a psalm, bent, and by the light of the stars looped the donkey’s lead line onto a stone at the corner of his alloted space. Then he reared back and belted out the psalm.
“Whom shall I fear?
“Whom shall I fear?”
“Morning, Mikey!” came from the dark to his left.
“Mikey’s here,” came from the right.
Twitching to the beat, Micaiah circled the donkey and released ties from the net draped over his bags of figs. He lifted his head of messy brown hair toward his cousin, Imri, in the next stall and switched to Aramaic, the language of their village. “You’re looking at the next olive grove manager on Shemer’s Hill. Uncle Gera bragged on my pruning. Told the king’s right-hand man you could ‘throw a basket through the tree.’”
“Opened it right up, did you?” His cousin slung a sack of pomegranates down from his donkey.
Keren stepped between Micaiah and the donkey. “No, Mikey. It’s urgent. You must go this moment. Mother and I have sold more fruit and vegetables than you’ll ever see, and we’ll make more profit for your families.” She rested her hands on the heads of the two little boys. “My helpers will take you to Gera.”
Liev’s mother touched Micaiah’s arm. “Go now, son. Please. For Liev.”