“Tell me, then,” he inquires. “What is it exactly that you need done?”
“What I need,” say I, “is to prove my innocence. I’ve done nothing wrong—but does that matter at all? Does anyone care? Saul’s putting his dogs on my scent.”
Joav raises an eyebrow. “Like me, he must have read your mind.”
“Even so,” I say, “no one should be persecuted for the thoughts in his mind. I haven’t hurt him, nor have I raised my hand to grasp his crown. I’ve done no crime—yet here I am, banished.”
“This is injustice,” he accepts. “But between us, innocent you’re not. So let me ask you again: what is it you need done?”
And I say, “Let him attack me. The longer this goes on, the worse he fares in the eyes of the people. My virtue will be proved not by fighting back—but by patience, by our skill to outmaneuver him.”
He sits back, a glint of admiration playing in his steel-grey eyes.
So I press on, “Our cause, at this stage of the game, is to be constantly on the move. We’re not going to stay in the same place two days in a row. Tonight, we’re camping here. Tomorrow, who knows? We may be digging bunkers under the king’s palace, and spying on him from there—”
He is quick to finish my thought. “The next day,” he says, “we may disappear into the Canaanite villages, or the Philistine towns.”
A lizard slinks out of the treasure box, and with a sudden flick of the hand Joav catches it. “Ha!” he smirks. “We’ll be changing our garb and our habits at a moments notice, the way this lizard changes its skin.”
“Survival!” I say.
“Survival,” he says simply. “I’ll see to it.”
Lizard (my newest paper engineering project)
can be found wandering from one place to another around my house
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