The confrontation

Andy Oram
28 May 2020

As the sun climbed the sky, blazing, the work of knocking baked bricks out of their molds got harder. Sitting under the half-built shell of a new granary, Enoch started up a tale:

I was out yesterday and ran into that no-good-nik Seth. You remember how one of my finest goats got loose from my yard three days ago and wandered into his yard; he wouldn’t return it to me. There’s no rules for that kind of thing, you know. So I see Seth by the river, light into him and call him a gonif, he gives me some lip in return, and I’m just about to deal him a well-deserved plunk on the head when I hear someone behind me ask, "Why hit your fellow?" In this snooty, affected, high-class Egyptian accent, I should say.

So I turn and there’s a guy in rich, aristocratic dress and for a minute, man, am I scared. Then I see it’s that oddball Moses—the young pretender, no one knows who he really is, whether he’s even Egyptian, maybe a momser, certainly no real aristocrat, Lord knows.

I just have to laugh. Here this poser is, never in his life had to lift anything heavier than his own putz, trying to tell working folk how to conduct their affairs. I say to the punk, "So who made you a big man? Overseer! Judge! You over all of us, hey? You plan to murder me like you murdered that Egyptian?"

You should have seen the change come over the kid’s face. Trembling, wide-eyed, couldn’t get a word out except, "So the thing is known?"

Seth and I are both laughing by now. "What do you expect?"

"I looked around," stammers Moses. "No one saw me."

"What about the Israelite who was getting a beating at the time? Who’s he, chopped liver?"

Well, Moses got out of there pretty damn quick. Seth was in a better mood; we struck up a deal and went back to work. I heard that Moses cleared out of Egypt completely. That’ll do the little rotter good. Let him get his own flock and try life on the skinny for a while. He’ll grow up and get wise to how tough things are for the rest of us.

Source: Exodus 2:11-15

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