William Ransohoff

The Savior

The young boy walked serenely into the marketplace, thrilled that his parents had let him go to the market alone, even if it was just to buy a few pomegranates. Striding over to the fruit stall, trying to look cool, he hummed a tune that he had made up a few days ago under his breath. Around him, peasants haggled for better prices, merchants peddled their wares, and the odd urchin lifted an unlucky noble’s purse.
    
Smiling, the child took great pride in the fact that he had hidden his coin purse. Finally, he reached the fruit stall. Walking up to the vendor, he asked in a quiet voice how much a pomegranate would cost.
    
“No, no, no. Twelve florins just won’t do; these are the finest of foreign fruits, you understand.” The merchant apparently hadn’t heard him, and was still haggling with another customer. Tentatively, the boy pulled on his sleeve. “Eh, what? Thief! Oh, never mind. Be gone with you! I’ve nothing for beggars!”
    
“No, sir, I was wondering how much the pomegranates cost.”
    
“Oh, a customer! They’ll be twenty-five florins each.”
   
 The child frowned. He only had forty florins with him. That would be enough for only one. “I’ll give you forty florins for two of them,” the kid offered.
    
“Alright, fine, I suppose that I won’t get any better from an urchin.” The merchant chose two of the smaller, though still ripe, pomegranates, and shoved them roughly into the child’s arms. Carefully, the boy gave the merchant the forty florins.
    
Eventually, the child tottered back out the gate with his two pomegranates, pleased with his success. The road home was rather long, so he decided to ride a cart back. Jumping nimbly onto a heavily laden grain carriage, he sat on the back, cradling his pomegranates, softly chatting with them as though they were trusted friends. So involved in the conversation was he, that he missed his house and had to walk for almost an hour after jumping off the cart to get there.
    
On the way back, he saw an elderly man leaning against a milestone. Minding what his parents had said, he maintained a respectable distance from the stranger, before asking, “Excuse me, sir, do you need any help?”
    
“Eh? What?” the old man exclaimed, “Joseph? Is that you? No, no. He was a mite taller than you, I believe. Do I need help, you ask? Well, as a matter of fact, I seem to have lost my way. Could you tell me which way Jerusalem is?”
    
The child blinked in surprise. The man was making a pilgrimage at such an old age? People this old only lived in morgues. Trying not to let his surprise show, he answered, “There’s a town down that way, sir. You can ask for directions there.”
    
“Hohohoho, thank you youngster. Think you could help an old codger up?”
   
All too happy to oblige, the kid helped the old man up, and they said their farewells. Feeling very happy with himself for helping the old man, he decided that he would have to help more people out when he grew up. Thinking of new ways that he could aid people, the child walked home.
    
Walking into the empty barn, he asked one of the chickens strutting about, “I don’t suppose Ma and Pa are home yet, are they?” When he got a couple of clucks as a response, he nodded sagely, “They do take their time. Watch Pa come home with a new plow!” Excited for the imaginary plow, the boy put his pomegranates on the counter, saying firmly, “Now you can’t eat these, understand? They’re for dinner.” Humming softly, he walked outside and spent a couple of hours petting and chatting with the various animals living on his farm.
    
Finally, the crunching of wheels heralded the arrival of his parents, back from town. “Bye, Crow!” he shouted, “Enjoy your stay - but don’t eat the corn!” Skipping to meet the cart, he saw that it was indeed his mother and father. “Ma! Pa! Did you get a new plow?” he called out.
    
His parents got out of the cart, carrying a few tools out with them. “No, my boy, but we did get the hoe repaired,” his father replied.
   
 “Humph! Why do you always call me ‘boy’?” the child asked, disgruntled at the fact that there was no new plow forthcoming.
    
“Because you are my boy, my only child, and I’m proud of you. You’re a very special person, Jesus. A very special person indeed.” Jesus smiled at his father’s praise and skipped inside to finish his talk with his favorite goat, Henry.

The young boy walked serenely into the marketplace, thrilled that his parents had let him go to the market alone, even if it was just to buy a few pomegranates. Striding over to the fruit stall, trying to look cool, he hummed a tune that he had made up a few days ago under his breath. Around him, peasants haggled for better prices, merchants peddled their wares, and the odd urchin lifted an unlucky noble’s purse.
    
Smiling, the child took great pride in the fact that he had hidden his coin purse. Finally, he reached the fruit stall. Walking up to the vendor, he asked in a quiet voice how much a pomegranate would cost.
    
“No, no, no. Twelve florins just won’t do; these are the finest of foreign fruits, you understand.” The merchant apparently hadn’t heard him, and was still haggling with another customer. Tentatively, the boy pulled on his sleeve. “Eh, what? Thief! Oh, never mind. Be gone with you! I’ve nothing for beggars!”
    
“No, sir, I was wondering how much the pomegranates cost.”
   
 “Oh, a customer! They’ll be twenty-five florins each.”
    
The child frowned. He only had forty florins with him. That would be enough for only one. “I’ll give you forty florins for two of them,” the kid offered.
    
“Alright, fine, I suppose that I won’t get any better from an urchin.” The merchant chose two of the smaller, though still ripe, pomegranates, and shoved them roughly into the child’s arms. Carefully, the boy gave the merchant the forty florins.
    
Eventually, the child tottered back out the gate with his two pomegranates, pleased with his success. The road home was rather long, so he decided to ride a cart back. Jumping nimbly onto a heavily laden grain carriage, he sat on the back, cradling his pomegranates, softly chatting with them as though they were trusted friends. So involved in the conversation was he, that he missed his house and had to walk for almost an hour after jumping off the cart to get there.
    
On the way back, he saw an elderly man leaning against a milestone. Minding what his parents had said, he maintained a respectable distance from the stranger, before asking, “Excuse me, sir, do you need any help?”
    
“Eh? What?” the old man exclaimed, “Joseph? Is that you? No, no. He was a mite taller than you, I believe. Do I need help, you ask? Well, as a matter of fact, I seem to have lost my way. Could you tell me which way Jerusalem is?”
    
The child blinked in surprise. The man was making a pilgrimage at such an old age? People this old only lived in morgues. Trying not to let his surprise show, he answered, “There’s a town down that way, sir. You can ask for directions there.”
    
“Hohohoho, thank you youngster. Think you could help an old codger up?”
    
All too happy to oblige, the kid helped the old man up, and they said their farewells. Feeling very happy with himself for helping the old man, he decided that he would have to help more people out when he grew up. Thinking of new ways that he could aid people, the child walked home.
    
Walking into the empty barn, he asked one of the chickens strutting about, “I don’t suppose Ma and Pa are home yet, are they?” When he got a couple of clucks as a response, he nodded sagely, “They do take their time. Watch Pa come home with a new plow!” Excited for the imaginary plow, the boy put his pomegranates on the counter, saying firmly, “Now you can’t eat these, understand? They’re for dinner.” Humming softly, he walked outside and spent a couple of hours petting and chatting with the various animals living on his farm.
    
Finally, the crunching of wheels heralded the arrival of his parents, back from town. “Bye, Crow!” he shouted, “Enjoy your stay - but don’t eat the corn!” Skipping to meet the cart, he saw that it was indeed his mother and father. “Ma! Pa! Did you get a new plow?” he called out.
    
His parents got out of the cart, carrying a few tools out with them. “No, my boy, but we did get the hoe repaired,” his father replied.
   
“Humph! Why do you always call me ‘boy’?” the child asked, disgruntled at the fact that there was no new plow forthcoming.
    
“Because you are my boy, my only child, and I’m proud of you. You’re a very special person, Jesus. A very special person indeed.” Jesus smiled at his father’s praise and skipped inside to finish his talk with his favorite goat, Henry.





[TABLE OF CONTENTS, LHS CLASS OF 2009 EDITION]


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