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‘Jim!’
A Conversation with a Seven Year Old Mind: 11/6/2022
© 2023 James LaFond
JUL/19/23
“Jim! I’m in second grade now and I can read! I have been reading the illustrated children’s Bible you got me. I love the Bible. Bible stories are the best—my favorite. My favorite stories are Noah and the Flood, Jacob’s Ladder—that is very cool—and, even though it is said, Cain and Abel.”
“What do you think about Cain’s punishment, Emma?”
“I think it was fair, God did the right thing. Cain’s parents had to be so sad when Abel was killed, and Abel was not only Cain’s brother but was killed for pleasing God more than Cain did. Cain was just mean and jealous.”
“Recall that God forbade the people from killing Cain, that he was cursed to wander alone. This was the most common method that ancient people had of punishing murderers—they just would not live with them.”
“Probably better than what we have now, I bet… Jim, what are your favorite Bible stories?”
“Samson and Delilah? I don’t know that one.”
“It’s in Judges, Emma, Samson was one of the Judges.”
[pages turn furiously in the background]
“I found it—It’s right here, MumMum—look! Samson and the Lion, let me read it to you, Jim...MumMum says to ask if you have time...could have already been reading about Samson!”
“Take all the time you need, Emma.”
“See, MumMum, Jim has time—he’s not the typical grownup always out of time.”
[Emma’s reading was clear and excited, a bit hurried.]
“MumMum, Samson killed a lion with his bare hands!”
“Oh, and Samson and Delilah—Delilah was a beautiful woman of the, the...”
“Philistines, Emma, who lived down by the sea…
“Philistines—easy once you say it! ...they cut his hair? That’s not right! And they blinded him and threw him in prison—this is a tough story, but we’re tough enough to read it, right MumMum!”
“...And God gave him back the great strength and...Yes, and Samson killed more Philistines in his death than he did in all of his life! It’s a rough story but a good ending.”
“Jim, were are you?”
“Oregon, is that near Seattle?”
“Yes…”
“Wait, wait, let me get my place-mat of America, it has all the states!”
[Feet are heard running, on the stairs no doubt, and then little hands slap a plastic ap on the kitchen counter.]
“You know, my friend’s father is stationed at an army base in Washington and came all, the, way, across the country to see us graduate!”
“It’s probably Fort Lewis, Emma, its a big base near Seattle.”
“MumMum, Jim knows where the forts are, and they aren’t even on the map! I see Portland. Is it nice?”
“When are you coming back, Jim—MumMum wants to know?”
“May, MumMum! Jim says May.”
“Oh, she doesn’t like that...MumMum, don’t smoke, its bad for you! You want to see me graduate, from high school, don’t you!? There she goes, out on the porch to smoke...”
“Okay, Jim, have you been to Denver?”
“And how about Utah?”
“Wyoming?”
“Wyoming, that’s a big one, right in the middle, is it high up?”
“And California?”
“Okay, how about Nevaya...Oh, Ne-vad-a!”
“Texas, you go to Texas?”
“No, no Texas, why not?”
“MumMum, of course Delilah doesn’t live in Texas—she’s in the Bible, silly!”
[laughter]
“Okay, Montain-anna, Oh, okay MumMum...Mon-san-to? Oh, oh that’s right, they’re on the Sunday show… Mon-tan-a!”
“Really, there too, is it as big as it looks?!”
“How do you get to these places, Jim?”
“Is the train nice?”
“Can I sleep on the train?”
“I would really like to see Seattle. How long to Seattle on the train?”
“Can you go to the bathroom on the train?”
“What about lines—do you have to stand in line for the bathroom...what If I have an emergency and I have to go now, like, ‘Right now,] like really have to go, if I have to stand in line…”
“Wow, six bathrooms in one train car—that’s better than the plane to Florida!”
“Is the train private, semi private or all crowded like a plane?”
[whispers] “MumMum, Jim says you can pick how crowded you want the train—but no coach, coach sounds nasty, sounds like there will be a line for the bathroom…”
[Dog starts barking in kitchen]
“Oh, Chandler is excited, he is so loud—Mommy’s home! Gotta go, Jim, love you and see you in...Oh, MumMum says not to say—bye bye!”
“Oh, Jim, and don’t forget that my patron saint is Saint Dominick, even though my church is Saint Ursula’s and that Saint Dominick invented the Rosary...remember to pray and have a nice day!”
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