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The Eagle, the Man, and the Lions (Part 2)

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  • SRektorik@aol.com
    [When we left the man, the Sheriff had taken him into custody for nonpayment of taxes and the two of them had arrived at the great pit. ] That Sheriff, that
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2000
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      [When we left the man, the Sheriff had taken him into custody for nonpayment
      of taxes and the two of them had arrived at the "great pit."]

      That Sheriff, that mean man, he first took a great thick rope and tied it
      around the waist of the man. Then, with a knife, long and sharp, that
      Sheriff, that cold hearted man, he cut the bonds from the hands of the man in
      preparation for lowering him into the great pit. The good man, the poor man,
      the honest man...his eyes traced the path of the heavy rope back to a great
      reel which was used to lower prisoners into the great pit. Silent was the
      man as he was pushed over the edge of the pit. Darkness swallowed the honest
      man as he was lowered into the great pit. He was scared, his mouth was dry,
      his heart pounded. His eyes could see nothing. Down, down, down went the
      man. Fear gripped the man so strongly that he began to struggle, to lash
      out. This caused him to spin and lurch from side to side in the accursed
      blackness. Realizing what was happening, the man forced himself to become
      limp and his descent became less hazardous. Time ground on, his eyes
      adjusted, his heart beat less frantically. Would this go on forever? By the
      Blessed Sacraments, thought the man, as the descent continued, is there only
      the cold and eternity in this foul pit of darkness? No end was in sight.
      The light from above grew more instant. The rope cut into him and bruised
      him deeply. Down, down, down, down, went the man, the good man, the honest
      man...the lost man.

      With a thud he finally hit the bottom of the pit. A great coil of rope came
      tumbling down upon him. For a moment, he lie stunned. Dim, so very dim was
      this dreadful place. Far above him, so very far above him, the man, the good
      man, could see a small point of light which he knew must be the entrance from
      whence he had come. Gradually an awareness came to the man, the honest man,
      and he could feel a tingling on the back of his neck...he knew he was not
      alone. Nearby, so very close, there were the heavy, stealthy sounds of
      movement and a low rumbling growls. With great caution, the man, the very
      scared man, slowly turned his head from side to side to see what was there.
      LIONS, there were LIONS in the pit with him. What has he to do? Surely the
      lions were hungry; and, his worried mind added, they were probably in an
      ill-temper from being confined in the pit.

      For a few moments, the man believed it would be best to be eaten by the lions
      now instead of slowly starving to death. Let it end now, thought he. Then a
      vision came to him. It was of his wife, his children, his frail and aged
      mother. They were calling out his name. They were desperately searching for
      him. They suffered for the loss of him. Faith and courage flowed through
      him. He knew that he had more to do in this life. He was loved. He was
      needed. He had to not only survive but try to find a way to escape.

      Through the dim, through the pall, the man, the good man, he thought he saw a
      small ledge about twenty feet above him. Slowly, quietly, the man crept up
      and made his way to the steep side of the great pit. He reached out to the
      cold wall. He worked his hands until he started to find bumps and small
      holes. Forcing first his fingers and then his toes into small crevices and
      nooks, the man, the desperate man, began to climb. The growling and rumbling
      grew louder and more menacing. The lions, the very hungry lions were coming
      to investigate. A sharp, searing pain slashed through the back of the man's
      right leg. Looking back, the man saw a lioness, long and lean, trying to
      again to grab his leg with her huge paw and razor-sharp claws. Blood flowed
      from the gash in his leg. It dripped onto the wall and floor of the great
      cave. Up, up, up, the man, the brave man, he climbed on. His leg throbbed
      with pain; yet, the man climbed for he knew that he must be well above the
      lions before he could rest. His fingers ached. His toes ached. His feet
      cramped. Still the man, the determined man, he climbed on when he thought he
      had no more strength. Finally, at long last, the man, the exhausted man,
      pulled himself onto the ledge and collapsed. He was, for the time, safe.

      No human watched a clock to see how long the man was unconscious; but, the
      lions knew immediately when he awake. For a moment, there in the darkness,
      the dread darkness, the man did not remember where he was. The pain in his
      leg and the low rumble of the lions soon brought it all back. Carefully,
      gingerly, the man, the hurting man, he pushed himself around and back until
      he was in a sitting position. He leaned against the cold stone, the thought
      long and deep for he was trying to devise a plan by which he could escape
      from the great pit. He knew that if his two eldest sons learned of his
      imprisonment, they would come and attempt a rescue. Perhaps at night, they
      would be able to turn the great reel, lower another rope, and then raise him
      up. But, with a sign, the man, the humbled man, realized that he would be
      dead long before his sons could reach him. It would be months before they
      even learned of his disappearance for they had been forced into the king's
      army, that wicked king, and were fighting a war in a distant country because
      this foreign king, this evil king, forced them to do so. They were hundreds
      and hundreds of miles away and would most likely be shot as deserters if they
      tried to come to his aid. No help could from them he accepted, accepted

      Part Three to follow soon.

      Susan Rektorik Henley

      The passage of time was difficult to measure in the dark, menacing pit. The
      man felt hunger. It must have been a very long time since his last meal. In
      addition, a pool of blood had formed under his right leg and the gash
      throbbed and pained him greatly. The man, the thinking man, he reached into
      the pocket of his pants and felt that his folding knife was still there. It
      was a treasure. He was glad he had never sold it. With the sharp blade he
      cut strips of cloth from his roughly woven shirt and wound them into a
      bandage around his calf. He calculated and he thought, this determined man.
      At first, he thought that he might be able to climb out of the pit on his
      own. Then with a slow sigh, he acknowledged it was too far...too high...even
      if he were at his normal strength. And here he was hungry...tired...weak
      from the loss of blood. "A kitten," thought the man, the tired man, as he
      folded and put away is knife. How could he survive? How could he escape?

      "SWOOSH, SWOOSH, SWOOSH!" heard the man, the worried man. A breeze, a cool
      breeze did he feel on his feverish skin.

      "SWOOSH, SWOOSH, SWOOSH!" heard the man, the curious man. It was much louder
      than before; and, now, the breeze was instead a strong gust of wind. The
      senses of the man were on full alert. Again his heart pounded so hard that
      he thought his chest would explode.

      And there before him; there in the dim light of the great pit, the man, the
      good man, sat awed and astounded for next to him a lit an eagle. A huge,
      giant, and majestic eagle. Golden eyes pierced the pall and glowed as if
      light by an inner fire. This was no ordinary eagle. This was a MAGIC EAGLE.
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