Sage and Song, Chapter 7: The Six Steps

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Chapter 7: The Six Steps

Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps;
nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.
1 KINGS 10:20 NKJV

King Solomon’s throne room was designed to impress and intimidate, but Kester was a child of heaven, a zamarim who had decorated the throne room of God Most High. Rather than awe, the boy peered around the extravagant chamber with polite interest.

There is beauty here. Balanced architecture. Superlative craftsmanship. Intriguing details. Given the chance, Kester would have liked to explore the scenes carved into the long walls, but he doubted time would allow a lengthy perusal. The morning sun climbed steadily higher; before long, the doors would open to a flood of rulers and generals, ambassadors and delegations. But before they arrived, Kester had an apology to make.

He followed the captain, circling around until they could see the throne. Raised above the room upon a dais, the king’s throne was a masterpiece in ivory and gold with carved lions holding up its armrests. Even without asking, Kester would have recognized this lofty seat as Solomon’s. He sits upon his father’s throne—David, the Lion of Judah.

Kester’s attention caught on the former king’s harp, which occupied the throne. His fingers itched to touch the tuning pegs, and his mind was so full of potential melodies, he hardly noticed the remarks that passed between the other two.

Solomon’s deep voice echoed slightly in the lofty space. “Most men cower at the foot of these stairs.”

The captain drawled, “He hasn’t even noticed you. Or your pets.”

“Unusual.” Solomon stretched out his legs, crossing them at the ankle. “How long has it been since I was beneath notice?”

“Forgive the boy’s lack of awe. Though I daresay it’ll make things easier.”

Things?” echoed the king. “Since when are you privy to my plans, Captain?”

“Since the day a little runt named Jedidiah first took me into his confidence. You couldn’t have been more than what … three?”

A low chuckle filled the hall, and a large hand pressed lightly between Kester’s shoulder blades. Rolling his eyes toward Solomon, the captain said, “Don’t you have something to say to your king?”

Kester hadn’t forgotten. He quickly climbed six wide steps. Sidestepping a yawning cat, the boy skipped over a chain and circled a cushion. By the time he reached Solomon, who slouched comfortably at the base of his throne, an elbow propped on its footstool, Kester had composed his apology. “I am quite late. Please, forgive my rudeness.”

Solomon stared up at him, eyes wide.

Recollecting himself, Kester dropped to his knees and bowed his head, mumbling, “I am here.”

Relative silence stretched for several moments, until the king finally asked, “Why?”

Kester wasn’t sure what to make of the king’s strained tone. Have I committed another offense? He quickly peeked at the captain, hoping for some clue, but the man only smirked. Kester cautiously answered, “I am here at your request, my king. Last night …?”

“Yes, yes, but here!” exclaimed Solomon, gesturing broadly. “Or has it escaped your notice that you’re surrounded by lions?”

Lions. Oh. Twelve full-grown predators had places on either side of the six steps, flanking the path to the king. An unusual, exotic, and formidable guard. But Kester had paid them as little attention than they had him. He fumbled for a reasonable response and came up empty-handed. So he folded his hands in his lap and calmly asked, “Are you fond of cats?”


♦ How’s Kester doing with the whole “ordinary boy” thing?

♦ Did you know Solomon had such an extravagant throne?

♦ Have you ever been close enough to touch a wild animal? Do tell!


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Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays). More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page.

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24 thoughts on “Sage and Song, Chapter 7: The Six Steps

  1. Savannah Perran says:

    Wow, I love this chapter! That could be because wild cats are one of my favorite animals :-).
    I think Kester is doing okay with the ordinary boy thing … though Solomon is probably wondering why Kester has such incredible talent with music, and why he isn’t afraid of the lions :-).
    No, I didn’t know that Solomon had such an amazing throne, I love how you painted the picture of it!
    Not sure if this would count as a ‘wild animal’ encounter, but we had a nest full of baby cardinals right in front of our window. Once we pulled a chair up next to the structure the nest was built on, we were close enough to have touched them. But we didn’t :-). We named the parents and the babies, and we missed them once they had left. It was so much fun having baby birds raised where would could watch it all! ~Savannah

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  2. Elayna says:

    I think Kester may need some help in the “ordinary boy”department.
    I didn’t know about Solomon’s throne.
    I once got to feed a Zebra!!

    Like

  3. Kester needs help on being an ‘ordinary boy’
    I never knew Solomon had such a fabulous throne…. Well in my mind it was drawn beautifully
    I once helped an injured rodent that i found outside my window and when i picked it up it started squirming and i softly stroked its back and said i would help it and there’s nothing it fear… It stopped trembling

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  4. Sky Perran says:

    Yeah, Kester probably needs to practice a little more on being just an ordinary boy.
    Well, I thought more about Solomon himself than I did his throne.
    As for being close enough to a wild animal to actually touch, we once had a shrew in our basement. Yep, a shrew. Me and my little brother Josh were playing downstairs when suddenly he screamed, and said there was a mouse. I called our mom down, and as I led her to it, I nearly stepped on it! Our dad came, put it in a jar, and let it out outside, somewhere AWAY from the house. I thought it was really cute. Me and my sister Jaidyn decided to name it Elliot, since we were pretty sure it was Elliots shrew. ~Sky

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  5. Sky Perran says:

    Wow Arian! You kept track of us all! :-) except for little baby Elaina! that would make six! :-) And I wouldn’t actually be surprised! :-) ~Sky

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    • Arian says:

      Are you all sisters except for Josh? He is the anti-Prissie, a boy with five sisters. :)

      I suppose Ariel could be a brother … but despite the archangel, and the air-spirit in ‘The Tempest’, I think Disney has pretty much put a stop to the naming of any male Ariels for a while. :)

      (Mind you, parents can make some strange choices. Hezekiah. Thaddeus. Boaz.)

      Like

    • Savannah Perran says:

      Yes, we’re all girls except for Josh :-). It is funny how we are like the Pomeroys only … backwards. Five girls, one boy :-). ~Savannah

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  6. Beautiful says:

    I absolutely loved this one!
    Kester is doing ok at the “ordinary” boy thing. But seriously being the “normal” or “ordinary” person is so overated if you know what I mean:)
    I knew that king Solomon had riches an all that. But I never really thought about it. It almost reminds of Heaven, like how the streets are made of gold;) and all that.
    I’ve fed a giraffe, zebra, ostrich, a baby deer, and a wildebeast. :)
    Thanks for taking the time to write the incredible stories!
    ~Beautiful

    Like

  7. Jesslyn says:

    He’s passing, but I think people would think him strange..or awkward.

    I kind of assumed it would be magnificent because it was a throne but I never actually pictured it.

    Yes, when I was younger and lived in Florida, there was a squirrel’s nest and it had some itty bitty naked squirrels in it. They were so cute…and pink! We didn’t touch them but we checked on them to make sure they were all okay and then we put their nest back in a tree, for the wind had knocked it out of it. There were also some snakes, geckos, geese, turtles, and crocodiles that I could have touched, but didn’t. Here (in Colorado), there was a pack of foxes in my neighborhood. There were several adults and at least 5 kits. They were the most adorable things! And I watched them play with each other in a neighbor’s yard. I didn’t touch them, of course. Their mama was already eyeing me warily. Later on though, one of the foxes started circling my brother, two friends, and I in our cul-de-sac. We just stood still like a bunch of statues, I mean what were we supposed to do? We all knew how dangerous a fox could be. But after circling us several times, it just ran off. I have no idea why it did. God maybe? An angel? I will never know.

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  8. Jesslyn says:

    Oh! And there’s the occasional field mouse in our window well. I never touched them, but one of my brothers got some gloves on, and, after much difficulty (they’re fast!), got him out and put him in the yard, far away from the house. And when I lived in Alaska (my dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a bit :)), there were some fish in lakes and ponds (didn’t touch them though) and there were moose in our backyard all the time. But my mom always made me go in when there was one in the yard (for obvious reasons..but I was also a kindergartner at the time, making me even more vulnerable). I remember this one time, my brother and I were on our trampoline and a mama moose and her little one walked into our backyard and I was just staring at them, mouth agape. They were beautiful! But then my brother and I had to go inside until they left. After all, you don’t want a mama moose to feel threatened! :)

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  9. Olive says:

    Apparently, 1 Kings has it, “The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.” So I guess lions weren’t the only pets Solomon had!

    Like

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