Chapter 34: The Wise Decision
“God gives out Wisdom free,
is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.”
PROVERBS 2:6–7 MSG
Stories of mighty deeds and mischief. Psalms of praise. Lullabies that lingered late. Kester kept right on playing until Lemuel fell asleep with his head pillowed on his father’s leg. With a faraway look in his eyes, Solomon caressed the boy’s hair, gently untangling glossy curls.
Asaph interrupted, reminding them all of the hour. “Do you want me to take him to his bed?”
“Not yet.” The king stirred and sighed. “Unless you are weary, Kester.”
“If it pleases the king, there are still more songs.”
Solomon nodded in the direction of Asaph’s archive. “More than can be known. More than can be numbered. Yet you seem eager to learn them all.”
The captain snorted. “Isn’t it obvious? That boy was made for songs.”
“And what of this boy?” Solomon asked in low tones. “Is it as my wives say? Was Lemuel made for sorrow?”
“Heaven forbid,” murmured Asaph.
“Theirs maybe, since there’s no denying he’s a rascal. And his maybe, though he tries to hide his tears.” A smile creased the old guard’s face. “But never yours, O King. He is too much like his mother for that.”
Kester’s curiosity stirred. “His mother?”
Solomon hummed. “She is no longer here.”
At the boy’s questioning glance, Asaph sent a thought laced with sadness. “She labored and died, leaving the gift of a newborn son in her grieving husband’s arms.”
The king’s expression grew increasingly solemn. “I promised her.”
Asaph asked, “What vow did you make?”
“To never burden him with the throne.” Solomon shook his head. “There are better inheritances.”
“Like stories and psalms?” asked Kester.
Solomon’s startled glance ebbed into a melancholy smile. “Treasures, indeed.”
“The brat needs to know you don’t blame him,” said Benaiah. “They talk in the harems, and he’s too young to sift kernels of truth from the chaff of jealousy.”
“I know.” Touching his sleeping son’s cheek, the king said, “And I promised her that I’d be wise with him.”
“Isn’t that why you gave him to me?” asked Asaph.
“No, my old friend.” Something brighter sparked in Solomon’s eyes, and he bowed his head to their harpist. “That’s why I gave him to Kester.”
Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates on Mondays. More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page. Sage and Song, © Copyright 2015–2016 Christa Kinde, all rights reserved. If you want to receive an email whenever my stories update, subscribe to this blog. You can also watch for notifications on Twitter.
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