Babylon unlike its neighboring cities was surprisingly blessed with a fine weather. It was indeed a plus to the nation widely regarded as the world power. News tabloids go on each day churning long lists of countries who recently forged an alliance with Babylon. Since it’s military intelligence was unrivalled, no country could dare wage war against it, those who wanted to try, would at least take notes from Babylon’s recent defeat of the stubborn country of Jerusalem.
The administration of President Nebuchadnezzar was in its third year when he set up a scholarship scheme for child refugees in its conquered nations. To head this project was the chief of staff, Mr Asphenaz.
So after series of tests and exams, the selected number of children were given scholarship with the additional benefit of living in the presidential villa. This was too much for Salmon, a red head skinny boy from Judah as he called out to his friend
Jesse! Jesse, you won’t believe it.
His friend Jesse a pale Fifteen year old benjamite, he looked uninterested as It was the fifth time Salmon called out to tell him about a new stuff he had seen.
What is it? Jesse replied
Guy, the Internet connection here is mind blowing, just how can you explain four gigabyte files downloaded in five minutes?
See, let’s take a selfie in front of that lion statue, Jesse shrugged,
Am not interested.
Salmon didn’t even here the response before he dashed to the lion statue.
Jesse turned to seat on the pavement of the Babylonian Ministry of Socials as he wondered why Salmon was so dumb.
The same people who conquered your country killing your own people offer you scholarship as a consolation and then you go about displaying your teeth to all and sundry as if you’ve won a million shekel lottery.
Daniel and his friends Hannaniah, Mishael and Azariah were shocked to receive an invite to the ministers office as they trotted along to the Ministry of Works, they went over to the reception and showed the receptionist their invite. she then ushered them in.
The Minister, Mr Asphenaz was a stout Babylonian of fourty, he had a face like a straightened O. He gazed at the children through his glasses,
Sit down he motioned to them.
Now you must be wondering why you are here, well I got reports that you’ve been rejecting your meals requesting for vegetables. he paused.
Are you vegetarians?
No Sir, they chorused
Okay, let me put this straight. This is just like the dream of every kid, its a once in a lifetime time opportunity, the president doesn’t fancy throwing away good money for your feeding just for nothing, so accept your meals, okay?
Sir, Daniel spoke up,
Could you just allow us to eat vegetables for ten days? You can make a decision afterwards.
Ten days? he thought for some time and then blurted out.
fine! I accept, provided you’ll begin to eat good food afterwards.
You, what’s your name he pointed at Daniel,
Daniel Sir, he replied.
You look a lot like my cousin Belteshazzer, he studies astrology at the university of Babylon.
Well you can all go, we’ll meet after ten days. he was so sure they’ll change their minds even before ten days. young boys and chicken meat were a perfect marriage, he thought.
What joy flooded the hearts of the four boys. it wasn’t that the meals were not tempting, but they couldn’t eat them, why? It’ll be like eating the flesh of their dead parents who lost their lives during the war. Of course they were not Babylonians, they had a heritage, and not even a goddamned scholarship could sway their thinking. Not even the huge lumps of chicken they were served in the villa.
they were poor refugees in a foreign land, but at least they had something. heritage?