My nanny dropped me. Worst day of my life. My father and grandfather were with the army in Jezreel. Every time they went out, I staged my own battle with little wooden men in the garden. I had archers and chariots and flag bearers. I was only five, but I moved the men forward in formation until they crashed into one another - with soldiers flying this way and that. It was great fun! Of course, Israel always won, and my father and grandfather were always the heros. The king and the crown prince were always the gallant warriors who saved the day.
Until the rider came. My nanny had to drag me away from my little Battle of Jezreel. We at at the royal table, eating the best food of the land, the only food I had ever known. I still had my dad’s toy soldier in my hand for the whole meal. I took it with me wherever I went. It was my way of feeling closer to him while he was away.
Until the rider came. We could hear him pounding on the gate - and I can still hear his desperate, haunting voice - hoarse from shouting, dry from riding. The whole palace spilled into the courtyard to see what all the fuss was about. There standing in our safe little sanctuary of home was a wounded, bloodied, exhausted rider announced the news that shattered our entire family: “King Saul and Crown Prince Jonathan are dead!”
No one had any idea what would happen next.