Parting the Red Sea

    “Parting the Red Sea,” Friend, Sept. 1988, 16

    Parting the Red Sea

    “Jessie,” Mother called, “are you OK? You’ve been in the bathroom for a long time.”

    “I’m getting my family home evening lesson ready,” Jessie called back.

    “In the bathroom?”

    “I can’t part the Red Sea in the living room,” Jessie replied.

    “That’s true,” said Mother.

    Jessie had a little water in the bathtub. She put in several drops of red food coloring, just for effect. Her father had carefully installed a rotating fan on a shelf above the tub for her, and if she stopped the fan from moving back and forth, turned it on high, and used only a little water in the tub, she could part the Red Sea.

    But this only solved part of her problem. She couldn’t turn the fan off to drown Pharaoh and the Egyptians while she was still getting Moses and the Israelites to the other side of the bathtub. And how was she going to get Pharaoh into the sea to begin with? There was also the cloud that separated the Israelites and the Egyptians. She could use cotton for that, but someone else would have to hold up the cloud.

    David came into the bathroom to comb his hair. “David,” asked Jessie, “would you turn this fan off and on for me when I ask you to?”

    “If it won’t mess up my hair,” said David.

    “It won’t, I promise.”

    Just then their sister Ruth came into the bathroom to get some nail polish. “Playing in the water I see, David,” Ruth teased.

    “Be quiet,” said David. “I’m helping Jessie part the Red Sea.”

    “Ruth,” said Jessie, “I need you to get the Egyptians into the Red Sea so that David can drown them.”

    “Clever!” Ruth exclaimed, picking up the small figures. “They’re plastic cowboys and horses dressed up in Egyptian capes.”

    Jessie’s little brother, Jared, came into the bathroom to see what was going on. He picked up the cotton. “Soft,” he said.

    “Jared,” Jessie asked, “Can you hold that cotton cloud right here to protect the Israelites?”

    “Me water,” said Jared leaning over the bathtub and swishing the water with one hand and swinging the cloud with the other.

    Dad came into the bathroom to brush his teeth. “Well, it looks like we’re having a meeting in here,” he said.

    “We’re parting the Red Sea,” said Ruth.

    “Tonight’s lesson?” asked Dad. “So that’s why you wanted the fan set up in here, Jessie.”

    “Yes,” Jessie replied. “Will you please help me get Moses through the Red Sea? I can’t move all these Israelites by myself.”

    “The robes on these army men of yours look great,” said Dad. “They make good Israelites.”

    “Thanks, Dad,” said Jessie.

    Mother poked her head into the room. “What on earth is going on in here?”

    “Oh, Mom,” Jessie answered, “we’re ready for my part of the family-home-evening lesson. Will you sit on the clothes hamper and watch? We need a watcher.”

    “I’d love to,” said Mom.

    “Ready, begin,” announced Jessie.

    David turned the fan on. The Red Sea parted. Jessie and Dad led the Israelites through the bathtub. Jared held the cotton cloud and swished his hands in the red water. Ruth rode the caped Egyptians into the tub on their horses. David turned off the fan, and the Egyptian soldiers and Pharaoh drowned. Mom clapped and cheered.

    “Whew,” said Jessie, wiping her forehead, “that was quite a job.”

    “A great family effort,” said Dad.

    “Jessie, I’ve made your favorite red sugar cookies,” Mom said, “in honor of your parting the Red Sea.”

    “Boy, I’m luckier than Moses,” said Jessie.

    “Why’s that?” asked Dad.

    “I’ll bet Moses didn’t get red sugar cookies after he parted the Red Sea.”

    Illustrated by Julie F. Young