This copy has right format. But import from the copy with footnotes.
What needs to happen:i
Nathan put his hand over Elijah’s mouth. “Neetzevetz, my fingers don’t do laces. My brother helps me.”
Beside Elijah, Neetz knelt at Nathan’s foot. “I’ll show you.”
Zarephath, Sidon, 869 BC
1 King 17:16-18 (or more?)
[adoration beats for Neetz?]
[what time of day is it?]
[Where is each person?]
Neetz knelt and picked up the laces of Nathan’s sandals.ii “Watch. Make a little once-over knot and leave it there, see?” She glanced up. “Now make another little once-over knot just beyond it, see?” She grinned at Zim. “Do I talk like you?”
Elijah laid his shovel down.
Zim and the widow hovered over Neetz and Nathan.
Nathan BEAT. “Okay, I see your two little knots. You left a hole between them.”
“So, you poke one end into the hole.” She inserted a lace between the two knots. “And then the other end.” She inserted the second lace and opened her hands. “See the bunny ears you made? Tug on the ears.” She pulled them tight. “See how it works?” Neetz undid the laces and sat back. “You do it.”
Elijah sucked his breath in between his teeth. She went too fast. Maybe that’s how they tied laces in Zarephath, but Nathan would never get it.
Nathan sat and took the laces. He put one on top of the other, reversed, reversed again, and dropped the jumbled mess over the arch of his foot.
Zim and the widow groaned.
Elijah sighed. Another embarrassing moment for his big brother. All because this girl got too close. No matter. Elijah would be here to pick up the pieces.
“You’ll get it this time.” Neetz murmured.
Nathan kept his head down and took a breath. He picked the laces back up, fumbled with them, and got one lace to go under the other. He dropped them onto the ball of his foot in a loose once-over knot, not as pretty as the one Neetz had made, but a knot.
Elijah choked. His eyes welled.
The widow murmured, “Yes.”
Zim jumped up and down with a hand on Nathan’s shoulder and a hand on Elijah’s. “You did it, Mr. Nathan. He did it, Neetz!”
Neetz held her pose without a sound.
With his head down and not a glance right or left, Nathan held the two laces up, slowly pushed one under the other, and tugged the ends. A second knot formed beside the first, with a loose hole between them.
Elijah leaned into Nathan’s shoulder. The big moment.
Nathan inserted a lace end between the knots. He grinned at Neetz and inserted the other lace end. “Nothing to it.” He pulled the two bunny ears and closed the knot.
Elijah and the widow stared open-mouthed while Zim said, “Bunny ears.”
Neetz sat back. “It’s yours.”
Nathan loosened the laces and spread both arms like a stork on an updraft. “Wait.” He remade the two loose knots, poked the lace ends through, and tugged on the ears. “Look how simple, Lijah. Thank you, Neetzevetz!” Nathan stood and slugged Elijah in the shoulder. “You just lost a job, little brother.”
Prof shows. He bought 4 donkeys. To house with the widow.
Zim gets sick
Vines get water
Neetz gets Nathan
Prof sets pay
Prof brings donkeys, etc.
Neetz and Zim teach social manners to Nathan.
Widow and Zim promote Neetz to Nate.
Postpone the mezuzah until after the routine watering of the vines is established. They have 3 years in Zarephath.