This story was sent to us by Carlo Soldevilla.
When I wrote this fiction a couple of days ago, I was partly inspired by the life of a man whom I did not come to know personally except through private message chat at Facebook.
He shared to me about his predicament that time, having no rice to eat. He is from Davao.
Rice matters to me a lot so I called and sent pm via fb to my lady best friend who happened to stay quite distant to the place where this man lives.
The next day after my chat with the man, he told me that he got the financial (small amount I guess..I never bothered to ask) help from my friend.
A week later, this man revealed his identity to me that he's a 3rd cousin of Bongbong Marcos.
We still continued to talk over the phone this covid times..and I shared to him this story or fiction I wrote..that this partly describes his life.
May you be happy to read this fiction "Poor Bedu" which I wrote.
A lady nurse friend of mine suggested that the title of this fiction can be "The Man Who Peed Under the Mango Tree."
Honestly, I have had helped so many persons in my life, modesty aside. Our family is best described by one single word -generosity.
I remember my dad who once told me that in giving...in the end you will be the one who will be blessed. (Naturally, a man or a woman thinks that something is lost when he or she gives. May the G-d of Abraham, Jacob -the G-d of Israel richly bless us. Thank you.
Poor Bedu (Fiction)
By Carlo Soldevilla, Written on March 31, 2020
The angel of death came to each house one night and prior to the angel's visit, the blood or red marking was placed at the doorpost of each house by the homeowners so they will be spared from death.
That night, the angel of death was so much astonished. He noticed that many knew about the 'plan' or visit, and that the people had inquired earlier about it from facebook, even gossips and many listened to hotcake news on how they will be prepared for the 'calamity'. Many found the right solution that a blood mark (preferably from a lamb) or any red marking painted at one's door can save one's life.
The angel said to himself: 'All lives will be spared from the cruelty of this deadly virus because of the red mark.'
Who will perish and who will stay-I could no longer identify. Each door has stain of blood at their doorpost. I can't believe what the facebook message can do. Replies, shares and likes are made so fast. It's so easy to transmit a message. Besides, there are group chats. They have long prepared for this night visit of mine. (I may call this night, the visit of the virus). Well, I'd rather better visit another day...Anyway, let me finish this night's visit."
The angel can hardly distinguish who should stay (alive) because all houses have red markings on the doorpost. To repeat, facebook was so fast to send advanced messages so does mobile phones. Emails were also sent swiftly through yahoo and google.
As the angel kept on pondering, he stopped from walking on that night of visitation, and he paused, noticing something different at one doorpost.
"This one is a red mark but this really is not blood of the lamb. See, it's color is quite pale and it easily dissolves with the dew of the night...but why, even at this covid time, this house still wants to fabricate everything even if it means the safety of his life. He is compromising his safety. Maybe, he does not value the truth of the message, feeling or thinking that he is greater than the plague or virus."
At that very moment while the angel was observing the fake red marking at the doorpost, the owner of the house opened the door with the urge to urinate and he usually urinates under the old mango tree just across his house.
The angel was invisible but he later decided to change into human form so he can 'dwell among the people of the land' and share a talk with the owner of house.
The owner of the house, after urinating, noticed the angel who was wearing ragged clothes and looked like a bedu or a bedouin.
"Hi, how long have you been there?" , still quite sleepy and yawning, and asking the angel (not noticing that he was talking to an angel). What are you doing here? Haven't you heard that the angel of death will anytime visit tonight as broadcasted in the media and the house which he will find having no red marking he will slay? Come, get inside, have some coffee. I have some roti, a little of lamb's meat, slices of pink salmon and wasabe. (The owner of the house just got all his money from his piggy bank during the day to have this quite sumptuous food he prepared.)."
The lowly angel got inside, took something to eat because he was hungry.
After his stomach was filled, the angel asked him , 'Where did you get that red blood marking at your doorpost? The blood seems to be not original. Why did you not obey the warning?
The man replied:, Sir, I'm poor and I was in such a hurry. The grocery store that sells the lamb's blood was filled with people, rushing, always seeking to be first..., and I later, had that notion than any blood may do. After all, G-d is a G-d of mercy. I cannot move in the front row even I'm a senior citizen because it's covid time and the grocery has a very long line. It will be dusk of dawn before I can buy lamb's blood. It was getting late at night and curfew hours had soon to begin. In my heart, I thought, maybe the angel of death is kind enough to consider my plight. I got the idea that I needed to dilute the watercolor I have, place it or paint it at my doorpost, thinking the angel may consider it or he maybe color-blind at night upon his visit. After all, the texture, does not define the hue or color."
After drinking or finishing his drink, the angel said. "I see, ok. I'll go. I will accept your reason."
Few minutes after the angel left, the man or owner of the house wondered why his visitor said 'I will accept your reason.".
He had that feeling of astonishment (like Mary who thought Jesus was a gardener whom Mary happened to talk to near the grave where Christ resurrected) so the owner rushed or ran outside the house to seek the man but he could not find him.
He believed that he got an angel as a visitor. He had that feeling that his heart's desire was granted. His life was spared from death.
He was poor enough to buy blood. ..and he cannot insist to be on the front line or row of the grocery because he was poor. Other people ordered blood via visa and mastercard. To buy blood, he (the bedu) needs to lakad (walk).
In heaven , Hashem (G-d) asked the angel: "Hadn't that man inquire earlier from which animal the blood must come from and from which animal must the blood be obtained?"
"He did.", the angel replied to Hashem...and the angel continued..."...but he was poor enough to buy blood. He never told me he studied fine arts. He never told me all red colors have the same properties. He never told me blood types A,B,AB, and O could not be identified by mere color of the blood. He never told me that the red color which comes from lamb, goat or cow, ..when wiped on canvass, will just exactly look the same."
"At least he made an effort to put 'blood' (which he believes the red watercolor will suffice) or red mark at his doorpost.", the angel who was G-d's earthly messenger told Hashem.
"What else happened?," Hashem asked the angel.
"He invited me into his house, shared his meal to me and we had a little time sharing a conversation.", the angel told Hashem (Hebrew word for G-d).
"Well, good. I will spare his life this covid times," Hashem, again told his angel.
At the time Hashem and the angel were talking in heaven, the man saw clearly Hashem and the angel sharing a talk in his dream. He turned on the other side of the bed and he continued dreaming because he was so much tired during the day prior to his sleep.
In his dream, the angel talked to him: "Even if you place large volumes of blood at your doorpost, it would mean nothing to me. I was just happy you let me come into your house, offered me something to eat and drink because I was hungry .and thirsty. And now I'm revealing to you that I was that poor bedu or bedouin sent by Hashem to know the plight of the people living in this world. You welcomed the needy.
Don't you know that in the first door where I passed, I tried to knock but when the rich man experiencing the lockdown saw me, he suddenly closed the door. He deeply thought about his security.
In the second house where I knocked, still another person tried to open the door but it was near curfew time and he feared that, upon seeing me, he said : "Yuck, you seem to be not a man of honor.Find another place to go. Besides, it's almost curfew and what you, Bedouin is doing here? You might steal my property. Inside this house, I'm enjoying my privacy and freedom."
Yours was the third door I knocked upon and you gave me part of your time, you did not belittle me and you welcomed me into your house and let me dine.
I could have dressed like king when I knocked but Hashem instructed me to appear like a very poor man.
"It is an 'acid test' for man, to know how they will react when they encounter people like you clothed or dressed in that fashion or manner," Hashem told me.
"For this or because of what you did, Hashem decided that he will not only give you long life. He will take you to a place filled with milk and honey..to a place so lovely which one can call 'home'."
At that moment, the lizard from the ceiling accidentally fell on the man's face while he was sleeping that suddenly he woke up, realizing it was only a dream.