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Friday, November 11, 2005


by Rochelle Ratner

Once upon a time in Persia (now Iran) there was a wise
king whose beautiful wife was concealing her Jewish birth.
His chief advisor was a man named Haman, who hated
that the Jews would not bow down to him. Well now, this
story could drag on and on, just as any war could. But
suffice it to say that the king asked his advisor how to
honor a man who had done much for him, and Haman
assumed the king had him in mind. He, who pictured
himself in royal dress paraded through the streets, found
himself instead leading Mordechai's horse. Or so the
bedtime story goes. The women sitting at the table nearest
the President put down their salad forks and titter that
such a man would ask for their advice, however facetiously.
Then they resume eating, taking sips of white wine and
delicate bites of their buttered onion rolls.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: