And Jacob decided to stay in Laban’s neighborhood because Jacob had gotten lucky often with the women there, so he knew he was onto a good thing. And Jacob gathered together some sheep and cattle. And he fenced in his flock and herd and did not allow them to go in onto any of Laban’s sheep and cattle, neither did he allow any of Laban’s flock or herd to go in onto any of his flock or herd.
And Jacob’s sheep and cattle looked upon the situation and thought to themselves, “This is not fair. What’s good for Jacob should be good for us. Jacob went in unto Laban’s daughters and their maids; we should be allowed to go in unto Laban’s sheep and cattle. Fair’s fair.” But God One had not given voices to sheep and cattle so they kept their sexual frustrations to themselves.
Despite having a limited gene pool, Jacob’s cattle and sheep were fruitful and multiplied many fold; while Laban’s herd and flock reproduced but little. And, eventually, verily did Laban’s herd and flock decline in number, vigor and tastiness.
And Laban’s sons witnessed the disparity between the size, vigor and tastiness of their father’s sheep and cattle and those of Jacob. Laban’s sons, being conspiracy theorists from way back, figured that Jacob must have had something to do with the diminution of their inheritance. And they cursed Jacob.
And Jacob did hear the incessant whining of Jacob’s sons, for how could he not? And God One appeared before Jacob and spoke unto him, “Oh man, I’ve never seen Laban and his sons so pissed. They really hate you. They’ll be out to get you soon, mark my words. I suggest you flee, boy. Flee as fast and as far as the little feet I gave you will take you.”
Jacob heard God One’s words. And Jacob asked of God One, “Flee? Just when things are so good? I’ve got more women than I can shake my stick at. And you want me to flee? Couldn’t you protect me or something?”
And God One said unto, Jacob, “I can’t do everything for you. Now, do as I say and flee. There’s no shame in being a coward. Well, yes there is, but never mind that now. You need to get busy fleeing.”
Jacob gathered together his most prized possessions — his cattle, his sheep, his tents, his ladies’ underwear collection, the stones he kept in case he was called upon to stone some sinners, his wives, and his children — and he prepared to flee.
Prepare to Flee
Hearing that they were to flee like scaredy-cats, without having a chance to do a little shopping before they went, Rachel said unto herself, “Once I was a hot babe and could have had any man I wanted, but my father sold me as chattel to that cowardly putz, Jacob, to be his wife or, rather, his second of many wives. And I got nothing out of the deal; not a penny. Surely there must be something of my birthright that I can take from my father, Laban.”
And Rachel thought long. And Rachel though hard. “What,” she thought, “could I take from the man who has nothing?”
And then Rachel remembered that her father had some images of things that he thought might be gods. And she took those images, but she did not tell Jacob that she had taken them for Jacob knew of these images and he had mocked Laban mercilessly because of them. “What,” Jacob always used to say to Laban, “do you need of images of gods that are so clearly false and ridiculous. How could there be other gods in our universe when we have God One, Who created us and Who created all of the creatures of this earth, even the funny-looking, ugly-looking, and patently useless ones; God One, Who was, verily, created by God Two, Who was created by God Three, Who was created by God Four, Who was created by God Five, Who was … well, you get the picture? How could your gods exist without having been created by other gods? How could there be room in this universe for your gods when we have our Lord, the invisible, impossible-to-figure-out God One? Throw away those treacherous images of your false gods, all except the image of the voluptuous, naked female god. I’ll give you good money for that one.”
But Laban had ignored Jacob’s mockings and kept his images of his gods. And now, Rachel had taken those images when she fled with Jacob. When Laban discovered that he had been robbed he was furious. He thought to himself, “I have nothing. Nay, that is not true. I have less than nothing. My cattle and sheep are withering and dying. My daughters have gone off with Jacob. My sons are rotten good-for-nothings. And my hemorrhoids are killing me. And there is sure to be a pox upon me and my people any day now. Just think how bad it would have been if I didn’t have my images of gods to watch over and bless me. Now, they are gone and I am surely done for without them.”
Laban pursued Jacob and eventually caught up with him. And Laban said unto Jacob, “You fled without a word. We’ve had our differences, but I would have thrown you a going away party had you let me know you were leaving. I would have prepared food, poured wine, made song and dance, and served onto you stripper slave-women for you to go in onto. But no, you just up and left without so much as a ‘good bye.’ Not only that, but you stole the images of my gods that you mocked so.”
And Jacob said unto Laban. “I didst not steal them.”
And Laban replied. “Didst so.”
And this discourse did continue for a good ten minutes. Finally, Laban walked off in a huff and searched Jacob’s tents and the tents of his wives and servants. Laban did not find the images. Rachel had placed them in the camel’s saddle. And she sat upon them. Even after searching Rachel’s tent, Laban found not the images under her.
Laban was still angry with Jacob, for Jacob had all the cattle and all the sheep and, particularly, all the woman. And, despite not finding the images, Laban was convinced that he had all of the images too.
Thus Laban was still bitter. And Jacob was bitter in return. Nonetheless, they built a table of stones and shared a meal, because a man’s got to eat, doesn’t he? And after the meal Laban departed and returned to his home.
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