Like Flirting or Courting

BRENDAN BAPTIZED NO others on that journey but there was more than a few he softened up against the day another of the new faith should come by. They was poor folk mostly. They'd be gathering white-stalked wild garlic or nuts as might be or grazing their bony cows on some common pasturage. He'd give them a bit to eat out of our plump sacks and tell them news of Christ like it was no older than a day. Nor did he tell it with gull eyes like Jarlath nor grinding it down to a fine dust like Erc. He'd make them laugh instead at how Christ gulled the elders out of stoning to death the woman caught in the act of darkness. He'd drop their jaws telling them how he hailed Lazarus out of his green grave and walked on water without making holes. He'd bring a mist to their eyes spinning out the holy words Christ said on the hill and telling them the way he shared his last loaf with his friends the night the bullies come for him in the garden.

It was like flirting or courting the way Brendan did it. He'd tease them along till they was hot for more and then skitter off saying he'd be back one day soon or another like him to tell them another tale or two if they'd mend their ways in the meantime. Once in a while he'd get me to join him singing psalms back and forth though it sounded more like cows calling to be milked than monks.

-Originally published in Brendan

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