I gave you perfect beauty… but you used it to become a whore and lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his (Ezekiel 16:14-15)
A girl walked through the main street of the city, dragging a small case behind her. She was wearing what was probably once a very fine dress, but that was long ago… a life time ago.
The main street of the city was dark and empty. Here and there an oil lamp burned at a street corner, casting crazy shadows across large smooth cobbles stones. A light drizzle made the large cobbles wet and slippery. Tired and weak from travel, her foot slipped and she fell heavily, still holding tightly to her case. She cried out in the darkness but there was no one to hear her. Even busy cities sleep sometimes.
The girl lay shivering in the street, too weak to rise. As the night grew deeper, a cool wind picked up off the Syrian desert. It was bitterly cold, and she had nothing with which to stay warm. Then a figure appeared in the distance, flitting from shadow to shadow. The girl drew back in fright as a man approached wearing a dark cloak with a hood pulled over a lean and crooked face.
Thief: How now, a little skirt, alone in the night, lying in the dirt. Tis sad to see, one so frail as thee, frightened… and oh so very helpless…
Mary: Oh Shadow of the night, you fearful figure, with eyes that glint and teeth that glimmer. Your fingers are long, and slyly you move, like a fox in a field, eyeing a hare in a noose.
Thief: Look at the tears, that flow down you cheeks. What have you done, girl in the night, to end up alone, and so out of sight…?
Mary: Spare me your pity you vile man. My tapestry is woven, its ugly pattern I have chosen.
Thief: Ah, I know who you are! You are the one, chosen by love to marry the king’s son? We’ve all heard the story, about the girl who listened to a charmer, and left her true lover. You could have been a queen! With jewels, and gold, and ladies in waiting. You had it all, but now you have nothing!
Mary: Tis true! I am that one, and oh, what a tangled web I have spun! will take to the grave, for now there is no one left to save.
Thief: Ah, lady of sorrow, your end has not come, there will be a tomorrow. Your life I do not desire, but pearls and gold, or perhaps a beautiful sapphire! [reaches for the girls purse]
Mary: Stay back! Have pity! On a helpless girl, in this great big city!
Thief: [looking through the girls things] A brick of cheese, a crust of bread. Ah ha! A hole in the lining! A clever enough trick, but not for my cunning. Now look! Something magnificent! A gift from the king! To make you his own, a beautiful ring!
Mary: Give that back you cruel man, with heart of stone, whose filching fingers and glittering eyes dare to take what I most prize.
Thief: One seeks treasure and another pleasure. What is the harm, if there is no measure?
Mary: Fine! Take the ring! It is a fitting end to my story. A promise was made, and a covenant broken!
[the thief walks off with the ring in his hand]