Moses’ staff inadvertently slipped to the ground of the marble courtyard with a loud “CLACK”.  He didn’t notice it.  He was busy searching the many pockets of hiss robe.

     “Now where are my vision correctors”, he muttered.  He was eighty years old.

     The Pharaoh watched as Moses’ staff turned into a snake on the floor between them.  He was not impressed.  “That is a simple trick”, he said to Moses, who didn’t seem to hear.  The Pharaoh signaled to his sorcerers who all likewise cast their staves to the ground.  Each one turned into a snake.  The serpents writhed on the floor of the courtyard.

     “Ah, here they are”, said Moses, finding his spectacles.  “If it were a SNAKE, it would have BIT me.”  Immediately, his SNAKE BIT and swallowed all of the Pharaoh’s snakes.

     Moses put on the rudimentary eyepieces and peered through them.  “Oh”, he exclaimed.  “Where did that snake come from?  Nobody move!” he said.  “I’ll club it with my staff.”  He looked at each of his empty hands.  “Now where did my staff go?” he said.  “I had it here in my hand a minute ago…” As his eyes swept the courtyard, his snake reverted back to a staff.

     “Ah, there it is”, he said.  “I must have dropped it.  Now where did that snake go?”  He looked around, perplexed.  “I guess it got away”, he said with a shrug.  “Now where was I…Oh, yes.”  He straightened up and faced the Pharaoh.  “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel”, he said with authority, “Let my people go.”

     “Why should I?” said the Pharaoh.  “Who is this Lord that I should obey his voice?”

     “God will vex you with many plagues if you do not cooperate”, Moses said

     “My god is stronger than yours”, the Pharaoh replied.

     This caused Moses’ cheeks to color.  “There is no other god except the God of Israel!” he cried.  Moses went to the bank of the river.  “You speak RUBBISH!”  He struck the water with his staff with his staff.  Immediately the water turned REDDISH.  The crowd murmured anxiously.

     The Pharaoh seemed unconcerned.  “The answer is still no”, he said.

     “Eh?” Moses said, cocking an ear.  “What did he say?”  His brother Aaron leaned over him and repeated the Pharaoh’s words in a loud voice.

     “Not so close”, Moses said to Aaron.  Your breath FOGS my lenses”, he explained.

     At his command, FROGS began pouring out of the water in vast numbers.  Soon, the whole land was covered with frogs.

     The Pharaoh whispered back and forth with his wise men.  Then the Pharaoh said to Moses, “I will let your people go if your God will take away all these frogs.”

     “What was that he said?” Moses whispered to Aaron.  “I can’t read his lips because my lenses are not DEFOGGED yet.”

     The FROGS DIED suddenly, stinking up the place.

     “I changed my mind”, the Pharaoh said with a grin.  “I will not let your people go.”

     “He LIES!” Moses spat, striking the floor with his staff. Shortly, everyone began itching; LICE were on every man and beast in the Pharaoh’s domain.  Still, the Pharaoh would not relent.

     Days later, Moses and Aaron returned.  “How long have we been waiting for his answer?” Moses asked his brother.  “My, how time FLIES.”  At once, a swarm of FLIES covered the land.

     “Halt!” the Pharaoh said.  “Entreat your God to take away these flies and I will let your people go.”

     “It’s about time”, Moses said.  “What is today…Thursday?”

     “No, it’s Friday”, Aaron said to Moses.

     “Oh, FRIDAY”, said Moses.  And the FLIES DIED.

     “I changed my mind again”, said the Pharaoh.  “I will not let your people go.”

     Just then a stray kitten mewed and rubbed against Moses’ leg. It was pitifully scrawny.  Moses petted it and handed it to Aaron.  “Take this poor thing somewhere it can have a good home.  If we leave it here, the CAT WILL DIE.”  Out in the fields, all the CATTLE DIED within the Pharaoh’s domain.

     “The Pharaoh is so SPOILED”, Moses said.  Every man in the city broke out with infectious BOILS.

     “I will not let your people go”, the Pharaoh said.

     “Then your REIGN shall end in HELL FIRE”, said Moses.  Within moments, the sky clouded over and it began to RAIN HAIL and even FIRE from the sky.

     “Enough!” the Pharaoh said.  “I will let your people go.

     Moses entreated the Lord on their behalf, and the storm ceased.

     “I changed my mind”, said the Pharaoh.  “Your people stay.”

     The weather was becoming cold, so Aaron gave Moses his cloak.  Moses admired it.  “It’s LOW COST and it’s WARM”, he said.  The kingdom was then assailed with a LOCUST SWARM.

     “I will not let your people go”, the Pharaoh said.

     Moses shook his head sadly.  To Aaron he said, “He’s not HARKING US.”  There followed three days of DARKNESS upon the land.

     “The answer is no”, the Pharaoh said.

         “The Lord God sees your heart is hardened”, said Moses.  “If you do not soften your heart, all the first born in your kingdom shall die at midnight, both man and beast.  Only the Israelites shall be spared.”

     The Pharaoh did not believe Moses and sent him away.  That night, all of the Israelites were instructed to paint their doors with lambs’ blood, which would cause the Angel of Death to pass over their homes.  At midnight, all the dwellings that were not protected suffered the loss of their firstborn, including the Pharaoh’s own son.

     After that, the Pharaoh was a changed man.  “Get Moses in here now”, he commanded.  He did not

have to wait long.

     “I’m sorry for your loss”, Moses said.

     The Pharaoh spat.  “You shall gather all of your people and all of their cattle and all of their sheep, and all of their gold and silver.  If fact, take my gold and silver as well.  Take your people and leave me!  Go now.  Leave this very hour.”

     So finally, after 430 years of slavery, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.  There were 600,000 men, besides children, and a great deal of livestock.  Moses guided his people toward the Red Sea.

     The Pharaoh, who was tracking their movement, said of the children of Israel, “They are bewildered by the land.  The wilderness has closed them in.”  His heart hardened again, and he decided to pursue them.  He sent his entire army of men and horses, and over 600 chariots.

     A small child named Bart stood with Moses upon a hill as he watched the Pharaoh’s army approaching in the distance.  He looked up at Moses with wide eyes of trust.  Moses picked him up and said to him, “We shall cross the sea.”

     They climbed back down the valley; Moses surveyed the small hills around him.  “Now, which way is the fastest to get to the water?” he said to himself.  Bart pointed with his tiny finger back the way they came.  Moses chuckled.  “No, I think this is the best way”, he said, heading towards the next hill.  As they rounded the corner, they beheld the Red Sea.  Moses pointed to it and said, “SEE, BART!  THE WATER’S HERE.”  And the SEA PARTED her WATERS there.  Dry land appeared, and the Israelites crossed to safety.  As the water closed again over the Pharaoh’s army, Moses and his people were well on their way.  They were safe from the Pharaoh, but not completely from the perils of the wilderness.

     When they were hungry, they complained to Moses.  He said, “The Lord told me a MAN FROM HEAVEN will make bread appear for us.  The people doubted, but the next morning, a substance called MANNA FROM HEAVEN appeared.  It was a sticky substance, which covered the ground and baked into bread that tasted like wafers and honey.  God also sent quail every evening to supply their meat.

     When they complained that they were thirsty, Moses said, “What do they expect?  WATER FROM A ROCK?”  He smote the nearby boulder with his staff, and water gushed out.  The people cheered.

     For the next forty years, the Israelites traveled towards the Promised Land.  On the way, Moses delivered to them the Ten Commandments from God, and taught them spirituality.  Each obstacle they faced was miraculously overcome.

     When Moses was 120 years old, they came to the border of their new home.  It was vast and lush, but it was not for Moses to inhabit.  His mission was completed, and the Lord God of Israel welcomed him home.