Buying a Beast

When I was a kid, my family used to play a game called Dark Tower. It was a quest to cross a medieval kingdom, aquiring three keys to storm the Dark Tower. If you solved the riddle of which key opened which lock, you won. That was not too difficult. The hardest part was making your way through the kingdoms, turn after turn, gathering the necessary keys. There was a motorized machine (before computer games!) which told you what happened on your turn: you could get lost, for example, or be struck by plague or worse yet, be attacked by brigands and lose your gold and your warriors in a raging battle. Fortunately, you could buy a scout (so you wouldn’t get lost), a healer (to solve those pesky plague problems) and best of all, a “beast” to carry all your gold. That way even if attacked by brigands, your gold was still safe, even if all your warriors died.

Several times lately, since we’ve begun this massive moving project to our new building, I have wished I could buy a beast. It would truly be my beast of burden, carrying all these desks, filing cabinets, and boxes full of hardback Bibles in Arabic. I would point my finger, or better yet, snap them, and the beast would go gallumping off to deposit the heavy things where I wanted them. Life would be much easier if I had a beast!
Ariel Rainey