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rear pew mirror • doug brook

Ten little exodus

Once upon a time, there was a well-known rhyme… Today it’s about soldier boys, called “And Then There’s None.” Before that it was often called “Ten Little Indians.” What its name was first, or second as some reckon, Is something that repeating would PC Police beckon.   Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little soldier boys traveling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven. Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one of them and then there were five. Five little soldier boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little soldier boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little soldier boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little soldier boys playing in the sun; One got all frizzled up and then there was one. One little soldier boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.   Where we’re at in Torah puts us in the mood, To share the rhyme’s real origin, straight from the Talmud. One’s about the plagues, with commandments added then, Each contained in their own list, adding up to ten.

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Now, wait no more to read them, for here they all are, Hopefully you will not think they have gone too far. One plague of blood turned the Nile to goo; The main seer did it too, and then there was two. Second plague of frogs hopping out of sea; A red herring swallowed them, and then there was three. Third plague of vermin sent them to the floor; Still little chance to free, and then there was four. Fourth plague of beasts storming from their hive; Pharaoh’s heart was stung, and then there was five. Fifth plague of disease making cattle sick; The herd was chopped in half, and then there was six. Sixth plague of boils raining down from heaven; Many days they stayed there, and then there was seven. Seventh plague of hail pouring very late; Pharaoh overslept his heart, and then there was eight. Eighth plague of locusts swarming in to dine; Pharaoh choked his latest “no,” and then there was nine. Ninth plague of darkness blinding girls and men; His heart still lost in the dark, and then there was ten. Tenth plague on firstborns slain til there were none; All to free the Israelites and then they were gone.   continued on previous page

Profile for Southern Jewish Life

SJL Deep South, February 2016  

February 2016 Deep South edition of Southern Jewish Life, the Jewish news magazine for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and NW Florida

SJL Deep South, February 2016  

February 2016 Deep South edition of Southern Jewish Life, the Jewish news magazine for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and NW Florida

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