by Chris Smith, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty - £6.99 Barefoot Books Ltd (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781782852520 | ISBN 10: 1782852522
This is a story from Jerusalem.
It is told by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
Two brothers stand before King Solomon, arguing about which of them should inherit their father's land.
For a while the king listens, then he asks for silence.
"Let me tell you a story," he says, "from long ago, before there was a city here, before any temple had been built on this land..."
Long ago, a river valley curved and curled its way through the land from the hills in the east to the sea in the west, its steep sides lined with orchards of olives and almonds... Two brothers farmed a piece of land on the flat valley floor between two villages.
So begins Solomon's tale, of two brothers who live in separate villages but meet to farm the land. After the best harvest anyone can remember, one brother decides to give three of his sacks of grain to the other. When night falls, he loads the sacks onto his donkey and travels to his brother's village. But the next morning he finds with surprise that the three sacks are back in his own store. He sets off the next night in the same way as the first, and the same thing happens.
Only on the third night is the mystery solved - and according to tradition, it is in this place that the city of Jerusalem was born
(Price & availability last checked: September 2015)