sv- v Azit Makes A Rescue In The Judaean Desert
By M OTTA G U R
Ruthie and Hayyim knew all
about the flowers and animals and
bugs in their neighborhood. They
wanted to find exciting new species,
like the strange plants and animals
that live in the hot, dry Judaean
Hayyim borrowed a canteen
and a map of the desert from his
brother Rami, a paratrooper. Ruthie
borrowed a first-aid kit from her
uncle, a medic with the tank corps.
And they pooled their savings and
bought a guide book of desert
plants and animals.
Early one spring day they took
a bus down to Arad, a town on the
edge of the desert, and began to
hike along a path that led down the
hills. They found strange striped
lizards, clumps of tiny flowers, and
scurrying insects. Ruthie raced from
plant to plant and stopped to look
up each "find" in the book. Hayyim
filled his notebook with notes.
When the sun was high they
spread out the map and located the
nearest water well. They soon
reached the mound of rocks topped
by a concrete platform with a round
opening. A cool clump of trees grew
in a hollow beside the well. Hayyim
climbed to the top of the mound,
lowered a can on a string through
the opening, and brought up cold,
delicious water. When they had
enough to drink they scrambled
down into the hollow to rest.
Suddenly, Hayyim saw a
movement out of the corner of his
eye. Two desert antelopes were
coming toward the well.
The children held their breath
as the antelopes jumped lightly up
to the well platform and began to
drink from the half-empty can.
"There's not enough water in
there," Hayyim whispered. "I'll get
FRIDAY, JUNE 30,,1989
some more." He started to tiptoe up
The antelopes raised their
heads in alarm, sniffed, turned, and
seemed to float from the platform.
"Stop!" yelled Hayyim. "Don't
run away. We want to help you." He
"Wait, you'll fall," Ruthie cried.
Just then, just as he almost
reached the fleeing antelopes,
Hayyim's leg twisted, and he
tumbled over and over down the
mound. A shower of stones came
rattling down with him.
Ruthie grabbed the first-aid kit
and slid down to him. Hayyim lay
silent, biting his lips to keep from
crying. Ruthie quickly bandaged his
"Swallow this pill," she said,
"It'll stop the pain." Then she
tucked the knapsack under his
"I can't walk," said Hayyim
after a few minutes. Ruthie's eyes
Just then, just as he
almost reached the
Hayyim's leg twisted, and
he tumbled over and over
down the mound. A
shower of stones came
rattling down with him.
grew wide and anxious. "Don't
worry," he said. "My brother will call
home and find that we're missing.
Then he and his buddies will come
and find us."
"But our parents will be
frightened," Ruthie said.
"We can't help them," said
"No," said Ruthie. "We'd better
help ourselves. I'll collect twigs to
make a fire, then we'll have some
tea. It'll be a cold night."
At dusk Rami called home to
ask how the trip had been.
"Hayyim and Ruthie aren't
back," his mother told him
"Don't worry," said Rami. He
rushed to tell his commanding
Within half an hour the unit was
on the road to Arad. Two hours later
they were searching the dark
desert, flashing their lights under
every tree and behind every
boulder. At dawn a scout plane was
sent up to search from above. But
Hayyim and Ruthie were tucked