He always loved when his nursemaid came to visit. He had long been fully weaned; the visits from Yocheved and her daughter Miriam had slowed in frequency now that he had passed the test and become integrated into the House of Pharaoh. But he still always loved when Yocheved came to visit.
In the House of Pharaoh, every day was the same. Play with the other children, the other princes and princesses and the children of the viziers. Chariot training every other day. Combat training on the other day. Moses has no yardstick to measure time, no sense of his place in history. Until Yocheved comes to visit.
She exclaims "My, you've grown tall," with exquisite pleasure inscribed in every wrinkle of her tawny face. She hides back tears as she brings him presents. Moses never forgets to put on the papyrus necklace she wove for him, the bracelets beaded with crocodile teeth, the headdress festooned with Ibis feathers.
Today, she has brought with her a boy. He is spindly and tall, perhaps a half-cubit taller than Yocheved and a full cubit taller than Moses, but he is still a boy. The first strands of light blonde hair pock his cheeks, though nobody could call it a beard.
"Moses... this is my son Aaron," she whispers, as if unable to trust her voice at full volume. "He can play with you today." Moses sees that Aaron is holding a wooden Senet set in his hand. The boy transfers the pieces from hand to hand with cocky ease, as if drawing energy from the carving.
"Ready to lose, Prince?" he asks, and his mother shushes him with a gentle but firm slap on his back. Nonetheless, Moses feels a little awed. He is the Prince of Egypt, son of Pharaoh's Princess, he reminds himself. He has been trained all his life as a leader of men. He cannot lose to any slave boy.
"I will not lothe to you," he says, suppressing his shame about his speech impediment. He is grateful that Aaron ignores it entirely and moves to set up the board.
The game is a study in opposites. Aaron makes his moves with speed and confidence and doesn't stop talking all game. He chatters about slave girls Moses will never meet, but suddenly longs to. He boasts whenever he is ahead and tries to jeer Moses off his game whenever he isn't. Moses is deliberate, careful, and thoughtful. He doesn't make a move without considering its consequences five steps later. And he doesn't speak, less his speech impediment or his doubts betray him.
Once, as Moses stares off into the distance in contemplation of his next turn, Aaron interrupts him. "What are you doing, praying to God for help?" Moses stops, startled. "No! Of course not! Do I look like a priest?" Then he remembers what Yocheved once told him- The Children of Israel are a nation of priests. Aaron shrugs off the comment and returns to his boastful mocking.
Moses wins the game by a narrow margin and orders the slave boy to clean up the pieces. Aaron obliges and then slips out of the room.
Years later, at the Burning Bush, Moses is not surprised to learn that Aaron is his brother.