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Bread and Fish (and wine)

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After days of journeying, following hard on some days of sitting, Thomas' left foot had a bounty of three blisters. His right foot boasted of two yellowed flattened lumps. Peter laughed when Thomas would sit on a rock by the side of the road to examine his right foot. Peter sat too upon the rock and said, "Why do you tarry? We should go to our Lord that he might heal your wounds."

Having been some days upon the road together going into the villages two by two driving out evil spirits, Thomas only gave of Peter the figs and laughed at his own feet. They walked then the rest of the way together, past many mile markers, to the shores of Galilee.

There they found the others and their Lord. There also they found a vast crowd from all the villages gathered around. Such was the roar of voices that it was difficult for them to hear one another. Peter leaned to Thomas and said, "Perhaps we should have gathered in Nazareth."

James heard Peter's words and said only that they had no spent no great time with their sisters or they would have understood the attitudes of the Nazarenes. Simon agreed with this thought and told a tale of being dragged about as a doll by their eldest sister.

Meanwhile, Judas, ever full of the desire to be where people were not and mindful of the fate of John the Baptist, had secured the use of a boat. The question being then of who would do what upon the boat and where they should go. Peter and Andrew discussed the matter in the manner of brothers. The sons of thunder too. Philip said to them that they should to Bethsaida where his mother lived. In response, Matthew said that they should do none such, but rather avoid the home towns of any.

Jesus then commented that if they could not settle among themselves, he would walk out onto the sea and in solitude fish without them.

Thomas was foolish then with his tongue, which sometimes ran before his thoughts, as he said, "Your robes will become quite wet by such a day of fishing." This made Peter to laugh and Judas to exclaim upon the noise of the crowds.

Jesus sighed then and borrowed a fishing rod from a boy from Ammathus. He set out walking upon the water of the Sea of Galilee with the fishing rod over his shoulder. The crowd exclaimed much.

James rolled his eyes at the acts of their Lord and made to exclaim, "He did that when we were children and the chores were not to his liking." Simon spoke then in agreement.

Their Lord's exit made to settle then the dispute, as he grew smaller over the waves. They set out on the boat and followed after him. Far away from the crowds, who gathered upon the shore in great numbers, Jesus stopped upon the water and sat down upon the waves. He cast his line, which sank into the sea and chatted with them that rested upon the boat.

Thaddeus leaned off the side of the boat and gave the fish his lunch, while Bartholomew spoke in sympathy.

They talked then of the villages that they had visited and the evil spirits that they had cast out of pigs and donkeys and men. Matthew told them all the story of a man who claimed that his camel was possessed. However, upon arriving at his village it seemed that the man was desirous of freely given advice upon the paying of his taxes.

In this time, Jesus sat cross legged upon the water, which calmed to his sitting until it was like a lake without ripple much to Thaddeus' joy. He cast his line into the water and recast until he caught two fine fish, and one which he threw back for being too small.

Not wishing to walk to Bethsaida, where Philip assured them all that his mother would do well by them, Jesus climbed into the boat. They sailed then to Bethsaida, which boasted a road with houses on both sides.

Matthew pointed to the road and said, "These then are the results of your taxation." Where upon Phillip would have denied him then entry into his mother's house.

With some soothing words by their Lord, they walked then down the road to the home of Phillip's mother, which rested some ways from the others. She greeted them with smiles and a sharp word for Phillip that he had not sent word ahead and she with her washing on the line. She set to making five loaves of dark bread. She cooked also the fish with salt in honor of the day.

In that time, the crowds gathered to them. They milled in the road and on the grassy ways and to the desert beyond. They numbered into the thousands, bleating the name of Jesus. Their Lord remarked that they were like sheep without a shepherd.

He stood on a rock then and spoke to them for some time until the sun grew low in the sky.

Phillip looked with some worry at the house of his mother, surrounded by the crowds. "This is a remote place," he said, "and it's already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."

Jesus smiled and in his way said, "You give them something to eat."

Mathew looked upon the crowd that surrounded them even up to the hills. He ticked at their numbers on his fingers and after some thought, he said, "That would take eight months of a man's wages, which I should note that we no longer earn! How are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"

James rolled his eyes and went with Simon to get the fish and bread. They requested of Phillip's mother some baskets. She had only those fit for moving rocks, but they took them and beat the dirt from them.

Jesus took the bread and fish. He broke them many times. Yet each time, there was more bread and more fish until twelve baskets were filled with food, only slightly being marred by gravel. The people ate of the bread and fishes until all were full and the night came.

Phillip's mother marveled then that Phillip and his friends were welcome to return, but with some warning next time.

James said to Thomas then that he preferred Jesus' trick at the wedding, which he then repeated and they sat out on the hillside and talked until dawn.