The Law of Moses
Author:Amy Harmon



Moses looked strangely relieved. I stared at him for several long seconds, trying to decipher his expression.


“Go on,” he said.


“There was a blind man who lived in a small western town. He hadn’t been blind all his life. An illness had taken his eyesight when he was a little boy. Along with his eyesight, he’d lost his freedom. He had to have someone lead him around if he went outside, he had to have someone do most of his cooking and cleaning. And worst of all, he wasn’t able to see his horses or the hills around his home. One night he had a dream that he was running in the mountains. When he stopped to drink from a cool stream, he saw his reflection in the water. He wasn’t a man anymore, but a beautiful white horse that could run for miles without tiring. When the man woke in the morning, the woman who came and helped him each day noticed his hands and the bottom of his feet were filthy even though he’d taken a bath the night before.


“He dreamed the same dream the next night, and in the dream the horse caught his foreleg on a branch as he leaped over a log. It was just a scratch on the horse’s leg, but in the morning when the man awoke he realized he had a long scratch on his leg exactly where he, the horse, had been wounded in the dream.” The words came as easily to me as reciting the pledge of allegiance. I’d been told the story so many times as a child that I was probably using the very same words, the same descriptions that had been used then.


“Then people started seeing the white horse at night, and as the rumors reached the blind man, he realized that he wasn’t dreaming. He was actually turning into a horse at night, running and leaping, seeing all the things he hadn’t seen for so long, but through the eyes of this beautiful animal.


“He didn’t dare tell anyone, because he knew how crazy it was. But crazy or not, it was the truth. Night after night, he continued to turn into a horse, and night after night the sightings continued, until a few men in the town made plans to capture the beautiful, white horse.


“The men did as they planned and between the three of them, they cornered the horse. But just when they thought for sure they had it, the horse leaped the fence and ran straight into the clouds, disappearing forever.


“The next day when the woman went to the blind man’s house to make him his breakfast, he was gone. And he never came back home. No one ever knew what had happened to him, but the woman always suspected the truth, because the bare footprints leading down his front walk became hoof prints in the soft mud of the yard.”


Moses had been staring at my face as I talked, but his eyes had grown distant and unfocused, as if he wasn’t really looking at me at all.


“Can I take up more than one wall?” he asked.


“Uh, sure.” I scrambled up and started pulling down pictures and yanking out thumbtacks. Before long, my furniture was in the middle of the room and Moses was wildly sketching with what he called a grease pencil. He pulled a few of them out of his pockets as if he carried them wherever he went.


I watched in fascination as Moses became lost in the story I’d shared with him. He rarely stepped back to see what he’d sketched, and his hands flew. He was using both hands interchangeably, and before long, he had a pencil clasped in each and was drawing frantically with both hands at once. It was mind-boggling to behold. I could barely write with my left hand, not to mention draw, and draw while my other hand was doing something else. Moses didn’t speak to me, and the one time I interrupted him, when it was close to dawn and my eyes were growing heavy, he looked at me blankly like he’d forgotten I was there.


“Let’s stop. I can’t stay awake,” I yawned. “And I don’t want to miss anything. You’re a genius. You know that, right? Maybe you’ll be famous one day and they’ll turn my room into a Moses Wright museum.” He started shaking his head immediately.


“I don’t want to stop,” he said, and his eyes pled with me. “I can’t stop yet. If I do, I might not be able to finish.”


“Okay,” I agreed immediately. “But you better be gone before my parents wake up. You can come back every day until it’s done. You just have to promise that you’ll let me watch.”


I fought the battle with sleep as long as I could, desperate not to miss the magic. But as brilliant as the images unfolding across my walls were, it was Moses himself who kept me spellbound. And when my eyes would no longer focus and my lids slid closed one last time, it was Moses who danced in my dreams, arms flying, eyes glowing, color and curved lines flowing from his fingertips.


I didn’t open my eyes again until well past noon. And when I did, it was because someone was making a racket outside my bedroom windows.