Hey, it’s Mischa. I have Baba with me today from From Afar by Roger Thomas.
[Mischa] Tell me about yourself.
[Baba] My name is Baba, and I’m a servant of Lord Melchior of Persia. I live with my family on his estate in the mountains just above Seleucia on Eulaeus, which is one of the capitals of the Parthian Empire. I’ve seen a dozen winters, and am the oldest in my family. My younger siblings are all girls, but I like them well enough.
[Mischa] What part do you play in the story?
[Baba] I was invited to go along on the great quest with Lords Melchior, Balthazar, and Gaspar to find the long-prophesied Son of David. I was just one of the camel boys, but I didn’t realize how difficult that would be! We headed for Jerusalem, but found out once we go there that the Son of David wasn’t there – only mean King Herod, who ended up trying to kill us! We had to go further south, to the little village of Beit-Lechem, where we found Lady Miriam, Lord Yusef, and little Y’shua, who was the promised one.
[Mischa] How would you describe your book?
[Baba] It’s the story of the journey, which turned out to be much more involved than I thought it would. As Lord Gaspar said, we had far too many adventures. First we found the city that had been destroyed by marauders, and then had to help rescue the neighboring city from being destroyed as well. That was my first battle, and it was terrible! Then there was the business with the Temple of Atargatis in Hatra – I only know about the first part of that, when I heard that disturbance in the dark at the back of the temple and ran to tell Lord Balthazar. I guess that turned out to be very dangerous, though the grown-ups don’t talk about it much. Then there was Jerusalem, with mean King Herod. I was able to hear him plotting with his assassin, and told Captain Tigranes, but don’t know what happened after that – though I think it wasn’t very pleasant.
But that wasn’t the real excitement. The best part came when we went to Beit-Lechem and found the Son of David. He was just a baby, but his mother and father were kind. Captain Tigranes and I got to be there in the house when the Lords were questioning Lady Miriam and Lord Yusef. I didn’t understand it all, but the Lords learned a lot of things, and were very quickly bowing to the ground before the baby. They sent me to fetch the treasures from their saddlebags – the gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Then there were the dreams that came, warning everyone to get away because mean King Herod was looking for them. So most people fled to Antioch, but I got sent with Captain Tigranes and the small guard to escort the family to the Egyptian border. Then we went to Antioch, and eventually returned home. It wasn’t long after that that Lord Melchior died, and Lord Balthazar became master of the estate, though I mostly serve Lord Gaspar these days.
[Mischa] Tell me about where you live? Who do you live with?
[Baba] Lord Melchior’s estate, where I was born and grew up.
[Mischa] What’s the most important thing in your life right now?
[Baba] Serving Lord Gaspar. He serves Lord Yusef.
[Mischa] What do you hope nobody ever finds out about you?
[Baba] That I overheard King Herod planning to kill my masters.
[Mischa] What do you like or dislike about the other characters from your book?
[Baba] I like Lord Gaspar’s easygoing manner, and Lord Balthazar’s eagerness to teach.
[Mischa] What’s the worst thing someone ever did to you?
[Baba] Tried to kill me with arrows and a sword. That was one of the barbarian marauders in the Valley of Alwenah.
[Mischa] What’s the worst thing you’ve done to someone?
[Baba] I killed the marauder. It was mostly Xerxes, my camel, because he was galloping so quickly that when I hit the man as we passed, it just knocked him out of his saddle. But then his pony dragged him to death.
[Mischa] Read any good books? What were they?
[Baba] I got the read some of the scrolls of Jewish Wisdom, known as Torah, under Lord Balthazar’s supervision.
[Mischa] What type of places do you hang out in?
[Baba] The stables to tend to the horses, or the archery range to practice my shooting. If a guard is around, we’ll work on my swordsmanship as well.
[Mischa] What annoys you more than anything else?
[Baba] Cruel people.
[Mischa] What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
[Baba] The family in the hut in Beit-Lechem. I don’t know why, because it was so simple, but the little baby was so beautiful.
[Mischa] What time of day is your favorite?
[Baba] Dawn. The day is so new and fresh, and the sunrise is so beautiful.
[Mischa] What kind of weather is your favorite?
[Baba] I like it when it rains, because that waters the crops.
[Mischa] Who would play you in the movie?
[Baba] Karan Brar