The sun beat down on his head as he trudged along the rocky path to bring presents to his oppressors. Ehud was chosen from his people to be the tribute-giver, and had somehow gained a measure of trust from the enemy, but he felt like a traitor. Regularly gathering the first-fruits and prime livestock for this back-water Moabite empire that had managed to enslave his people, he loaded his cart and camels with extortion.
Entering the palace, the guards grabbed him, two brutes rifling his sacks, removing them from the pack animals, laughing at his ringlets of hair, hanging down his face in front of his ears, the marks of the devout or patriotic among his people, marks most cut long ago hide their true heritage. Ehud's small tribe had a greater secret to hide than the edges of their hairlines, for this secret forced them to embrace a clumsy existence, marking them as slow and stupid. Most of his people were cursed with the left-hand.
Some, of which Ehud was one, used both hands equally well, and if his wits were about him, this right-handedness made him appear more trustworthy and intelligent among the superstitious Moabs, branding him with the curse of tribute-giver.
Grabbing his ringlet of hair, the guard slung him onto the stairs to begin his march of humiliation. Each step was an effort because of sticks jammed into his calves or rammed in front of his feet. Finally light burst out above him, and the strange mix of incense, spiced foods, and human sweat, turned his stomach, especially the rank sweat. Tripping one last time, he fell at the feet of the laughing despot, Eglon. Years of tribute were taken advantage of, and spread like butter over the body of this behemoth. Looking more like an upright, overfed bull ready for slaughter, than a fearful ruler, his laughter shook the room.
Like most visits, Ehud patted the right side of his tunic indicating a special gift for the glutton. Eglon, fearful of the avarice of his guards, dismissed them and ushered this little peasant into his private chamber.
Once the door shut, he rubbed his hands together, excited for more. Ehud’s left hand reached into his tunic then thrust this offering into the belly of the ruler. Blood drained from Eglon’s face in shock, looking down at his belly as if he were praying to it for salvation, he saw the hilt of a dagger poking forth, held tightly by the fat of his abundance. Each move forced the dagger to tear deeper in his innards, and he saw the offerings made to this god spill forth from his gut along with his life.
Ehud stood motionless before the dead tyrant, knowing he should run, but shocked at the prospect of freedom. With the door still shut, he escaped through a window, leaving behind bewildered guards waiting for their master.
Quickly he ran home, raised an army of deliverance, and this man, cursed with the left-hand, turned that mark of trouble into a weapon of victory.