Luz Lanch de Bairacli Levy

The Silver Fox and other Stories
A collection of
 short stories

by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy

daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
Published online by Ash Tree Publishing


The Whispering Wind
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007

The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents

Zohara was walking along the soft yellow sands of the Judean desert. Her bare feet stepped lightly upon the fine saffron-colored ground, leaving faint traces behind her as she walked. She was followed by a large herd of long-haired goats. Her long black dress swayed slightly as she walked. The sky had a threatening amber shade, a sign of an approaching sand storm.

In the distance, across the open plains, she suddenly spotted a whirlwind coming in her direction. Rising up into the golden skies, it blew along in great force towards the large herd of goats.

She called to the goats and ran towards a distant cave. The sands began pricking her face; she could no longer see the goats as the fine grains were stinging her eyes. She reached the entrance of the cave, finding refuge from the agonizing sands.

As her eyes became accustomed to the dim light, she walked further into the cave, passing through a narrow passage that opened out into a spacious room. There were stone ledges along the walls, as if the room served as a meeting hall.

Zohara sat down upon one of the ledges, looking around with fascination. She could hear the wind blowing strongly outside; she was now feeling safe and well protected in the depth of the stone room. In the distance she noticed a massive, smooth grey rock raised up slightly from the ground. It was large enough for a man to lie upon, stretched out to his full length.

She walked up to the flat grey rock, and ran her hand along its surface — it felt smooth and warm to the touch. She climbed up onto the rock and lay upon it, stretching out her long legs. She folded her arms behind her head to form a pillow and closed her eyes. Feeling safe and comforted by the silence and the warmth surrounding her, she fell asleep.

The sandstorm was blowing fiercely outside. The herd of goats was scattered in all directions, some finding shelter from the stinging sands behind rocks, others lying helplessly on the sands, being covered by the fine yellow grains.

“I was waiting for you, what kept you?” Zohara heard a faint whisper.

She opened her eyes and looked around the room. All she saw were grey walls and a rocky ceiling overhead. She closed her eyes and lay very still; her heart began beating rapidly with fear. “I have been waiting for you,” she heard the faint whisper again. She looked around the large empty room, perplexed.

Suddenly she felt a light breeze from the passageway; a warm wind began caressing her face. She began feeling warm. She pulled her long black dress over her head, letting it fall lightly to the ground. She lay back upon the smooth rock.

“I waited for you,” she heard the whisper, as soft gusts of wind began caressing her bare body, playing gently upon her slender neck. She closed her eyes, surrendering to the warm comforting caresses.

Zohara woke to the sound of the wind blowing fiercely outside. She got down from the rock and stood on the dusty ground, picked up the long cotton dress, and put it on. She walked towards the light coming from the narrow passageway, and stood before the entrance to the cave.

A large cloud of yellow dust rose before her. In the faint light she thought she saw a figure of a man walking away in the distance. The air suddenly cleared; she looked towards the direction where she had seen the figure--there was no one in sight. Zohara walked out into the clear air and began calling to her goats, managing to gather them just before nightfall.

On a clear bright sunny morning, Zohara walked along the soft golden sands in search of pasture for her goats. A soft wind was blowing over the surface of the ground, creating slight ripples in the fine sands, and causing her long black dress to swirl around her ankles. On the horizon she saw big dark clouds being blown rapidly towards her. She called to the goats, and led them quickly into the safety of a nearby cave, to find refuge from the approaching thunderstorm.

The cave seemed familiar to her. She looked into the narrow passage leading into the depths of the cave. She began walking slowly along the passage which opened out into a large spacious room formed by a deep hollow in the grey rock. The narrow stone ledges along the walls, and the large flat smooth rock seemed familiar to her.

Zohara walked towards the smooth grey rock, climbed upon it, and lay down on its flat surface. A warm comforting feeling engulfed her, as if a tender hand were caressing her gently. She took off her long black dress. She folded it into a small pillow, placed it under her head, lay back and fell asleep. She felt sheltered and content, surrounded by the strong stone walls, which were protecting her from the thunderstorm that was in full power outside.

“I have been waiting for you,” she heard a soft whisper in the silence of the cave. She opened her eyes slightly, then lay very still, surrendering to the warm currents of air engulfing her bare body.
The storm calmed down. Zohara opened her eyes, climbed down off the rock and walked out into the fierce blinding sunlight. She thought she saw a tall slender figure, surrounded by a halo of light, disappearing into the strong sunlight. She looked hard towards that direction, until her eyes began to fill with tears from the strong glare. There was no sign of anyone. She called to her goats, and led them along the damp sands, leaving heavy footprints embedded in the soft yellow ground.

“Zohara, Zohara, my child, where are you going?”

“I am taking the goats out, Father, “ she replied.

“In this heat! My child, stay at home today, there is going to be a heatwave, don’t go out today!”

“But Father, I must!”

“You must? Whatever do you mean by that?”

“Father, I am going!”

Zohara began walking down the lane leading to the sand plains. The sun was fierce and blinding as Zohara looked towards the horizon. In the distance she could see the large grey rocks bordering the golden sands, and the massive dark opening in the rocks, leading to a cave.

“I can shelter there at midday, in the coolness of the cave,” she said to herself aloud, taking a long thirsty drink from the leather water flask she had slung over her shoulder.

When the sun stood in mid-sky she took the goats down to a stream that trickled out of a rock, leading them to drink from the clear, cool water, and refilling her flask. Then she headed back towards the cave.

As she entered the cave, the cool darkness felt refreshing, creating a pleasant contrast to the heat outside. She led the goats into the cave, and sat on a rock beside them. She noticed an entrance to an adjoining room. She walked through the narrow passage and found herself standing in a large spacious room with smooth grey walls. It was surrounded by level stone benches, and there was a massive, flat grey rock, like an altar.

She put her hand lightly upon the rock, it felt cool and level. She climbed onto it and lay calmly, feeling the pleasant coolness penetrate through her thin cotton gown. The light cotton fabric clung to her skin with the sticky sweat of her body after her long walk in the sun.

She took off her gown and let it fall to the ground beside the rock. She lay back upon the rock and gave out a long sigh of relief, then closed her eyes.

“I feared you would not come in this heat. I have been waiting for you,” she heard the slight whisper beside her. “I have a gift for you,” a soft voice echoed in the silence. Zohara opened her eyes and looked about the empty, spacious room. A bright ray of light shone in through the narrow passage. At the end of the ray, Zohara saw a shining object.

She got down from the rock, and walked towards it. A necklace of fine gold beads, threaded on a thin gold chain, lay in the fine grey dust. Zohara picked up the necklace and held it gently in her hands, looking at it with amazement.

“It is a secret. No one should know about it, or ever see it, never, never,” she heard a faint whisper behind her.

She turned around slowly; the cave was empty. She walked along the narrow passage into the bright sun. Zohara held the necklace to the bright light; the gold beads shone in the blazing sun.
She went back into the large room and placed the necklace carefully in a far corner upon the flat grey rock. Then she gathered her goats and headed out along the sands. By the time she had reached the black tents of the Dahab tribe, the sun was beginning to set.

On the following day, Zohara’s whole tribe, in a long caravan of camels, headed towards the oasis of Ein Fesha, where there was an abundance of pasture, and springs of fresh water for themselves, and for their goats and camels. Zohara and her family were at the lead, walking proudly, followed by the largest herd in the tribe.

The heavy storms were back, bringing great floods. Rains gathered in the canyons and came rushing down in great force, sweeping away everything that stood in their paths. Strong winds began howling around the empty caves at nightfall, causing terror and fear amongst the desert inhabitants.

Two thousand years later, on a hot dusty day, a young Israeli man and woman drove down to the Judean desert in an open Jeep. The stinging sands were blowing into their eyes, and the fierce sun was burning their exposed faces. They headed towards the massive grey rocks in the distance. On arriving there, they stopped the Jeep and jumped out.

“Zohara,” the man said to the woman.

“Yes,” she asked in a slow, dreamy voice.

“I’ll join you in a minute,” he said and walked off, disappearing behind a big rock.

Zohara entered the dark cave. It felt cool and fresh inside. She gave out a long sigh of relief, finally being out of the strong sun.

She noticed an entrance in the wall leading to a narrow passage. She looked through the passage, and in the far distance of the cave, she saw a shining object, lit by a single ray of light coming in through a crack in the wall.

She walked very slowly along the passage and entered into a spacious room. In the far corner, raised up from the ground, on a flat rock, she saw a necklace of solid gold beads. It was flashing in the ray of sun falling upon it.

She went up slowly to the rock and climbed upon it, picking up the gold necklace. Holding it carefully, she climbed down from the rock.

“Zohara, I have been looking for you, where have you disappeared to?” She heard a faint voice behind her. She turned around in fear, her heart beating rapidly. There was no one there.

The light coming in from the narrow passage was suddenly blackened out by a figure standing in the entrance. She heard the sound of heavy footsteps coming towards her.

“Look, look what I have found!” she called out in an excited voice.

She held out her hand, clasping the beautiful golden necklace. The man gazed at it with astonishment.

“It must be thousands of years old!” he said in a slow voice, looking into Zohara’s flashing eyes.

“I wonder who it belonged to,” she said in a dreamy voice. “Who was she? Who wore it? What did she look like?” she added.

“A very beautiful woman,” the man replied in a mysterious way, and walked slowly out of the dark cave into the bright sun. They got into the Jeep and drove away down the sandy hill, creating a big cloud of yellow dust.


by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
for reprint permission, contact Ash Tree Publishing
PO Box 64 Woodstock NY 12498
or write to:


Click here for more stories by Luz, daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents

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