He might well have noticed my belt. Goliath I am, of many years experience in battle, alone and in squadron, in battles at home and on foreign sand. My belt is smaller now, not bigger. Fixed in the fifth sweat-stained leather hole, not in a hole beyond the sixth, a raggy hole, off-centre, made with the point of his sword. Idiot. He could have risen to Colonel but now his belly hangs over his harness, and him no older than my father’s third son. I would have sat ahead of him at harvest meal and he dares to mention my belt? Goliath I am, the oldest son, a personal favourite of the general. My feet are broad in my sandals, my calves swell like boulders, my legs are like rolling logs. My chest is metal, I have made it so. Goliath I am, a bull of a man, a gift to my mother, a treasure, the head of the household now. There is no man, not flabby gut or any other, who would dare even knock on my mother’s door. She is forever safe with me.
Is this a messenger? This woolly lamb? This lad? I came here to fight. I, Goliath, stand on the sand, in the sun, the leather of my tunic shading my thighs, my mighty back gleaming, my sword too heavy for a woman to lift, but what does this girl do? He has a strap of leather — I thought for a moment it was a bird, a pet, released by his hands, two dark wings against the sun. He is bending to pick up pebbles. It is nothing for me to wait. War is in the waiting. This tree is rooted for as long as the general decrees it so. For as long as it takes my enemy to fall.