After the Children of Israel had wandered for thirty-nine years
in the wilderness, Ferdinand Feghoot arrived to make sure that they would
finally find and enter the Promised Land. With him, he brought his
favorite robot, faithful old Yewtoo Artoo, to carry his gear and do
assorted camp chores.
The Israelites soon got over their initial fear of the robot and,
as the months passed, became very fond of him. Patriarchs took to
discussing abtruse theological problems with him, and each evening the
children all gathered to hear the many stories with which he was programmed.
Therefore it came as a great shock to them when, just as their journey was
ending, he abruptly wore out. Even Feghoot couldn't console them.
"It may be true, Ferdinand Feghoot," said Moses, "that our friend
Yewtoo Artoo was soulless, but we cannot believe it. He must be properly
interred. We cannot embalm him as do the Egyptians. Nor have we wood for
a coffin. But I do have a most splendid skin from one of Pharoah's own
cattle. We shall bury him in it."
Feghoot agreed. "Yes, let this be his last rusting place."
"Rusting?" Moses cried. "Not in this dreadful dry desert!"
"Ah!" sighed Ferdinand Feghoot, shedding a tear, "I fear you do not
realize the full significance of Pharoah's oxhide!"
-- Grendel Briarton "Through Time & Space With Ferdinand
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