The little boy huddled close to his father under the night sky. The fire crackled and the smell of burning dung and warm sheep let the little boy know that everything should be right in the world.
“Dad, why do we hate the farmers?”
“Because they are farmers, my boy, and we are herders.” The man chuckled.
“Obvious, child. The farmers try and fence off our land. They steal it from us and keep us from walking through the best parts. They try and steal the water holes too. Never trust a farmer.”
The boy thought for a while. It made sense the way his dad put it.
“But, dad, if we were farmers, it would seem like the herders were stealing their water. And ruining our food when they took their herds over.”
The man was surprised. He had never thought about it that way, or at least, not since having a herd of his own.
“Oh, son. The real reason that we hate the farmers is that God hates them.”
The boy’s eyes grew big. God was responsible for the terrible thunder and the swarms of locusts that came every few years and eat the goats’ food.
“Oh yes,” the man continued. “Back many seasons ago there were two brothers. One farmed and grew crops and fruit trees while the other herded animals. When it came time for sacrifice, the farmer sacrificed grains and fruits. The herder sacrificed new lambs.
“And, we all know that God loves the smell of burning animals the best. Nothing else makes him so happy, so he loved the gift of the herder and hated the gift of the farmer. This made the farmer so angry that he killed his own brother. So God sent the farmer away.
“That is why we hate the farmers.” The man was silent once more, thinking.
He thought of his own cousin who had also killed his brother when they had fought over a watering hole. God hadn’t done anything to the cousin except give him his former brother’s herds and wife. The farmers must be much worse.
“It must be awful to have God mad at you,” the boy whispered.