Beth's father was working late, so Beth and her mother and her brother had dinner without him for the fourth night in a row. "Yesterday," Beth said to her mother while she was eating, "Father came into my room when he got home and took my house key. He told me it was so that I can't get into the house on my own if I come home early from school any more. I don't think that's fair."
Beth's mother swallowed her food and shook her finger. "Don't complain, Beth," she said. "You know what happens to people who complain."
"What?" asked Beth.
"I'll tell you," said her mother. And this is the story she told:
One day the Israelites were complaining. This made God unhappy so he set a bunch of them on fire.
The survivors screamed for Moses to help them, so Moses prayed for God to stop burning people and God stopped.
Beth thought about this for a moment. Then she tried to clear her mind of her unhappiness and force herself to eat dinner. All her questions had been answered, and she sure didn't want to catch on fire.
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