Moses and the Bulrushes

When I was a baby boy
cradled in the water,
someone robed came down to bathe
it was the Pharaoh’s daughter.

She sought a cleaner, purer path
she hated palace ways.
She wanted to renew herself,
live simply all her days.

“Oh look,” she said, “right over there
a charming little boat.
It must have something in it
for it’s low, but stays afloat.”

She just could not stretch far enough.
I was beyond her reach.
Her arm grew longer so that she
could pull me to the beach.

In a flash, her skin was healed,
for she had not been well.
Her skin glowed really beautiful,
a lovely girl, a belle!

She picked me up, and smiled and said
“He has the sweetest face.
A handsome boy, he bears the mark.
He’s of the Jewish race.”

“Don’t save him,” cried her girls, alarmed,
“for Pharaoh has decreed
that Jewish boys should all be drowned.”
A cruel fate indeed.

“You really mustn’t break the law
that we must all obey.
You know the dreadful punishment,
it is our Pharaoh’s way.”

The angel Gabriel swooped down
and took those girls away.
Just one remained for my Princess
to serve her every day.

“Goodness,” cried the single maid.
“They’ve all just disappeared.
I’ve no idea where they have gone.
it’s absolutely weird!”

Just then I gave a little cry
‘twas nearly time to feed.
“He needs to eat,” my Princess said.
“Who’ll help us with his need?”

My sister Miriam stepped out,
she’d watched me all the while.
“I know a nurse,” she quickly said,
and gave a little smile.

“I think he really ought to have
a nanny of his race,
someone he’s familiar with,
he’ll recognize their face.”

She ran to fetch my loving Mum,
we both were very pleased.
Under Royal protection,
I’d not be drowned or seized.

My version of Moses and the Bulrushes has been approved as according to Jewish tradition by the late Senior Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy and Dayan Kada. You can listen to the story through this link:

ps Bulrushes commonly grow among reeds along riverbanks, but look a bit different and can make papyrus. They still grow along the river Nile in Egypt, as well as in other places.

Published by Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore

After many years working as a clinical psychologist in the NHS, I became an author. My years as a mother and grandmother gave me plenty of practice telling children stories. I have become very interested in dinosaurs and animals, and I really enjoy rhymes and riddles!

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