P eter galloped across the snowy road, spurring his horse to go faster. The afternoon sun was waning and soon darkness would fall across the land. He had to make it to his post by nightfall, as his commander had instructed.

His horse grunted heavily as its powerful legs pounded across the icy ground. A massive, steep hill was coming up ahead of them. Peter dug his armored toes into the horse’s ribs and urged it to gallop up the hill without stopping.

“Schnell! — Fast!” Peter commanded his steed. As they began the difficult challenge of climbing the slippery hill, his mind wandered to the events of that morning. The rabbi he’d met seemed so holy. Different from the priests that soldiers sometimes went to for guidance. The rabbi seemed to have a special glow about his face, and when he talked, there was so much humility in his mannerisms. Most impressive of all was the rabbi’s courage to leap into the freezing river to rescue his special scrolls.

Peter’s horse gave one final grunt as they reached the top. “Good boy,” Peter murmured into the horse’s ear as they got ready to descend the other side.

“Stop!” A shout pierced through the air, shattering the peaceful silence. “There’s an ambush at the bottom! Go back!”

A figure burst out of the woods, a man with a long beard and robe. It was the rabbi from the ferry, Rav Eliezer!

Peter immediately pulled on his horse’s reins, turning it around in one swift move. It wasn’t a moment too soon, for at that moment an arrow cut through the air, in the exact place Peter’s head had been a split second before.

Whinnying in fear, the warhorse lost its footing on the steep hill and fell. It landed on its side, crushing Peter’s leg underneath it. Trapped, Peter slid with his horse down the hill, helpless to free himself.

The Wolf appeared at the top of the hill, smiling in triumph at the sight of Peter trapped at the bottom. His comrades marched slowly down the hill at his side, brandishing clubs and double-sided axes.

Rav Eliezer rushed forward to free Peter so that he could defend himself.

“Stay back!” Peter yelled, even as his face contorted in pain. “You’ve done your part, my friend!”

“Yes, stay back, dirty Jew!” the Wolf snarled. “We’ll deal with you after we’ve finished with this traitor!” As he neared Peter, he brandished his long whip. There was nothing Rav Eliezer could do as the Wolf raised the whip and prepared to strike a deadly blow to the defenseless soldier.

The Wolf yelled in shock as a sword suddenly appeared in Peter’s fist and slashed his whip in half! Peter rolled himself out from beneath his injured horse and unsteadily got to his feet. The Wolf tossed his broken whip away and stepped away from Peter.

“Mach ihn fertig! — Finish him!” he ordered his men. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 694)