The order had come straight down from the big man himself:
“You’re to stoke the fires seven times hotter than the norm.”
The King, though, didn’t understand just how my furnace worked,
since the walls themselves would have melted if it got that warm.
But I knew what he wanted, and I gave it my best shot:
when he brought that night’s victims down, my furnace would be hot.
I’d heard that there were three of them who’d refused to bow down
to the ninety foot tall gold statue out on Dura’s plain.
King Nebuchadnezzar had them brought down to the palace,
asked them point blank to bow on the spot. They refused again,
while everyone else in the room hit the floor straight away
when the horns, flutes, zithers, lyres, harps and pipes began to play.
The King pitched a fit at that point, had the three heathens cuffed,
and sent his order to my office, in the boiler room.
I got the slaves working up the engines and the bellows,
our central unit would be their crematory and tomb.
It was cranking along nicely, too hot to stand close by.
“It’ll be quick,” I thought. Still, though, not how I’d choose to die.
Now, here’s where my story begins to get real weird, real fast.
The guards who brought in the three prisoners collapsed and died,
and the King’s tightly bound victims fell down into the flames.
Before they hit the floor, their flesh and blood should have been fried,
so I went to cut the juice, just as I heard a wild shout,
and some jabbering about four phantoms walking about.
“Not a chance,” I thought, since I’d read the fuel gauges myself,
and knew just how hot the guts of that furnace really were.
But the King and all his satraps and prefects were screaming,
so I grabbed my welding goggles and peeked in to make sure.
I feel sort of funny even telling this story now,
but, it’s the truth: four guys were walking in that fire, somehow.
The King called the heathens’ names, and the three men climbed right out,
big smiles on their faces, fully clothed, unhurt and unburned.
Seems the fourth man was an angel that their God had sent down,
and with that bit of information, the King’s heart was turned.
Mine too: I quit my furnace work, cut all my palace ties,
and took a new job at Abednego’s Office Supplies,
(where I also work with those other two fireproof guys).