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Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 101

Again her words were carried to the chief. He caused his daughter and the youth to be brought before him, and at first the young man was afraid, but the chief of Nahairana embraced him affectionately, saying, "Tell me who thou art, for now thou art as a son to me." He answered him, "I come from Egypt;[Pg 231] I am the son of an officer of that land. My mother died and my father has taken another wife, who, when she bore my father children, grew to hate me. Therefore have I fled as a fugitive from her presence!"

Then the chief gave him his daughter to wife; he gave him a house and slaves, he gave him lands and cattle and all manner of good gifts.

The time passed. One day the youth told his wife of his fate, saying to her, "I am doomed to three evil fates—to die by a crocodile, a serpent, or a dog." And her heart was filled with a great dread. She said to him, "Then let one kill the dog which follows thee." But he told her that could not be, for he had brought it up from the time it was small.

At last the youth desired to travel to the land of Egypt, and his wife, fearing for him, would not let him go alone, so one went with him. They came to a town, and the crocodile of the river was there. Now in that town was a great and mighty man, and he bound the crocodile and would not suffer it to escape. When it was bound the mighty man was at peace and walked abroad. When the sun rose the man went back to his house, and this he did every day for two months.

After this as the days passed the youth sat at ease in his house. When the night came he lay on his couch and sleep fell upon him. Then his wife filled a bowl of milk and placed it by his side. Out from a hole came a serpent, and it tried to bite the sleeping man, but his wife sat beside him watching and unsleeping. And the servants, beholding the serpent, gave it milk so that it drank and was drunk and lay helpless on its back. Seeing this, with her dagger the wife dispatched it. Upon this her husband woke and, understanding all, was astonished. "See," she said to[Pg 232] him, "thy god hath given one of thy dooms into thy hand. Surely he shall also give thee the others!"

And then the youth made sacrifices to his god and praised him always.

One day after this the youth walked abroad in his fields, his dog following him. And his dog chased after the wild game, and he followed after the dog, who plunged into the river. He also went into the river, and then out came the crocodile, who took him to the place where the mighty man lived. And as he carried him the crocodile said to the youth, "Behold, I am thy doom, following after thee...."


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