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Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 44

One day Horus sought Ra with a request to be allowed to read the future in his eyes. This request Ra granted willingly because of his love for Horus, the beloved of gods and men. Whilst they conversed there passed them a black hog, a huge, sinister animal, ferocious of aspect, and with eyes that glinted with cunning and cruelty. Now, though neither Ra nor Horus was aware of the fact, the black hog was Set himself, who had the power to take upon him the shape of any animal he chose.

"What an evil monster!" cried Ra, as he looked upon the animal.

Horus also turned his gaze in the direction of the black hog, in whom he still failed to recognize his[Pg 97] enemy. This was Set's opportunity. He shot a bolt of fire straight into the eye of the god. Horus was half crazed with the violence of the pain. "Set hath done me this evil," he cried; "he shall not go unpunished." But Set had vanished, and was not to be found anywhere. Yet for the evil that had come upon Horus Ra cursed the pig.

When the young god recovered his sight Ra gave to him the city of Pé, whereat he was much delighted; and at his smile the cloud of darkness passed away, and all the land rejoiced.

A Greek version of the myth has it that the black hog tore out the eye of Horus and swallowed it, but was forced by Ra (Helios) to restore it. The eyes of Horus are of course the sun and moon, one of which is swallowed or destroyed by the 'black hog' during an eclipse. The restoration of light to the earth is occasioned by the joy of Horus on being presented with the city of Pé.


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