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Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 86

Khufu, delighted with the success of these experiments, then asked Dedi if he knew of the designs of the House of Thoth. The magician replied that he did not know their number, but that he knew where they were. Pharaoh then asked him their hiding-place, and was told that in a chamber in Heliopolis, called the Plan-room, was a chest of whetstone in which the plans were concealed, Dedi adding, "O king, it is not I that shall bring them to thee." "Who, then," asked Khufu, "shall bring them to me?" And Dedi replied, "The eldest of the three children of Rud-didet shall bring them to thee." "And who is Rud-didet?" asked Khufu. "She is," replied Dedi, "the wife of a priest of Ra, lord of Sakhebu. But these three sons of hers are the sons of Ra the god, who has promised her that they shall reign over all this land, and that the eldest of them shall be high-priest in Heliopolis." At this the king's heart was much troubled, and Dedi, seeing that he was in fear of the future, said to him, "Be not afraid because of what I have said, O king; for thy son shall reign, and thy son's son, before Rud-didet's sons shall rule the land; and behold! this progeny of Ra is not yet born." Khufu then announced his intention of visiting the temple of Ra when the banks of the canal of Letopolis were cut, and Dedi promised that the banks of the canal should hold at least four cubits of water. The sorcerer was then placed in the palace of Hordedef, and was daily provided with a thousand loaves, a hundred draughts of beer, an ox, and a hundred bunches of onions.

The Goddesses as Dancing-girls—Evelyn Paul.


The Visit of the Goddesses

Now when the sons of Ra and Rud-didet were born, that deity requested Isis, Nebhat, Meskhent, Hakt, and Khnumu to go to her, and taking the form of dancing-girls, all except the god Khnumu, who followed them as a porter, they descended to earth and approached the house of the priest Ra-user, Rud-didet's husband, and played before him with their instruments of music. They endowed the children with various attributes, and called them User-ref, Sah-ra, and Kaku. They then quitted the house and bade Ra-user rejoice. In return for their good wishes he bestowed upon them a bushel of barley, which Khnumu placed upon his head; but as they were on the way back to their divine abode Isis said unto the others, "Would it not have been better had we done a marvel for these children?" To this the others assented, and they there and then fashioned a likeness of the crowns of Egypt, of the crown of the Upper Land, and of the crown of the Lower, and hid them in the bushel of barley. They then returned to the house of Ra-user and requested permission to leave the barley in a closed chamber, which they sealed up, and then took their leave. A few weeks afterward Rud-didet asked her handmaid if the house and all that was in it were in good condition, and the handmaid replied that all was satisfactory except that the brewing barley was not yet brought. Her mistress then inquired why that had not been done, and the servant answered that their store had been given to the dancing-girls, who had arrived on the day of the children's birth, and that it now lay in the closed chamber under their seal. Rud-didet then ordered the maid to use it for the present, saying that Ra-user[Pg 204] could replace it before their return. The girl opened the chamber and, entering, was surprised to hear people talking and singing, music and the sound of dancing, and such sounds as one hears in the palace of the king. She quickly returned and acquainted her mistress with what she had heard. Rud-didet then entered the room herself and also heard the sounds, but could not locate them. At last she laid her ear to the sack which held the barley, and found that the sounds proceeded from it. She at once placed it in a chest, which she put for security in a greater chest, and this she bound round with leather and laid in a store-room, taking the precaution to seal it, and when Ra-user returned she told him what had occurred.


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