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Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 98

He went to the valley and his brother returned home, killed his wife, and mourned for Bitou.

Bitou, in the valley, spent his days in hunting, and at night slept under the acacia, on top of which his[Pg 226] heart was placed. One day he met the nine gods, who gave him the daughter of the gods for his wife; but the Seven Hathors swore she should die by the sword. He told her about his heart, and that whoever should find the acacia would have to fight with him.

The Treachery of Bitou's Wife

Pharaoh, hearing of this beautiful woman, desired to take possession of her, and sent armed men into the valley, all of whom Bitou killed. Pharaoh at last enticed her away and made her his chief favourite. She told him her husband's secret and bade him cut down the acacia-tree, which was accordingly done, and Bitou fell down dead at the same moment.

Then what Bitou had foretold happened to his brother. Beer that foamed was brought to him, and then wine which became muddy while he held the cup. By these signs he knew that the time had come to act, and taking his clothes and sandals and weapons, he set off for the valley. When he got there he found his brother lying dead on his bed. He went to the acacia to look for the heart, but could find only a berry, which, however, was the heart. He placed it in cold water, and Bitou was restored to life. They embraced each other, and Bitou said to his brother, "I shall now become a sacred bull (Apis). Lead me, then, to Pharaoh, who will reward you with gold and silver for having brought me. I shall then find means to punish my wife for having betrayed me." Anapou did as Bitou directed, and when the sun rose again next day, Bitou having then assumed the form of a bull, he led him to court. There were great rejoicings over the miraculous bull, and Pharaoh rewarded Anapou richly and preferred him before any other man.

Some days after, the bull entered the harem and[Pg 227] addressed his former wife. "You see, I am still alive, after all," he said. "Who are you?" she replied. He said, "I am Bitou. You knew well what you were doing when you got Pharaoh to have the acacia cut down." Then she was very much afraid, and begged Pharaoh to grant her any request she would make. Pharaoh, who loved her so much that he could refuse her nothing, consented. "Then," she said, "give me the liver of the sacred bull to eat, for nothing else will satisfy me." Pharaoh was very much grieved at this, but he had sworn, and one day when the people were offering up sacrifices to the bull he sent his butchers to cut its throat. When the bull was being killed two big drops of blood fell from his neck, and flowing till they were opposite Pharaoh's doorway, they sprang up in the form of two great trees, one at either side of the portal.


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