Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Birth of Anubis (Egyptian)

When her birth time came, Nephthys fled into the desert by night, knowing that the last place her husband would go to find her would be his own hunting ground. One of her servant women saw her go, and secretly followed her. The Goddess stopped where there was water, she writhed alone in the pain of birth amid the howling of the wolves, and delivered her son. She dared not take him home. She nursed him for as long as she could, until her milk ran dry, and she saw that unless she could nourish herself, she and her son would both die. So she made a shelter covered with melilot flowers, which had begun to grow everywhere, not only in the royal garden. Then she asked the mothers of the desert to guard her son.

The servant ran to find Isis, who was at the river at dawn, picking herbs as usual, and told her everything, of course. They ran at once to find the baby, who was still alive. His cries were heard by a greyhound who had just mothered four pups nearby, and who suckled the boy like one of her own young. By the time Isis found him, he was red and very sore from crying in the glare of the sun, but he was healthy and strong. Isis knew from her first look at his face who had cared for him.

Isis cradled the boy and said. "What a beauty. You will grow up to have the same keen senses, most of all right here, in the nohohohohose as the one who's protected you. The same swiftness. You will have a new mother in the Black Land, and your father Osiris will call you the One who Opens the Way. Anuuuubis. You will teach healing to other men who don't want to learn it from women. You will prophesy with the truth, and only when you are asked. Your understanding of friendship will be the deepest of all."

Isis and Nephthys were the only ones who knew whose child Anubis was. Osiris never knew that until his first son was old enough to be his physician. Osiris was so innocent that at times he seemed much less intelligent than Set, in that way that leaders would have later, when Set gained so much influence: from now on kings, prime ministers and others of high power would be one of two kinds: affable, charming men operated by groups of craftier men; or secretive, pinched men whose eyes are moving all the time.

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