Ancient Egyptian 'Hounds & Jackals'
1252 B.C. A courier delivers a papyrus scroll to the fortress commander. It is a letter from Pharaoh Ramses II's royal scribe. It reads:
Panehys, royal scribe and overseer of the treasury, to Khaemope, commander of the fort 'Repeller of the Medjay': In life, prosperity, and health!
This is a missive to inform you that I am calling upon all the gods of Pi-Ramessu-miamon, l.p.h., to keep you healthy and in the favor of Pharaoh, l.p.h., your good lord, daily.
A further matter: The One has commanded that you take the cursed game board, that vile gift of the Nubian sorcerer, into the desert and to bury it in the sands of a desolate place, as an evil thing never to be found again. It is good if you take heed!
I am writing to inform the fortress commander Khaemope.
1995 A.D. at a small research camp located on the barren west edge of the Oasis of Dakhla, deep in the Western Desert, on what was the far western border of the ancient Egyptian empire. . .
It's morning and the rising sun has already begun to reveal the fury of last night's sand storm. Isolated deep in the Western Desert for days, searching for elusive and rare desert plant species, you wonder at the things you do 'for Science' as you crawl and tumble out of your half-buried tent and begin the hated task of 'digging out'. Stopping to clear the perspiration from your eyes, you rest against the shovel and squint at the harsh desert dunes and volcanic waste-land around you -- a scene beautiful at times, but often very deadly. In your musings, out of the corner of your eye, you seem to catch a glint, an almost searing white gleam from the base of a distant dune. "Hmm . . .???" . . . Dropping your shovel and taking a bearing, you decide to investigate . . .
. . . Upon nearing the site, you see the shining white surface of what appears to be an ancient game board. Beautifully shaped hound and jackal peg playing pieces seem still set into the peg holes and the fineness of the intricate carving and the beautiful ivory playing surface bring a gasp to your lips. "How wonderful! . . . No, not Libyan . . . Surely it can't be Bedouin this far west . . . it has to ancient Egyptian! . . . Where did it come from? . . . How? . . .", you rejoice as you stoop to examine more closely the artifact, preserved for what must have been centuries under the shifting sands.
Hisssss . . .ssssss..ssss..s!!!! The cobra, black as death itself, slithers out from under the board.
But, at that very instance, Atum-Khepri, being Re himself, in the midst of his bark -- the sun-boat as it rises to illuminate the world -- sees your plight and your helplessness before the Nubian's sorcery and inspires you with an ancient protective spell . . .
"Oh Cobra -- Begone from me, for I am Mafdet!",
you chant, as you quickly retreat. "Strange", you reflect, "An Egyptian spell? Do I know of such magic? -- yet I know I recite the ancient spell against cobras . . .???"
Hisssssss . . .sssss. . . ssss! . . . then the Cobra's hiss begins to form into words . . .
and "I am Atum-Khepri, who gave jackals & hunting-dogs"
. . .. Thunder? Your world begins to spin . . .
"More speedily than a hound"
. . . Pounding echoes. . . Time and space are fluid; rippling, spinning . . .
"More swiftly than a shadow"
. . . The cobra's hiss . . . a whirlpool?. . .
"Go forth to the happy place whereto we speed!"
. . . No !!!!!!!! . . . May you save me, my lord, Re!
And Atum-Khepri hears your cry for help in the ancient words and is greatly angered because the Nubian has invoked his name in such an evil and vile spell.
"Hold!", He thunders.
"The evil Nubian sorcerer 's ancient trap shall not harm an innocent one such as this", he proclaims.
"Nor shall a game of joy of my people of long past be turned to a game of misery. I shall balance the Cobra's powers and change the game from one of death, to one of life -- the loser shall not lose his life, nor the winner taste of undeserved power .
I shall not give you, I shall not give your charge, to a male or female robber from the West -- My hand upon you, my seal as your protection! May you break forth!