The Stories of Thoth and Ma'at:

 

How Anubis Was Born

 

For Background, see Previous Stories

and When It Rained in Egypt

 

 

 THOTH KHU image appears. As THOTH's narration begins, NEPHTHYS enters and dances the action. Her SERVANT WOMAN watches from the shadows.

THOTH:

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.

NEPHTHYS exits. THOTH KHU begins to recede into the distance as MA'AT KHU appears. The two KHU images greet each other briefly, then THOTH KHU vanishes as MA'AT KHU draws near. Lights down on the baby's shelter, up on the river bank where we see ISIS. The SERVING WOMAN runs toward ISIS. They dance the next action:

 

MA'AT:

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.

SFX of the black hunting dog giving birth, and suckling ANUBIS along with her own four pups. As ISIS appraoches, the dog at first growls in warning, then allows ISIS to pick up the baby. ISIS gestures to the SERVANT, who exits. KHU image of the fully-grown ANUBIS fades in at the end of ISIS' speech:

 

ISIS:

What a beauty. You will grow up to have the same keen senses, most of all right here, in the nohohohohose (ANUBIS giggles as she tickles him) 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. (Giggles again) 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.

 

NEPHTHYS enters, sees ISIS cradling ANUBIS

 

NEPHTHYS:

Isis and I 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. Set was about to give us politics -- (SFX: sudden burst of laughter, suddenly cut off) --and along with it, fear.

Enter ISIS and ANUBIS. Lights come up on a stone bench where they are working together on the healing of another person. ISIS receives herbs and other items from ANUBIS, and is showing him how to apply them. Enter MA'AT. The four dance the education of ANUBIS in the stars (NIGHT SKY for this sequence), prophecy, herbs and other medicines.

 

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Copyright 2002 Dan Furst

 

 

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