Fairy Tale Channel (fairytalechannel.com)

FAIRYTALECHANNEL.com Fairy tales following the seasons and bringing warmth to heart and hearth. Featured Fairy Tale: Fairy Tale of the Hinzelmann Hille Bingels' Wedding Party

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Doomed Prince, an Egyptian Fairy Tale



A manuscript dating to approximately 1000 B.C. bears the designation Papyrus Harris 500, marking it as the property of Mr. Harris at the British Museum in London. It contains two fairy tales in addition to a number of love poems. The first tale is about the Doomed Prince; the second is a story about the capture of the city of Joppa. Unfortunately the papyrus has been damaged; numerous small holes interrupt the storyline and several pages are missing entirely. We therefore only have the beginning of the story and the ending here has been added based on guesswork. The imagined conclusion of the tale is inferred from patterns of story-telling traditional for this genre.

There was once a king to whom no son was born. His heart was exceedingly sad and so he prayed fervently to the gods who ruled his time. These gods decreed that a son would be born. And so, one night the king approached his wife and she became pregnant. When the months had passed, a child was born. Soon thereafter the Hathors arrived, those goddesses who pronounce the fate of every child at birth. Each, in her turn, foretold the future of the child:

“The child shall die by crocodile or by snake or by dog,” was their verdict. When the people heard this, they were very much afraid and hurried to tell the king, His Majesty, Who Grants Life, Well-being and Health. This news greatly troubled His Majesty, Who Confers Life, Well-Being and Health and so he had a house of stone built for his son in the mountains. It was furnished with all kinds of beautiful things from the household of the King Who Confers Life, Well-Being and Health. But the boy never left the house.

When the child grew, he climbed onto the flat roof of his house and saw a greyhound running behind a man on the path below. He said to his servant “What is that running behind the man?” The servant replied “That is a greyhound.” The boy exclaimed “Bring me such a creature.” The servant went out to report this to his Majesty, Who Confers Life, Well-Being and Health, who promptly ordered “Bring him a small, running dog, so that his heart does not become weighed down with sadness.” So they brought him a greyhound.

Days passed and the youth (and his entire body) became older. He sent a messenger to his father and said “All is well but why should I sit around lazily? Because I am destined to have a sad fate, I should be allowed to act according to my wishes. God will in the end do, what he desires.” His wish was granted and he was given all types of arms and weapons, he was given the greyhound who followed him and he was brought to a ship at the East Nile Valley . The people bade farewell and said to him: “Grace be with you! Go where your heart desires!”


Now with his greyhound, he roamed the land and went wherever his heart desired. Soon reachng the North, he lived off the best game of the country. The Prince harbored a desire to fly and so it happened that he soon arrived in Neharina (northeastern Syria) at the palace of a count.

Wonder of wonders! The Count of Neharina had only one child, a girl. A palace had been built for her and the windows of this dwelling were 70 cubits above the ground. All the children of all the counts in the land of Syria were called to the palace. The king said to them “Whoever can reach the window of my daughter by flying, he shall receive her hand in marriage!”

Many days passed and princes from all over the land passed the time in the usual fashion, flying and attempting to reach the window. Finally the young Egyptian prince arrived at that same place. They took him home, washed him; they fed his horses; they did everything possible for the youth; they cleaned him; they anointed his feet with fine salve; they fed his servants. In conversation they asked him “Where do you come from, you handsome young man?” He replied “I am the son of an officer of chariot warriors in the land of Egypt. My mother died and my father took another wife. When her new children were born she began to hate me. I left and fled from her.” They embraced the young prince and showered him with kisses.

After many days the prince approached a throng of men. “What are you doing here?” They replied “We pass our time here flying. The one who reaches the window of the daughter of the Count of Neharina, will receive her hand in marriage.” The prince said to them “If you don’t mind, I will beseech the gods to act in my favor and go flying with you.” So they all went out to fly, as was their daily habit. But the youth stood off in the distance to watch. (At that moment, the princess of Neharina appeared at her window and her) face turned toward him. After several days passed, the youth arrived once again with the children of all the counts to try his skill at flying. He flew and reached the window of the daughter of the Count of Neharina. She kissed him and she embraced him.

The servants ran to her father with the news to delight his heart. They said “A young man has reached the window of your daughter.” The count inquired “The son of which count has reached the window?” They replied “It is the son of an officer of a chariot warrior, who arrived here after fleeing from his mother in Egypt. He came because of her children.” The Count of Neharina became very angry and said “Should I give my daughter to a refugee from Egypt? He should return home!” They went to tell the youth “You should kindly return whence you came.” But the princess embraced him and said “By the life of the god Ra-Harmachis! If you take him from me, I will refuse all food. I shall no longer drink. I shall die in the very same hour.”

The messenger went forth and told her father everything she had said. The count sent out people to kill the youth while he resided in his house. But the girl said to them “By the life of the god Ra! If you kill him, I will also be dead by sundown. I will not live another hour without him!” The servants went to her father and reported what she had said. The count had the youth and girl brought to him. When the youth stood before the count, he shook in fear but the count embraced and kissed him and said “Tell me who you are for you have become a son to me!”

The youth replied “I am the son of an officer of chariot fighters in the land of Egypt. My mother died and my father took another wife. She began to hate me and so I fled from her." The count gave him his daughter and also cattle and many beautiful things.

After many days had passed, the youth said to his wife: “Three fates have been foretold me: the crocodile, the snake and the dog.” She replied “You should kill the greyhound, who runs behind you.” But he said to her “Oh no! I will not kill my dog, who I have raised since he was a pup.” The wife now stood watch over her husband and did not let him leave the house alone. But the youth wanted to undertake a trip to the land of Egypt and wander through it. When he arrived in Egypt, a crocodile came out of the Nile and reached the center of the village where the prince was staying. [The villagers caught it and locked it in a house] that was guarded by a giant. The giant wouldn’t let the crocodile out of the house. But when the crocodile [slept], the giant left the house and went out for a walk. But when the sun came up, the giant returned and he did this every day for two months.

After many days had passed, the youth decided to stay at home to enjoy the day. When night fell, the prince lay down to sleep and soon sleep overcame him. His wife filled a bowl with milk [into which she poured a sleep-inducing substance] and placed it beside him. A snake came out of its hole to bite the prince. But his wife sat next to him and did not sleep. The servants came, (whom she called for help when she saw the snake) and they gave the snake the milk. The snake drank the milk and became sedated and remained lying on its back unconscious. The wife chopped the snake into pieces with an axe. Then she awoke her husband and he was amazed. But she said to him: “Look! Your god has given you another one of your fates. He will also give you the others.” The prince made a sacrifice to the god and praised him and every day he acknowledged the power of the god.

Many days after this event, the prince left his dwelling to take a walk nearby. He did not leave alone but rather took his dog who ran after him. His dog ran away to hunt and the youth ran after him. When he came to the Nile River, he climbed down the river bank to the flowing water. A crocodile emerged from the swirling flood and dragged him back to the the place where the giant was. [The giant hurried out and saved the youth], but the crocodile said to the youth: I am your fate that pursues you! You will cross my path again, you and the giant. And then we shall see! I will let you escape now [but you are not safe, remember this: I will come again to spread terror and I will kill the giant. And when you see that the giant is dead then you, too, shall experience death!”
When dawn broke and the earth was illuminated again, there came ....
[The original text ends here…]


Now the prince had escaped two of the fates threatening him: The snake had not killed him and the crocodile, who had seized him, had to release him again. But according to patterns of Egyptian mythology, what the gods have decreed will in fact happen. The prince will be killed by the third encounter with fate, the dog. Probably the crocodile who foretold another encounter was imminent, was correct. The crocodile returned, attacked the giant and killed him. The prince and his dog tried to help the giant and they were able to kill the crocodile but in the heat of battle the dog bit his master, who died of his wounds. He succumbed to the creature who was his faithful companion throughout life, the one he had least cause to mistrust.


To read more about the Doomed Prince, click on the link:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/02/becoming-what-you-are-egyptian-parable.html

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/02/reading-doomed-prince-hathors.html

To read another Ancient Egyptian Fairy Tale about a possessed princess:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/01/ancient-egptian-princess-is-possessed.html

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/01/human-versus-demon-versus-devine.html

To read more fairy tales:  FairyTaleChannel.com

Translated from the original German text by Alfred Wiedemann, 1906
Please read, enjoy, pass on to friends or link to.
Pease do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reading the Lithuanian Fairy Tale, Godmother Death


In the Lithuanian fairy tale Godmother Death (full text below), neither man nor god reign supreme. Rather, both characters engage in a life-and-death struggle for power, influence and survival. This tale is best read along with Godfather Death and the Possessed Princess (for full text, hit links at right) to gain some understanding of recurring notions of life and death, healing and infirmity and the status of humans alongside deities. I like this story for its rich detail and forceful characters. Even the children are no shrinking violets and are drawn to discover the source of underground moaning instead of being repelled by it. Contrasted with the story Godfather Death from the Brothers Grimm, we encounter attitudes toward life and death that are both strangely similar yet unique. Most tellingly, death here comes in the form of an earthy goddess, not a skeletal male messenger. In fact this goddess was quite comely at one time, before she experienced her own sort of death and was imprisoned beneath the soil for seven years. Like a seed lying dormant, she miraculously returns to life, suggesting that death is only one part of a mysterious cycle of life, death and rebirth. Another noteworthy feature of this story is that death is an eager killer and not merely a passive harbinger of one’s demise. Remarkably, the godmother is not reluctant to finish off her godson once he has riled her. We also see the ancient idea of healing being tied to supernatural forces. Like other gifts of prestige or riches, the power to heal is conferred or taken away by the gods. Godmother Death plays a role very similar to a Norn in this story, appearing at the birth of a child, granting gifts which fundamentally shape the quality of the child’s life and in that regard being a real presence or even spiritual guide throughout life (perhaps in fact suggesting that each person carries his own death with him throughout life). Because this fairy tale includes older notions of Norns and earth goddesses, I am inclined to believe it is an earlier version of the story we find in the Brothers Grimm collection.


Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Princess is Healed and Evades Godmother Death in this Fairy Tale



Godmother Death

A man and a woman were living in abject poverty when God gave them a gift of a small child. They thought to themselves: “Whatever shall we do! We are so poor, we can't even afford to baptize this child?” When they invited people to the baptism, everyone declined the invitation. 

One morning the husband rose early and when he left his house he thought to himself: “The first man I meet, he shall be the godfather of my child!” And so it was! He met a man, asked him to be godfather and told him of his dire need. The man accepted. The husband heartily thanked him and continued on his way to find a godmother. He met a young and pretty wife. He wished her “Good Morning!” and asked her to be the godmother. She also did not refuse. 

When the godparents had assembled and brought their gifts, they held a huge feast and baptized the child. When they had all left the celebration, only the godmother remained behind. She thanked the parents for asking her to be the godmother and inviting her to the baptism and said “How shall I reward you? No one except you has ever invited me to a baptism. Do you know who I am? I am the Goddess of Death. I shall make this child a doctor. As soon as a person is sick, take it upon yourself to heal him! When you approach the sick person and see me standing at his feet, he will recover and become healthy again. Then you must promise to heal him! But if you see me standing at his head, don’t make the effort, for I will kill him. If you do as I say, you shall become a famous doctor and you will become enormously wealthy!” 

When the poor child grew to be a man he healed many people. No one saw the Goddess of Death except him. If he saw her standing near the sick person’s head, then he said that further help was futile. Everyone soon loved him very much. He became a famous doctor and was very rich. 

But one day the daughter of a king became deathly ill and the king called the doctor. When he arrived, he saw the Goddess of Death standing by the head of the princess. He pleaded with her to be beneficent and remove herself and let him heal the sick maid for then he would receive a handsome reward from the king. But the Goddess replied that he should move away because she intended to kill the princess. The doctor became angry at his godmother and fitted the bed so that it could be turned. Then he placed the princess in the bed. When the Goddess of Death stood at her head, the doctor simply turned the bed around and the Goddess found herself standing at her feet. When she walked around to stand at the princess’s head once more, he turned the bed around so that she stood by her feet. 

He tormented the Goddess in this way for some time until she left the sick maid enraged. The doctor healed the princess, was highly honored and received a good reward. But when he went home, the Goddess of Death, his godmother, approached him and said: “You did not listen to me. Lay down, I shall kill you now.” “But dear godmother,” the doctor replied, “Give me three days time! I want to make my own coffin and lie down inside. Then you can kill me.” She consented. 

The doctor had a very strong coffin made and strong clasps forged. When three days were up, the Goddess of Death returned and asked “Well! Have you prepared yourself for death?” The doctor lay face down in the coffin. She could not kill him and ordered him to lie on his back. When he rolled onto his back, he raised his knees so that the Goddess of Death could not close the coffin. “You don’t even know how to lie down!” the Goddess said. “Let me show you!” He jumped up. The Goddess of Death lay down inside and stretched out as straight as a reed. The doctor seized the lid of the coffin and slammed it shut, locking the Goddess of Death inside. Then he took it into the forest, dug a deep hole and buried the Goddess of Death inside. 

She lay there almost seven years. No one found her the entire time. He remained a very famous doctor because no one was dying anymore. One day children were tending their flock in the forest and heard sighing below the earth. They all decided to dig and see who was there. They dug up the coffin, opened the lid and found a living woman inside, who was now completely desiccated. Since that time she has been a terrible sight to behold. She thanked the children for freeing her, sat down on a stone near the path and waited for the doctor to come by. She sat as if she were a beggar woman, concealing her face. The doctor came by, stopped in front of the woman and commanded her to say an “Our Father”. When the prayer was over, she said “Amen,” killed the doctor where he stood and took him home. I know this because I was also in attendance at his funeral and enjoyed the wonderful food spread out on the table for all his guests.


Translation Copyright FairyTaleChannel.com
Please read, pass on to friends or link to.
Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Human versus Demon versus Divine: The Surprising Story of the Possesssed Princess and Chunsu the Executor of Plans


The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain, Duccio du Buoninsegna (c. 1255-1319), Frick Collection

(2 versions of the original story provided below)

Copyright FairyTaleChannel.com


Please read and enjoy this article. Pass on to friends or link to.
Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks and enjoy!


The Possessed Princess is a mysterious tale about what happens to a princess dominated by an unclean spirit (not much) and more interestingly, what happens to the demon (a bit more). Set in Ancient Egypt in the time of Ramses II, the text was probably written in or around the first century BC. It is important to read this story in the context of its time. According to The New Oxford Annotated Bible, at the time of the New Testament “Demons were thought to be non material existences of a personal kind, hostile to human welfare and against God. The Gospels reflect widespread dread of demons and a general sense of helplessness before demonic activity.” This idea had apparently been around for a long time for even in the Old Testament we find the Israelites sacrificing to demons and not honoring God, instead they paid homage to deities they had never known. (Deuteronomy 32:17). The New Testament provides startling accounts of exorcisms that are often followed by even more remarkable stories of curing the sick, the paralyzed or those suffering from physical deformity. These stories lump physical and mental maladies into a general category of illness that requires a supernatural wonder cure. It was thought that only a god was powerful enough to heal a person suffering from one of these infirmities. This notion is developed further in the New Testament when Jesus is able to pass on the power of healing to mortal men or his followers. It suggests he is even more powerful than all prior gods.

In the Possessed Princess, we encounter the same biblical helplessness before demonic activity. But in this story the king takes action and summons the most learned scholars of the land. From their circle the most illustrious and skilled scribe is selected to dispel the demon. Very quickly the chosen one finds out that a mere mortal is no match for an evil spirit. The desperate king now turns to the god “Chunsu, Who Stands at the Pinnacle of all Gods”. A common feature of both biblical and Egyptian accounts of possession is that the gods roam the earth and mortals have direct access to them. In the Egyptian tale, the god communicates with the king by nodding his head twice. Like the Christian God with its threefold character, the god Chunsu has a partite nature. He decides to dispatch one of his sub-forms, Chunsu, the Executor of Plans, a deity revered for his healing power and miraculous cures. The demon’s speech in this story is remarkable for its striking similarities with the biblical account of Jesus driving out the demons in the book of Mark. The demon in the Egyptian tale, negotiates with the demi-god an outcome more to his liking. "I am your slave. I will go back to that place whence I came…I will satisfy your heart…But I ask your majesty to order a festival to be held for me…”
The demon doesn’t want to go and lingers with the Prince of Bechten until a festival is held. Then the demon “peacefully left the place he loved so much” and returned whence he came. The last we see of him, he is retreating into the desert sunset.

This is reminiscent of biblical accounts of exorcism. In Mark 5:12, “He (the demon) begged him (Jesus) earnestly not to send them (the demons) out of the country.” And in Matthew 12:43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house, from which I came.”

The fate of the demon is clear but not much is said about what happens to the princess. Of more concern in this story is the nature of man’s relationship to the gods and demons and the power structure under which the world operates. Chunsu, the Executor of Plans, is held captive by the king, who imprisons him in his chapel for over three and a half years. In the end the god cannot be kept down and returns to heaven and Egypt in the form of a golden falcon. Upon his arrival, Chunsu the Executor of Plans is embraced by the other form of his nature, Chunsu the Beautiful Resting One. He returns to his dwelling in peace and presumably stays there until he is next called to perform a miracle on behalf of mankind. And at the conclusion of the Book of Mark we read: "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God."


To read the fairy tale of Princess Bentrescht and the Demon:

http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/01/egyptian-princess-bentrescht-and-demon.html

More fairy tales can be found at:

FairyTaleChannel.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Egyptian Princess Bentrescht and the Demon


This is a re-telling of the Egyptian fairy tale, The Possessed Princess. See the next blog entry to read a complete translation of the story and to learn about the significance of the winged sun symbol.


Cast of Characters:

The Moon God, Chunsu, also known as Neferhetep, the Beautiful Resting One

An offshoot of this deity, Chunsu, the Executor of Plans
King Ramses II of Egypt
The Prince of Bechten
His daughter, Nefer-u-Ra (the Beauty of the Sun)
Her sister, the Princess Bentrescht
A library scribe
A palace scribe
The princely scribe Thuti-emheb
Place: Ancient Egypt, Northeastern Syria and the Land of Bechten (somewhere in Asia)
Time: The text claims the story took place in 1350 B.C. but a more realistic date for the text itself is closer to around 100 B.C.

His majesty, King Ramses, was residing in his palace in Neharina. Princes from the farthest reaches of the earth came to pay tribute to him. They carried gifts on their backs, one walking behind the other. Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, malachite and every kind of valuable wood was brought before the king out of the land of the gods (Arabia in the East, the country of the sun god). The Prince of Bechten also paid tribute to the king. His oldest daughter led the throng of worshipers and offered praises to him. She was a very beautiful maiden, more beautiful than any other living creature. And so she found favor with the king and she became one of his princely wives. He called her Nefer-u-Ra (the Beauty of the Sun God). When the couple returned to their palace in Egypt, he had every ceremony befitting the wife of a king performed.

After some time, a messenger came from the kingdom of Bechten. He brought many gifts for the king’s wife. When he was allowed to approach the king he said “Praise to you, Sun of the people. May your radiance bestow light and life upon us!” He threw himself down before his majesty and then continued speaking. “I come to you my prince and master, because Bentrescht, Daughter of Joy, who through your marriage with Queen Neferu-Ra is her younger sister. An evil has taken over her body and penetrated her limbs. Your majesty should send a learned scribe to drive the demon from her.”

His majesty commanded: “Bring me a library scribe and a palace scribe.” They were immediately brought to him. His majesty continued “I called you to listen to my words. Find me a man who is most learned from among your group. He should be experienced and well-versed in all things.” They brought forth a princely scribe, Thuti-emheb. His majesty commanded him to go to Bechten with the messenger. When he arrived, he found that Bentrescht had been possessed by a demon but he was too weak to do battle with this spirit. The scribe sent a message to King Ramses “O Prince and Master! Send a god to do battle with this demon for I am too weak.”

Upon receiving word, King Ramses made his way to Chunsu, the Beautiful Resting One and said “O my beautiful master! I stand once more before you on behalf of the daughter of the Prince of Bechten. Please have your servant Chunsu, the Executor of Plans, the Big God, the Banisher of Evil drive out the demon from the princess.”

The god nodded his head twice, indicating he had granted the request. The king continued: “And may your powerful magic be with him so this god can go to Bechten and save the daughter of the Prince of Bechten.” Once more Chunsu, the Beautiful Resting One in Thebes nodded his head twice and conferred four times his magic power on Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes.

A large ship was brought for the god. It was laden with wagons and horses. Chunsu, the Executor of Plans traveled to the land of Bechten and arrived after one year and five months. The god entered the room of Bentrescht. He used his magic power to heal the princess and immediately she became healthy. But the demon spoke from inside the princess and said “You come in peace, you powerful god, you banisher of evil. You are lord over Bechten and all the people are your slaves. I am your slave. I shall go back to the place from whence I came. But I ask that you order a festival to be held in my name and for the Prince of Bechten.”

The god nodded in approval and said to his priests “Bring a large sacrifice for this demon!” And it was done. A festival was called and a sacrifice was made and the demon lingered a while with the Prince of Bechten, for that was the place he loved. Finally, at the command of Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes, the demon left that place peacefully. The Prince of Bechten rejoiced loudly and all the people living in his kingdom.

Now the Prince of Bechten decided the god should not return to Egypt but should stay on with his people. He would not let him leave. The god stayed three years and nine months. One day as the king was lying in his bed, he had a vision of the god flying out of his temple like a golden falcon. When the prince awoke, he was full of terror and said “This god who has stayed with us, has moved back to Egypt. May his wagons and horses also return to Egypt.”

The god was released and sent back to Egypt. Gifts of every kind, soldiers and horses were given to him. When they all arrived in Thebes, Chunsu, the Executor of Plans met Chunsu the Beautiful Resting One. He spread out all the gifts and didn’t take a single gift for his own but instead, returned to his dwelling in peace. This happened in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Ramses, who awards life and is like the Sun God, Ra.


To read more about the fairy tale: http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/01/human-versus-demon-versus-devine.html

The illustrated version of this fairy tale can be accessed by clicking on the link:

Translation  FairyTaleChannel.com

Please read and enjoy this article.
Pass on to friends or link to.
Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Ancient Egptian Princess is Possessed by a Demon in this Fairy Tale

Translation: Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org
Please enjoy, pass on to friends and link.
Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!

A majestic shrine rose up from the desert floor beside the enormous Temple of Amon in Karnak. It was built to honor the Moon God known as Chunsu, also called Neferhetep, the Beautiful Resting One. Beside this large structure stood a smaller one, which was dedicated to a lesser manifestation of this deity, Chunsu The Executor of Plans. This figure, mentioned only rarely in early Egyptian texts, came to be revered in the latter period of ancient Egypt. In particular he was worshiped because of his healing powers. A number of his wonder cures were commemorated in poems to spread his cult. These events purportedly took place in the golden age of Ancient Egypt. The accounts were inscribed in stone and placed in his shrines. One such stone survives and is kept in the National Library in Paris. According to the inscription, it was produced in 1350 B.C. under the ruler Ramses II. However the style of its language indicates a much later date, probably the beginning of the first century B.C.

The upper portion of the stone contains a picture of a winged sun disk, a symbol believed to have the power to banish all evil from the proximity of the stele. Below this image to the left is a large bier; a compartment on the top envelops the likeness of the god Chunsu in Thebes, the Beautiful Resting One, carried forth by eight priests. Before the priests stands King Ramses II bearing incense. At the right four priests carry a lesser bier which bears Chunsu, the Executor of All Plans in Thebes, the Big God, the Dispeller of Evil. Dispensing incense around him stands his priest Chunsu-ha-neter-neg or translated “Chunsu stands at the pinnacle of all gods”. An inscription follows these pictures, which references the welcome embrace of the two Chunsu’s after the latter returned from the land of Bechten. The language used is the ceremonious form found in all public documents. It follows the ancient Egyptian custom first providing honorifics for the king and the date when it was produced.

The translation of the fairy tale, found on this stele, follows the original text as closely as possible, to give you a sense of the language from that period. It might therefore come across a bit strange in English.

Horus (Taurus), the strong bull standing firmly with his diadem, who stands constant in his kingdom like the sun god Tum, the Golden Horus, who is mighty with his battle axe. He cuts down the nine foreign peoples, (he is) the king of upper and lower Egypt, the master of both countries. He is the sun, powerful in truth, and likewise praised by the sun – the dear son of the sun god RaRamses beloved of Amon – loved by Amon-Ra, the master of the throne of both countries (Upper and Lower Egypt) and by the nine gods Amon, who bore the goddess Mut, who created the god Ra-Harmachis, the shining offspring of the master of Ulls, who sprang from the spouse of his mother (a form of Amon), King of Egypt, Ruler of foreign kingdoms, the prince who seized the nine foreign peoples. As soon as he emerged from his mother’s womb he was successful in battle. He issued orders as soon as he sprang forth from his mother’s egg. (He is) the bull with its steadfast heart, from which manly strength emanates. He is a kingly, god-steer, who proceeds from the sun god. His victories are like those of (the war god) Month. His bravery is as great as the son of the goddess Nut (of the war god Set).

As was his habit this time of year, his majesty was residing in Neharina (in Northeastern Syria). Here the princes from the farthest reaches of the earth came to pay homage to his majesty, with deep bowing and solemn countenance. They carried gifts on their backs, one walking behind the other: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, malachite, every kind of valuable wood from the land of the gods (Arabia in the East, the country of the sun god). The prince of Bechten (an unknown country probably somewhere in Asia) let his tribute be brought. He had his oldest daughter stand at the front of her throng of companions to praise his majesty and to request life from him. She appeared as a very beautiful maiden before the heart of his majesty, more beautiful than any other creature. And so the king had her name entered into the registry of his harem, as one of the important princely wives and called her Nefer-u-Ra (the beauty of the sun god). When his majesty arrived in Egypt, he had every ceremony performed for the maiden, all rituals that were proper for the wife of a king.

In the twenty-second month of Payni, the fifteenth year of the reign of the king, his majesty was in Thebes, the city crowned with success, the queen of all cities, to praise his father Amon-Ra, the master of all thrones of the world, to praise his beautiful ceremonies in Southern Thebes at the places where from the very beginning the favorite abode of the gods had been established. They came and reported to his majesty: A messenger has arrived for the Prince of Bechten. He has brought many gifts for the king’s wife.” The messenger was allowed to approach his majesty with his gifts and he spoke and praised his majesty. “Praise to you, son of nine foreign peoples!” May you give us life!” He said this and threw himself down before his majesty and then he continued to speak of his majesty. “I come to you my prince and master, because of Bentrescht (dauther of joy), who (through your marriage) with the queen Neferu-Ra is her younger sister. An evil has penetrated her limbs. Your majesty should send out a learned scribe to look after her.”

His Majesty replied: “Bring me a library scribe and a palace scribe.” They were immediately brought to him. His Majesty replied: “I called you so that you listen to my words. Well and good! Find me a man who is knowledgeable in his heart, is an experienced scribe with his fingers and belongs to your circle.” They brought forth the princely scribe Thuti-emheb. His majesty commanded him to go to Bechten with the messenger. When the scribe arrived in Bechten, he found that Bentrescht had been possessed by a demon and found that he himself was too weak to battle this demon. So the Prince of Bechten sent a messenger to His Majesty a second time and conveyed the message “O Prince and Master! Command a god to visit us to battle the demon.”

This messenger arrived on the first day of the month of Pachons, the twenty-sixth year of the reign of the King, His Majesty, at the time when the festival of the God Amon was being celecbrated and His Majesty was in Thebes. His Majesty made his way to the God Chunsu, the Beautiful Resting One, and said “O my beautiful master! I stand once more before you because of the daughter of the Prince of Bechten.” Chunsu in Thebes, the Beautiful Resting One, hurried to Chunsu, the Executor of Plans, the Big God, the Banisher of Evil. His Majesty spoke to Chunsu in Thebes, the Beautiful Resting One:

“O my beautiful master! May you turn your countenance to Chunsu, the Executor of Plans, the Banisher of Evil, so that he goes to Bechten.” The god nodded his head twice indicating he granted the request. And the King continued: “And may your powerful magic be with him, when I let the majesty of this god go to Bechten to save the daughter of the Prince of Bechten.” Chunsu, the Beautiful Resting One in Thebes nodded his head enthusiastically twice to grant the request and he conferred four times his magic power to Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes.

His Majesty gave the order that Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes, should be brought to a large ship. Five cargo ships were loaded from the left and right with wagons with innumerable horses. In this way the god arraived in Bechten after one year and five months. The Prince of Bechten with his soldiers and armies went out to meet the god Chunsu, the Executor of Plans. He threw himself onto his stomach before him and said “You come to us, you make us happy at the command of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ramses II.”

This god entered the room Bentrescht occupied. He conferred on the daughter of the Prince of Bechten his magic power and she immediately became healthy. The demon inside her spoke to Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes: “You come in peace, you powerful god, you banisher of evil. Bechten is your city, your people are your slaves. I am your slave. I will go back to that place, from whence I came. In this way I will satisfy your heart, that is why you came here. But I ask your majesty to order that a festival be held for me and the Prince of Bechten.”

The god nodded in approval to his priests and said: “The Prince of Bechten shall bring a big sacrifice to this demon!” While these things happened between the god Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes and this demon, the Prince of Bechten and his soldiers stood by and were much afraid. Then the Prince of Bechten brought a big sacrifice to Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes and before this demon, who had lingered for a while with the Prince of Bechten. He called a festival day for them both. Then this demon at the command of Chensu, Executor of Plans in Thebes, peacefully left the place that he loved so much. The Prince of Bechten rejoiced loudly and with him, all the people living in Bechten.

The Prince of Bechten considered the council of his heart and said: I will give this god as gift to the country of Bechten and will not allow the god to return to Egypt.” So this god stayed three years and nine months in Bechten. One day the Prince of Bechten was lying in his bed and he saw the god emerge from his chapel. He had taken the form of a golden falcon and flew up and away to heaven and on to Egypt. When the Prince awoke he was full of terror and said to the priest of Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes: “This god who has stayed with us has moved on to Egypt. May his wagons also move on to Egypt.”

The Prince of Bechten released the god to Egypt. He gave him many gifts with all types of things, soldiers and very many horses. When they had all arrived in Thebes in peace, Chunsu, the Executor of Plans in Thebes went to the dwelling of Chunsu in Thebes, the Beautiful Resting One. He placed the gifts, which the Prince of Bechten had given him, before Chunsu in Thebes the Beautiful Resting One. He didn’t take a single thing for his own dwelling. But Chunsu, Executor of Plans in Thebes (after all these events) returned in peace to his dwelling on the nineteenth month of Mechir in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ramses, who awards life and who is like the sun God Ra.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bogey Women and Maintaining the Proper Social Order


In the morality tale Frau Trude (full text below), a bumptious maid suffers from an excess of self-assertiveness. This is the type of child parents find so irritating but children readily relate to. In a social order that calls for conformity to maintain the proper balance of things, something is fundamentally wrong when a child is allowed to freely pursue all the threads of her curiosity. The flummoxed parents command, threaten and finally disown the child. But in the end parental authority and wisdom are vindicated when the willful child meets a tragic end. Frau Trude is a bogey woman of a most sinister sort. Her allure might be illusive to the reader, yet the child is inexplicably attracted to the woman. Like a moth to the flame, the girl cannot resist her own self-destruction. The hobgoblin Frau Trude is very useful to parents, who can frighten their children into obedience with the words “Silence! Or Frau Trude will get you!” But what exactly does she represent to the child? Beside the fact that the child is curious and attracted to strange things, there are no clues to Frau Trude’s appeal. If we take a careful look at the three frightening apparitions the girl describes, we might come a step closer to deciphering another layer of meaning.

In the fairy tale, the child admits to being frightened by her visit to Frau Trude. The scales fall from her eyes so-to-speak and she might also have said “I finally understand what I've gotten myself into and I’m terrified.” The three men she describes might really personify three aspects of the girl's encounter with Frau Trude. The black man could represent evil, one's worst nightmare. The huntsman, a popular figure in German folk and fairy tales, often represented the god Woton and by extension old pagan beliefs and practices that are forbidden in a Christian world. The bloody-red butcher might suggest violence and sexual transgression. A possible interpretation of Frau Trude's speech is that her intense yearning for the child has ignited like fire, a metaphor perhaps for an illicit passion. “Ich habe schon lange auf dich gewartet und nach dir verlangt, du sollst mir leuchten“.
Another more literal translation is “you shall light the way for me.” However you read it, the end is the same. The girl burns like a hot, glowing ember and is thus consumed.

There is a lot to like about this tale. For one thing, justice comes swiftly to the sinner and a sort of balance has been restored to the social order. We are left with the image of a glowing fire that will soon turn to ash: proof of the importance of knowing the proper way to behave. In the end a certain amount of boring wholesomeness will win the day.

Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org

Please read, enjoy, pass on to friends or link.
Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Grimm's Fairy Tale No. 43 Frau Trude




Translation Copyright FairyTaleChannel.com
(Please read, enjoy, link to or pass this story on to friends. Please do not plagiarize, copy or pilfer. Thanks!)

Here follows the firey tale of a bumptious maid and Mistress Trude
There once lived a young maid who was so bumptious and stubborn that when her parents told her to do something, she didn’t mind them. How could anything good happen to a child like that?

One day the girl said to her parents “I have heard so much about Mistress Trude that I have decided to visit her. People say there are strange goings-on in her house and the oddest things are always happening there. I have become quite curious.”

Her parents forbade it and said “Mistress Trude is an evil woman, who pursues godless endeavors. If you visit her, you shall no longer be our child.”

But the maid did not change her mind just because her parents had forbidden it and did indeed go to visit Mistress Trude. When she arrived Mistress Trude asked “Why are you so pale?”

“Oh,” the girl recoiled, her entire body shaking in fear, “I am so terrified by what I have just seen!”

“What have you seen?”

“I saw a black man standing on your steps.”

“That was a charcoal burner.”

“Then I saw a green man.”

“That was a huntsman.”

“Then I saw a blood-red man.”

“That was a butcher.”

“Oh Mistress Trude, I was filled with dread when I looked through the window and did not see you, but instead the devil with a firey head peering back at me.”

“Aha!,” she replied. “You have seen the witch in her rightful finery. I have waited a long time for you, pining for your presence. You shall now become a light for me.”

She turned the child into a block of wood and threw it onto the fire. And when the wood was blazing hot and the embers glowed, she sat down and warmed herself. “Now things are clear and bright,” she said.