Egyptian Literature

Short stories and Fiction

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Short stories and Fictions are diverse and plentiful in the fragments that have come down to us of Egyptian literature.



There are marvelous tales of ghosts, miracles, and other fascinating concoctions, as credible as the detective stories that satisfy modern statesmen.

There are high-sounding romances of princes and princesses, kings and queens, including the oldest known form of the tale of Cinderella, her exquisite foot, her wandering slipper, and her royal-hymeneal denouement;

there are fables of animals illustrating by their conduct the foibles and passions of humanity, and pointing morals sage a kind oi premonitory plagiarism from Jesop and La Fontaine.

Typical of the Egyptian Literature mingling of natural and supernatural is the tale of Anupu and Bitiu, older and younger brothers, who live happily on their farm until Anupu's wife falls in love with Bitiu, is repulsed by him, and revenges herself by accusing him, to his brother, of having offered her violence.

Gods and crocodiles come to Bitiu's aid against Anupu; but Bitiu, disgusted with mankind, mutilates himseli to prove his innocence, retires Timon-like to the woods, and places his heart unreachably high on the topmost flower of a tree.

The gods in Egyptian literature, pitying his loneliness, create for him a wife of such beauty that the Nile falls in love with her, and steals a lock of her hair.

Drifting down the stream, the lock is found by the Pharaoh, who, intoxicated by its scent, commands his henchmen to find the owner.

She is found and brought to him, and he marries her. Jealous of Bitiu he sends men to cut down the tree on which Bitiu has olaced his heart.

The tree is cut down, and as the flower touches the earth Bitiu dies."0 How little the taste of our ancestors differed from our own!



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