"Very well. I shall tell you the story of the wax crocodile," I heard the smile in her voice.
She sat down next to me and pulled me closer with her strong, thin, wiry arm. I loved being held by Mut-Bity. Her touch was so soothing.
"Aba-Aner was a great magician who lived a long long time ago, during the times of the great king Nebka. Aba-Aner was a priest and knew of the hidden powers of magic. He found out his wife had a lover, a young man from the king's retinue, but did not tell her he knew how she had ordered their country house by the pool to be made ready. She then met this young man there, and they ate, drank and enjoyed each other's company - and bathed in the water.
"No, Aba-Aner did not tell her, or anyone else, that he knew. Instead he created a crocodile of beeswax, seven fingers long. He recited certain magical spells over it and gave it to his steward. He knew his wife's lover would come and bathe at the pool the next time they met. And so he did, and the steward threw the wax crocodile into the water.
"The crocodile turned into a real crocodile, seven cubits long, which attacked the youth and pulled him under water."
I held my breath. I knew the youth had done the same for he was still alive in the next part of the story.
"Aba-Aner was with the king for seven days, and after those days he was summoned before the king. He said: 'Your Majesty would like to see a prodigy which has happened in the time of your Majesty.' And so they went to the pond. Aba-Aner summoned the crocodile to bring up the youth, and the crocodile obeyed. It had to, because Aba-Aner was its creator and knew its magical name. And he then told the king what the youth had been doing with Aba-Aner's wife."
Under my cloth, I covered my eyes with my hands. This was a bit too scary, really, but it was daylight and so I could hear the rest as well.
"The king said to the crocodile: 'Take what is yours and go down.' And the crocodile once more took the youth and pulled him into the depths of the pond, and he was never seen again. The young wife of Aba-Aner was taken and burned and her ashes were scattered in the pond... "
I couldn't help but let out a little squeal.
"And so they both died and were no more," Mut-Bity said in a deep storyteller's voice. "And they had no bodies their souls could return to after that... They were doomed."
"But they could have lived on..." said a strange voice behind me.
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