The Two Brothers

The Two Brothers
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  • Once there were two brothers. Anpu was the elder, and Bata was the younger. When their parents died, Anpu was already married and had a house of his own, so he took his little brother with him and treated him like his son.
  • When the little brother grew to be a young man, he became an excellent worker. Every morning, the younger brother followed his oxen and worked all day in the fields, and every evening, here turned to the house with vegetables, milk, and wood. He laid all these before his elder brother, and he took with him his bread, and he drove the cattle into the field. 
  • Because Anpu loved his younger brother very much, his wife became very jealous and she wanted to destroy Bata. Anpu returned home earlier than his brother because Bata had much work to do in the fields. Anpu was met by his wife, who was crying bitterly. She showed him her arms and legs which he had painted black and blue and accused Bata of having beaten her up. She pretended to be in great pain. 
  • The brother sprang from him and Bata fled praying to the god Ra. Ra heard his cry. He made a river flow between one brother and the other and filled it with crocodiles. 
  • Anpu became very angry. He sharpened his knife and waited for Bata in the stable. Bata came home and as he entered the door, he saw the feet of his brother and the sharp knife hanging by his side. 
  • So, Anpu went home. He found his wife near the river washing off the black and blue dye with which she had painted herself. Filled with great anger, Anpu killed his wife and cast her to the dogs. Then, he sat down, poured ashes on his head and mourned for his younger brother. 
  • Bata reached the Valley of Acacia and met the Nine Gods who knew of his innocence and goodness. Since there was no one with him, Ra said to the god Khunumu, “Behold, frame a woman for Bata that he may not remain alone.” So Khunumu made for Bata a wife to dwell with him. She was indeed more beautiful than any other woman in the whole land. She was like a goddess, and Bata loved her very much.
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