Eternal Writing, A Children’s Story

By Catherine Hedge

Once upon a time, a young boy in Egypt had a dream.  Raham dreamt of the future not tomorrow, or next year, or a hundred years, but three thousand years away.  His dream was full of children, with bright eyes and curious minds.  They lived in a land so far away, his father’s fastest falcon could not fly there in an hour, or a day, even though it flew through the sun day and moonlit night.

Raham woke up in tears, realizing he would never see these beautiful people.  They would never know he existed.  All that would be left of him would be dust blowing in the Sahara, or his teardrop fallen into the Nile.  He was so sad, he couldn’t sleep.

He heard his father, an artist for the pharaoh, working in his shop down below.  Since the days were burning hot and stone-carving was difficult, his father worked at night by oil lamp.

Raham crept down the stairs, and peered into the shop.  His father was tapping lightly on an alabaster lion with its tongue sticking out playfully.  Raham knew it was a gift for the young prince, Tutankhaten.  Only the best artisans created work for the royal family and his father was the best of them all.

When his father set down the statue and stretched, Raham tapped lightly on the door frame.  “Father? Shall I pour you some fresh water?”

His father knew instantly that his son was troubled.  Raham was a boy who studied hard and slept well.  Nighttime visits were rare.

“Yes, My son…You must have known I was in need of company.  Please…” He motioned for the boy to sit on a stool nearby.

Raham and his father both drank deeply and Raham told his father of his dream.  His tears threatened to fall on his bronze cheeks, but he blinked them back quickly.   His voice shook when he finished, “And they will live, never knowing of me…or you…or even our little prince, Tutankhaten.”

His father reached out and touched his son’s bare shoulder.  “Ah, but you are wrong, Raham!  You have a great gift.  You are becoming a scribe, learning to write the sacred Hieroglyphs, and you have the artist’s hands of my father and his father before him.”

His father picked up the little lion and brought it near the lamp.  “Read this, Son.” Along the base, his father had carved tiny shapes of reeds, owls, and snakes, spelling out a blessing for the little prince.  His future name, Tutankhamen, was carved on a medallion on the lion’s chest.

Raham traced his finger along the base, “May Ra give thee Laughter and eternal life…I do not understand your meaning, Father.”

“Someday, a thousand thousand years from now, a scholar may hold this in her hands.  She will be able to read what I wrote by the lamp light while you were sleeping.  Perhaps she will read the words outloud, as you did and wonder what happened to Tutankhaten, and to me.  In that moment, I will live again.  ”

You, my son, will make beautiful things, rich with the poetry in your heart.  You will write and those words will live forever!”

Many years later, Raham worked by lamplight in his goldsmith’s chambers.  He tapped lightly on a small gold chest covered with figures of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen and his young wife.  As he finished the last words of the love poem around the rim, he thought of his father…and of the children who would someday see his writing, his masterpiece.  He smiled and whispered, “In that moment, I will live again.”

About Catherine Hedge

I am a writer and teacher mentor.
This entry was posted in Teaching, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Eternal Writing, A Children’s Story

  1. Pingback: Eternal Writing, A Children’s Story | Catherine Hedge, Author and Educator

  2. Loved it, Cathy. Makes me want to learn how to chisel. 🙂

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