The Snake and the Pharaoh
Demius had become Pharaoh when he was only twelve years old. His father Manelik and mother Consuela were the first ever rulers over Egypt. For years the nation had gone without a leader, each person was self-reliant and had no one to watch over them.
When the people realized it was time to change they searched far and wide among the people of the Nile valley to find someone who was worthy to rule over them. It took them many months to find the perfect man, Manelik, who already had a wife.
He was the most respected, honest and caring man in all the region and the people felt he was a prime ruler for them. Manelik and Consuela could not have children but they wanted one so badly. When the people saw what an excellent Pharaoh Manelik was, they entreated Min, the god of fertility who gave them only one child and by that time they were already over sixty years old. When Manelik’s parents died the people immediately declared that he would be heir to the throne at only twelve years old.
A wise man in Egypt always used to say “love, just like wine, can blind the eyes and numb the mind.” And this is exactly what happened to Demius. As Demius got old he became more and more lonely and really desired a wife. Every week he would hold a gala and invite all the citizens of the Nile valley to enjoy the festivities. But what they did not know was that he was using this as an opportunity to seek out the perfect bride.
And then he saw her. One night, dressed elegantly in lace as blue as the sky, with a face as lovely as a lily, a smile as bright as the sunshine and a beauty he had never before imagined. He enquired about her and found out that she had a magnificent singing voice and if there was anything she loved more than singing it was dancing. Oh she was his dream come true.
Unfortunately, she was engaged to be married to Anaki, said to be the best dancer throughout all the Nile Valley. Determined that he could win her over he ceaselessly tried to pursue her until she relented, under one condition. At his next party Anaki and Demius could compete for her hand in a dance. They each had to dance with her and the best dancer would be her husband.
Knowing full well he could never beat Anaki at dancing, because he had seen him dance and he was, indeed, the best, Demius thought of a way he could win the competition. Demius was very good friends with the gods, and he remembered the story of how when his parents wanted a child the gods had come to their rescue. So he summoned Artemis, the goddess of nature, explained his situation to her and asked her to come to make Demius unable to dance. Artemis told him to go to the gala and she would take care of everything.
On the night of the dance Demius dressed in his finest apparel and entered the dancing room. When the time came for the dance and he could not find Anaki he was very pleased, knowing that Artemis had helped him. That night he danced with Gattin and, since Demius did not show up, he was declared to be the winner and she kept her vow and promised to marry him.
In the night when Demius went to bed he was elated because he had finally found his bride. But as he went to lie in bed he saw this creature with no hands, and no legs, curled up in his bed. It was Anaki, Artemis had taken away his hands and legs so that he could no longer dance. But Artemis had also made a deal with Anaki. You see she was secretly in love with Demius, but he was not interested in her, and paid her no mind. She did not want him to marry another.
Though she could not go back on her word to Demius she bottled up all of Anaki’s anger and turned it into poison and placed it in his tongue. That night Demius was bitten by Anaki, who became known as Snake, because he could not speak properly with the poison on his tongue. Demius may have won the dance, but he died without getting his bride. The people of the Nile, when they learnt of Demius’ evil tricks, hated him so much that they did not bury his body but built a tomb around his palace instead so that he would stand out as a reminder forever, of the wicked effects of envy.