Ancient Times #33

Last Update: Jan 20, 2022

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Even though Im had only been away from the village for a short time, he was pleased to be home again. However, it only intended it to be a flying visit to inform the head of the village (his father, Zem) of his new role. He would have to leave again before sunset in order to resume his duties at the palace again the next morning.

Im had decided not to admit how perilous his position actually was. He would play it by ear and hope the village came out on top. He would however have to point out a few realities to his father.

Im recalled the events of the previous day at the palace.

Keeping the disappointment out of his voice had been the hardest part of the feedback session with Rudamon concerning 'the meeting’ he had been allowed to attend.

With Rudamon regarding Im’s first council meeting as an essential part of his new learning curve on the way to gaining an insight into the ways of government, he didn’t want to appear too aloof. He tried to emphasize the positives and be a little upbeat about the negatives, but it was hard.

“Spit it out, Im,” Rudamon finally said, “say it like it was not how you would have liked it to have been. I know that the meeting didn’t excite you. Exactly how bad was it?”

“To be honest, if it hadn’t been you that had invited me, I would have got up and walked out long before it had finished”, admitted Im.

“That bad eh!” exclaimed Rudamon.

Following Im’s tactful condemnation of the behavior of his supposed betters and the lack of progress of the meeting, Im put forward several points of action that he felt should be implemented.

Rudamon was so impressed that he immediately drafted a memo to all those who had been present at the meeting with ‘his meditative thoughts’ following the outcome of the meeting. Im wouldn’t get the credit for this one, but his time would come.

Im’s working environment was mostly confined to a desk direcdtly opposite his boss in quite a large office at the back of the palace. The room was spacious and airy, not cluttered with junk like some he had visited.

A very old picture of Amun, which he suspected was quite valuable, was on the wall behind his desk. Apart from that, there was no other decoration in sight, which was just how he preferred it.

From what Im had been able to detect so far, the palace had 37 rooms altogether. He had learned that 8 of them belonged to pharaoh’s harem and the nursery. TJ had 2 of them. He had also been in the council chamber, a waiting room, and a record’s office. That left 23 rooms left for Im to explore.

“Lost?” Inquired a friendly sounding voice.

The voice in fact belonged to someone only old enough to be Im's father. Im was indeed shocked. Shocked but pleased. “Yes,” Im lied. I’m new here and I always seem to take the wrong turning.”

“Im isn’t it? I’m Samut, one of the palace scribes. I did have the dubious honor of being the youngest person here until you arrived,” pointed out Im’s new acquaintance.

Im was also quite excited to find his new colleague didn’t have that many wrinkles, and apparently quick movement didn’t leave him short of breath.

Samut had a kind face, a helpful nature, and, as time would testify, he was a shrewd, modest, character. “Pleased to meet you,” Im told the truth this time, whilst slightly inclining his head.

Samut ushered Im into his study, or cubbyhole as he called it, for a refreshing cup of cinnamon wine, which Im did his best to pretend he enjoyed. The room was indeed small. It could have fitted neatly into one of the rooms that made up Im’s current dwelling.

“Word has it that you haven’t hit it off too well with the big man,” said Samut settling down comfortably on his mat. The room, furniture-wise, was indeed sparse.

“Not exactly.” Admitted Im whilst looking around for somewhere to sit. “We had met previously. It wasn’t what you might call a mutual meeting of minds. I fear The Tjaty’s old prejudices may color his present view of me,” said Im helpfully, with a weak grin.

“The man hates you,” Samut candidly told Im. “I overheard him telling one of his aids that he will destroy you as soon as possible. I advise keeping as far away from that man as possible.”

After pondering his new friend’s advice and its obvious good merit, Im went straight to see TJ.

Im told TJ that after reflecting on his new position in the palace, he had come to the conclusion that he himself was in the best position to oversee the administration of the village. He also felt a closer working relationship with TJ himself would be advantageous to both of them.

Both horrified and amazed at this young, suicidal madman’s cheek, TJ knew a no-lose situation when he saw it. TJ immediately arranged for the movement of Im and his few belongings to be moved into his own office.

As Im left the TJ’s office after the brief interview, with the new title of ‘overall village administrator’ with 6 months in which to prove himself, the familiar ‘what have I done’ feeling crept over Im once again.


“I now have full responsibility for the village’s output and schedule,” announced Im during a lull in conversation at the dinner table.

“Nice one,” said Ky

“Congratulations,” said An

“I knew you could do it,” chipped in Mai.

“That didn’t take you long,” sneered Zem, only thinking of himself as usual, and that maybe his job was at risk. Then it dawned on him that it meant the village was home and dry. He immediately about turned and suggested a celebratory drink. “How about getting cleaned up and having a night at The Grapes for a change?”

All the family members, sensing from the frown and following long silence, Im would appreciate words alone with his father, tactfully and slowly they all melted away from the dinner table.

“So, settled in yet?” meekly inquired Zem. He knew that the power had shifted, and his son was now the person in control.

“Father, the village is in a healthy state. Everything is going to plan. Pharaoh, on his return, will be grateful as long as the schedule is kept to. We should allow nothing to go wrong,” said Im.

“Nothing should go wrong?” Parroted Zem.

“I believe Tjaty Jarha still means the village harm. I shall, in my position, try to deflect any unnecessary pressure put upon you,” reassured Im.

“That’s alright then,” smiled Zem. “Coming for a drink?”

“Thank you, no. I must return to the palace.” Im had said more than he had intended. Zem, however, had reacted with his usual ‘head in the sand’ approach to life that he was famous for.

Im didn’t want to be unkind, but he felt it was just as well that a person of his father’s limited intellect was shielded from the realities of the situation.

Im realized he had outgrown his roots. He had been excited to back in the village again, but now he felt relieved to be leaving it. Im quickly said his goodbyes and left for his small, two-bedroomed apartment at the palace.


An, like everyone else, was glad their day off had come around once again. This was especially exciting as a visit to Manetho’s was planned. This meant no cleaning or cooking today.

Everybody boarded the cart for the short trip to their neighbor’s. It wasn’t so much a squeeze this time as there was no Im. Nobody actually mentioned Im by name, but everybody was thinking about his absence.

Manetho was just as thrilled as ever to see his neighbors. Following their usual big lunch everybody settled down to their favorite pursuits. Tej headed for the big tree and the prospect of getting his head down. Zem headed for the garden. Aby became uncharacteristically domesticated and helped with clearing the table. An visited Tija, as they now had so much in common, and happily talked babies. Ky was bored to tears in the company of Mai and Manetho.

Mai had insisted that Manetho tell her more about his travels and exploits.

Rhovah worried a few chickens.

“In Kush there is a strange animal that will carry a man across the desert for days without water or rest.,” said Manetho to a rapt audience, except for Ky. “This animal stands twice as tall as a man, has two humps on its back, and runs as fast as a leopard.”

“Wow,” said Mai.

“Big deal,” thought Ky.

“I believe this animal has already been introduced into parts of Egypt,”

“What’s it called?” inquired Mai.

“It is called ‘the ship of the desert’, or cam-el in Egyptian,” said Manetho with an air of authority.

“Is Kush very much different to Egypt?” Asked Mai.

“My homeland doesn’t have fine buildings, temples or homes like here,” said Manetho spreading his hands. “Because it is so hot, much hotter than here, everybody is black. Even new-born babies.”

Ky’s attention suddenly perked up. This piece of news was not lost on him.

“Why did you leave?” asked Mai.

“Like you, I met a traveler who spoke of the wonders of abroad. I had to see for myself,” explained Manetho. “I’m glad I did.”

“I’ll travel as soon as I’m old enough,” pronounced Maya confidently.

“Everybody should travel,” agreed Manetho.

Zem wandered in from the garden to unfortunately bring their visit to an end. “Time we weren’t here Mani.”

Ky caught a brief glimpse of Tija when he was dispatched to inform his mother of their impending departure. Ky didn’t get a chance to worry Tija about the possible color of her expected child.

Nobody wanted to go, except Ky and possibly Rhovah, but they all climbed onto the cart and headed back to the village.

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Recent Comments


Wow, Kevin! I'm delighted to see that Humphrey is in your Saga! 🐫

I'll let him know the next time I see him!


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