I wrote this for a project in English and a friend wanted to read it so I decided to publish it on here. The whole gyst is that it's a cultutral transformation of the Cinderella story; in class we read (and watched) several variations of the story and my project partner and I decided to do Ancient Egyptian culture, some of the terms are obviously not historically correct, bear with me here. And if you find anything (know the proper term, see a comma out of place, etc etc.) please dont hesitate to message me about it and I will make the proper corrections. Please enjoy! Diclaimer: I do not own this basic story, however I do own this transcript. ;-)
Diclaimer: I do not own this basic story, however I do own this transcript. ;-)
In a kingdom far out in the Egyptian desert, there lived a young girl. She was beautiful in appearance and in spirit; her name was Halima. Referred to sometimes as a mix blood, like an animal, Halima lived as a slave in the house of Mariasha. Mariasha had stolen the heart of Halima's father knowing his time left in this world would soon be at an end; she was a wicked woman with two daughters: Mosi and Pili.
The three women treated Halima with no respect. They would make her do all sorts of unreasonable chores. But through it all Halima showed kindness towards them, thankful to have a warm place to sleep and food to eat.
In the palace the Pharaoh was preparing for his departure from this world to that of the spirits. His slaves were building the pyramid where his mortal body would be laid to rest with all of his riches.
But his son Babfemi had not yet taken a bride. The Pharaoh wished to see his grandchildren before he left. He decided to have a party in his sons' honor. This party was to be the largest, grandest secret gathering of eligible maidens ever. It was also to be the most successful match making party, especially while trying to keep the true intent from Babfemi.
Now the Pharaoh attended to the details, taking great advantage of his sons' absence. Messengers were sent out through all the country to ensure that all unmarried and unpromised girls would be there, for the uncertainty of what qualities Babfemi appreciated.
Halima was gathering the harvest by the river when a long messenger boat pulled up to the shore. The man in the boat introduced himself as a servant to the Pharaoh and by his command every eligible maiden attend a feast in Babfemis' honor. Halima stood up, brushed the dirt from her clothes and invited the man in. She led him to the chair in the sitting room and asked him to wait while she got Mariasha and her daughters. Halima walked into a small room where Mariasha, Mosi, and Pili sat eating their afternoon meal. When she entered Mosi stood up and threw a branch of grapes at Halima for interrupting.
Catching the branch before it touched the floor, Halima explained to them that a messenger of the Pharaoh had arrived and requested an audience immediately. The daughters gaped at her and looked to their mother for guidance, who simply stared at Halima with an unwavering arrogance. She stood, seemingly unhurried, and ushered Mosi and Pili to their chambers to change into fine clothes, pausing only to order Halima to provide the messenger with the food and drink of his choice and tell him that they would meet with him soon. Halima delivered Mariasha's message to the Pharaoh's servant and ensured his comfort in the sitting room.
Going about her chores Halima heard the excitement under the calm words issued by Mariasha, idly daydreaming of what the party will be like. Not that they'll let the likes of me go, she thought. The thud of the large front door told her the messenger was off to the next house and she was likely to be getting more assignments, so she stood from sorting wheat and barley to receive another bout of chores.
Upon entrance to the same room as Halima, Mariasha's expression turned sour. She taunted Halima with the promise of if she finished her chores, found clothes worthy of appearing before royalty, and was able to become presentable by the time of the party she might be allowed to go; unaccompanied and without the name of her father. Knowing how this would raise hope in the girl, her stepmother then added even more chores (some repeated) to keep her too busy to put together a suitable outfit.
With the party to look forward to Halima felt a sort of trance come over her as she hurried to finish the extra chores. It was closing in to the time they would have to leave for the party and if she was to join them a long tunic, nice sandals, and jewelry would have to be found and fitted within a very short time. Exhausted by the physical labor of collecting wheat from the vast fields in the family's holdings Halima started to see how the stepmother had truly meant for her to not finish in time and a feeling of hopelessness wiped away her trance. She sat in the field and wished for a miracle, for someone to save her hopes and give her a way to escape these merciless women.
As the wealthy daughter gone servant resigned herself in the fields some Egyptian Mau cats gathered silently and stood in a half circle at her back. Unaware of her audience, Halima stood to resume her gathering and yelped when several paws at her back acted as nails through her tunic into the hard ground. She turned to see the cause of her not being able to rise and froze as her brown eyes met large green ones; a large bronze cat sat staring unblinkingly as the girl tried to collect herself before speaking.
Soon the cats judged her to be calm enough and started gathering wheat; in 2 minutes they had harvested as much as she had after 10 minutes. Leaning in to the bronze one still staring at her, Halima asked what she should do. The cat answered with a meow that obviously meant she needs to go get ready for the party and quickly.
The girl dropped her basket and fled into the house, sneaking past her stepmother and –sisters to the attic where all her mothers' belongings had been stored. After sifting through all the clothes Halima pulled out a tunic, belt, and slip set that was most likely the best attire her mother had ever owned. Holding it up to the window, the fading sunlight filtered through the white material of the long tunic, revealing it to be made of cotton. She navigated her way through the cluttered attic to a trap door leading down into her room and quickly put it on. Halima stepped out from behind the wood screen to check her reflection in the little piece of glass that served well enough as a mirror only to find the cats with a large, gilded mirror patiently awaiting her.
Timidly she stepped up to inspect the fit of the tunic and belt; they were both quite large on her and made it difficult to walk. As she turned slightly to and fro, looking at the set in more detail, the cats began to take the tunic in to make it fit. Halima silently wondered what had possessed the Gods to send her these helpers, it was only a party after all. It was time to leave if she was going to the party and she thanked the cats, bowing herself out of the room, and trotted down to meet Mariasha, Mosi, and Pili.
The sisters took no notice of Halima as their mother did and were about to climb into the carry litters when they heard Mariasha order for another litter. Turning to ask why, they were surprised to see their stepsister waiting just inside the door. Upset that she was able to go they started complaining to their mother about it not being fair she wear cotton and silk and they wool and linen when Mosi realized the blue slip was quite similar to something she had given Halima to wash earlier. Outraged at the thought of a servant girl wearing her slip, the older girl grabbed fistfuls and ripped the corners attached to the bronze wrist bands with a shriek. Pili caught on quickly and began tearing the beautiful clothes to pieces and dropping them at Halima's feet. Seeing the tears begin to well up in the girl's eyes the stepmother decided to put an end to it, satisfied that they wouldn't be seeing her at the party.
Standing in the door watching as her stepmother and –sisters rode off on litters Halima didn't care that she was in tattered rags that had looked beautiful only minutes ago. She stared until they completely disappeared from her line of sight, then ran out the back door and kept running until the hissing of a cat surprised her and caused her to stumble and fall in the sand. She didn't know how long it had been or what she was going to do but she didn't want to think about it right then. She just wished she hadn't gotten her hopes up about going to the party.
Suddenly one of the cats, again standing in a half circle at her back, stuck its' paw out and hit her arm. The girl's head snapped up and, about to tell the cat to shoo, she froze as a gentle glowing had appeared in front of her, slowly taking the shape of a beautiful woman. Halima forgot the cats, focusing on the familiar figure; the face began to clear and the girl couldn't help a feeling of wonder and happiness, of comfort.
The woman explained in a voice like a soft wind that she had been sent by the Gods to assist Halima in fulfilling her destiny. She asked about the party and inquired of the girl's well-being and why she wasn't there yet. Halima answered that she had been left behind, with nothing to wear and no way to get to the party in time and the woman assured her, some entrances are meant to be made in their own time, not someone else's.
After going about the house collecting bits of jewelry and cloth, the woman formally introduced herself as Tahira and with a flick of her wrist 4 of the cats turned into serving men and a basket that had been full of wheat grew into a grand litter. Another flick of her wrist and the jewels and cloth spun up into a miniature cyclone around Halima, eventually leaving her in a glorious outfit all of silk with jewel encrusted décor. The Gods' assistant informed Halima that these gifts would only last through the third dance and she would have to hurry to get back before Mariasha, Mosi, and Pili.
Tahira helped the girl into the litter and slowly her image dissolved as the serving men hurried off to the party. On her arrival Halima found she could hear the talking and climbed several sets of stairs and went down many halls until she arrived at a large chamber. Quiet individual talk built on each other, making the echoes she had followed. Seeing another girl step in to meet Babfemi, the crowd parted down the center for Halima to pass them up to the dais, focusing her eyes on the Pharaohs' feet. The partiers fell silent as she passed and the girl could feel eyes burning into her back but refused to look for fear of being recognized.
She finally arrived at the feet of their Pharaoh and his son and she bent to her knees and carefully touched her forehead to the floor. Rising, she saw Babfemi offer his arm to her and she took it, following him to the floor where they all danced through the first and second dance. Just after the second dance the Pharaoh saw his son escort Halima into the gardens and almost leaped for the joy that he may see his grandchildren before he departed this world after all.
Talking, the two in the garden forgot time and the girl only realized the loosening of her sandal straps in time to flee from Babfemi, accidentally leaving her jewel encrusted bracelet on the stairs by the footmen. Halima and the cats-turned-serving men raced home so her absence would go unnoticed.
Weeks later, a search party came to the house to find the owner of the bracelet left by Bamfemi's mystery girl. News had gone through the country that he would take her and only her as his bride, but this had not reached the ears of Halima until she overheard the footmen explaining to her stepmother. They had both Mosi and Pili try to squeeze the glorious bracelet onto their big-boned wrists and were about to leave before the rightful owner stepped from behind the kitchen door to stop them. Immediately the footmens' eyes went to her dainty wrists and they became sure that she was the one even before they handed it for her to slip it on: a perfect fit.
Halima was rushed to the palace and as soon as Babfemi saw her he knew it was the girl he had danced with and they arranged to be married that afternoon. They invited Mariasha and her two wicked daughters to the wedding and they were stripped of all titles and land for trying to keep Halima from the party and they were sentenced to work as serving girls for banquets and parties for the rest of their lives, none of them got married. The Pharaoh spent many years more in their world with his grandchildren and left them peacefully, as for Babfemi and Halima they lived many many more years and their story had a classic happy ending.
Thanks for reading! Review please!