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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » The Brave Brick-Maker - An Odd Little Tale of Egypt
Topic Subject:The Brave Brick-Maker - An Odd Little Tale of Egypt
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Civis Romanus
posted 11-24-00 19:23 ET (US)         


Chief Advisor: Chief Advisor to Pharaoh. Nicknamed "Skip".
HipHopHotep: The Pharaoh of Egypt.
Nebhotep: The general of Egypt's armies.
Nefertomuch: The daughter of Pharaoh.
Rahotep: A priest of RA.
Seti: The brick-maker.

Discussions among writers participating in this story should be conducted in the "Discussion Thread" not in this story.

All members of Pharaoh Heaven are welcome.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-01-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 11-24-00 19:37 ET (US)     1 / 40       
It was when the Nile flooded under a blue moon that the "troubles" began. A great bellowing was heard all about the Pharoah's stables. Ground shaking stomping sent horses stampeding, men running and every structure in the compound collapsing right onto its foundations.

"It was the "Great Hippo!" cried the stablemaster before his king, Pharaoh HipHopHoTep. "The Great Hippo has come to avenge the murders of its brothers and sisters! Egypt is doomed!"

Pharaoh sat on this throne tapping together the symbols of his royal authority. "Nonsense! There is no such thing as the Great Hippo! Leave me and don't return until you have an accurate explanation!" The man was dragged unceremoniously out of Pharoah's Great Hall and thrown outside.

"Great Hippo, indeed! Am I surrounded by idiots?"

His closest advisor leaned forward. "Sire, I don't know. You chose these men. I only gave them their orders."

Pharaoh turned about and frowned. "Any more from you, Chief Advisor, and you will be on a first name basis with all of the Nile hippos in the area."

The Chief Advisor said nothing and quickly returned to his position near Pharaoh's throne, beads of sweat forming on his brow.

posted 11-24-00 20:31 ET (US)     2 / 40       
Nebhotep, The Greatest of Pharaoh HipHopHoTep's generals, was sitting in his favourite seat playing Senet. These were the kind of days he enjoyed, Beer in hand, a winning steak on a Senet board mere inches away, and a couple of nice young ladies supplying anything he needed. And right now, he thought, rubbing his ample belly, he needed some food.....

Just then, a person with a very familiar face walked through the door into the fairly quiet (for this time of day) Senet house - none other than........

Hehehe, thought I'd let someone else finish that, it's 1:30 am and I can't be bothered to think anymore, I'm getting cold

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 11-24-00 20:49 ET (US)     3 / 40       
his son Kabenfatsobotep! It turns out he wanted to break his father's neck because his father wouldn't let him join his friends to help the market lady! His father said that the market lady would kidnap him. So just as Kabenfatsohotep was about to break his fathers neck...

[This message has been edited by Vizier Johnleemk (edited 11-24-2000).]

posted 11-26-00 07:07 ET (US)     4 / 40       
.....Nebhotep stood up, towering over his son.

"What do you want?" he asked his son.

"To kill you," replied Kabenfatsobotep.

"Get out you little worthless runt," replied Nebhotep, laughing heartily, "Guards! Take my worthless son down to the recruitment centre, where he can train to be a real man!"

Nebhotep sat down to continue with his game of Senet, but then who should walk in but his old friend MentalHotep, Greatest of Egypt's warriors.

(That's what I was looking for, Johnleemk)

"What can I help you with, old friend?" asked the fairly surprised and somewhat drunk General.

"Well, my friend, reports are coming in of the Great hippo" MentalHotep said, as calmly as he could make his voice sound.

"You're mad!" Nebhotep said.

"Who told you that? It's supposed to be a secret!" MentalHotep whispered loudly.

"What? No, I meant that you must be mad, because the Great Hippo only appears every seven yeears, and he last appeared four years ago!" Nebhotep stated.

"Well, there's a blue moon this year, don't ask me why...." started MentalHotep, who was interrupted by Nebhotep saying "We'd better get over there quickly, we've managed to hide the truth from the Pharaoh and a large percentage of the populace so far, but this is a calamity! Guards, ready my horses"

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 11-26-00 07:44 ET (US)     5 / 40       
They quickly mounted their horses and galloped away to the last section of the Nile when the Great Hippo was seen. There they found....

Visit My Forums and My Homepage. Particularly my forums. Please!! *grovels* Pretty please!!!

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Civis Romanus
posted 11-27-00 00:59 ET (US)     6 / 40       
...Absolutely nothing. That is, if you didn't take into consideration stomped grain fields and flattened huts.

"So how did it get loose!? It wasn't supposed to show up until 3 years from now," complained Nebhotep. "Now our plan is completely ruined."

"Worse yet, Nebhotep," said Mentalhotep. "You are going to have to tell Pharaoh what you are going to do to stop the hippo's rampages." Nebhotep frowned. Hmmm, he thought. What should I tell him. He thought more on the subject during the ride back to his dwelling.


Pharaoh paced back and forth. "I've had another report of destruction along the Nile. This is the second report today. Again it is this... this 'Great Hippo' that is said to be doing the damage. I need someone to inspect the area and see what is going on!"

"Your Majesty," interjected the Chief Advisor.

"Yes... What is it?!"

"If you want the area looked at, may I suggest you send the Seer to see what there is to see," said the Advisor.

Pharaoh stopped in the middle of his pacing. "I have an idea."

"Yes, Pharaoh?"

"Let's send the Seer to see what there is to see. What's his name?"

The Chief Advisor sighed, "Sed, Sire."

"All right... Then let's send the Seer named Sed to see what there is to see and have him come back to say what he saw," said Pharaoh.

"As you say, Sire," said the Chief Advisor. And that is why Sed arrived at the scene shortly afterwards to see the site of the severe stomping.

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 11-27-00 02:55 ET (US)     7 / 40       
By the time Sed arrived, the General and his soldier had departed. There he found a brickmaker instead gathering reeds to make his reeds. "What are you dong here?" "I'm gathering reeds my lord." "Well get out of here! I'm here to inspect..." "Look out!" "Oh no!" Sed then dived into the river. Meanwhile, the brickmaker grabbed some reeds and tied them together to make a cord and fastened it around the beast that was attacking them. The cord broke but the beast got the idea and dived into the Nile and swam way. "You saved our lives! However can I thank you!" "Aw, it was nothing." "Don't you know the beast you beat was the Great Hippo?!" "What?"

Visit My Forums and My Homepage. Particularly my forums. Please!! *grovels* Pretty please!!!

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Civis Romanus
posted 11-27-00 16:18 ET (US)     8 / 40       
The brick-maker scratched his head. "The Great Hippo? Never heard of such a thing."

"What's your name, man?" asked the Seer.


"Well, Seti, we shall remember you..." said the Seer.

Seti nodded his head and then returned to the river where his small crew of tradesmen were busy making bricks by stomping grass and reeds into the mud of a pit. Just great, Seti said to himself. I'd rather not be remembered by any of HipHopHotep's people if it's all the same to him. But fate would decree otherwise over time.

Meanwhile, the Seer continued to look for proof of the existence or non-existence of the Great Hippo.

posted 11-27-00 18:03 ET (US)     9 / 40       
Mesa back, heard that AOL would finally let me go here again, so i'll try getting back into the stories

Meanwhile, an old Priest of Ra was walking. He had heard of the myth of the Hippo. He had a friend, who was a Priest of Khonsu, God of the Moon. He discussed the idea with him.

" So, my good friend, why is there a Blue Moon?" asked Rahotep.

" Every seven years, Egypt changes a little. The myth is, that the Hippo brings about the change. Either good or bad, the Hippo is under the control of the god Seth. However, legend has it, there is something yet to be discovered." said a man named Khonsukhet.

Rahotep then left. When the next thing happened, he stood there, mesmorized by the event.

Civis Romanus
posted 11-28-00 22:07 ET (US)     10 / 40       
This is a comedy, right?

Seti was standing by the edge of the mud pit when suddenly the nearby water erupted and a huge grey object on four stumpy legs emerged.

With a rumbling belly roar it leaped into the air and landed right in the mud pit. The workers scattered, but not quickly enough to avoid the great airborne volume of mud splattered in all directions. The creature simply stood there in the mud pit and looked around seemingly pleased with itself.

Seti made two peepholes in the mud caked on his face. He looked straight at the voluminous creature before him, the largest hippopotamus he had ever seen in his life. The vast grey colored creature looked right back at him as if to say 'So what do you plan to do about it, huh?'. Seti decided it would be nothing for now.

The hippo raised its head giving that odd expression that hippo's do that makes one think it is smiling. Then it turned itself about in the mud pit, laboriously climbed out and walked back to the nearby Nile and disappeared into its silty waters.

The old priest Rahotep hobbled over to Seti. "Do you know what that was?!" he said excitedly.

"A hippo," said Seti sourly.

"Not just a hippo... It was the Great Hippo! We must tell the Seer."

Seti shook his head. "No, not we... You can tell the Seer. I'm going to clean up and then forget about it... Just look at this mess!" Seti walked towards his dwelling mumbling something about hippo stew and its benefits for nutrition.

"Fine... I'll go then," said Rahotep. And so he did.

Shortly afterward, Rahotep saw the Pharaoh HipHopHotep close up for the first time in his many priestly years. The Seer stood beside him.

"So, Priest of RA, you say you saw the Great Hippo today?" said Pharaoh.

"Yes, my King. It was indeed the Great Hippo," replied Rahotep. The Seer nodded his head to signal his agreement with Rahotep.

"And you, Seer, do you believe him?"

"Yes, King. I do. We have other proof as well."

"What proof is that?" asked HipHopHotep.

"Hippo stuff. Lots of it."

"Hippo stuff? What do you mean, hippo stuff? Did you bring it with you?"

The Seer looked down and scraped one foot on ground. "My King... you know... hippo stuff. I didn't think you would want it here... the hippo stuff, that is. The ladies wouldn't like that." The Seer quickly glanced around and noticed some of the ladies of Pharoah's court had odd expressions on their faces and others were crinkling their noses at the mere thought of the stuff.

Realization finally dawned on HipHopHotep's face. "Ahem... Yes, hippo stuff. Good decision Seer. So in your opinion you believe the Great Hippo exists and is here."

"Yes, my King. We have ample evidence."

"So then," said Pharaoh. "What shall we do? Chief Advisor, we need a plan to rid ourselves of the Great Hippo. See that you have one by tomorrow..."


"So Advisor, what is your plan?" said Pharaoh.

The Chief Advisor, beads of sweat on his brow, began telling his plan...

Eminence Grise
posted 11-29-00 06:18 ET (US)     11 / 40       
"My Lord, " he said "I had this dream in which seven lean and seven fat hippos crossed the land from Saqarra to Abu. The gods looked on and smiled."

"So, " Pharaoh asked
"What's that to do with this huge Hippo?"

"I don't know, my Lord, but I had another one about a grilchild floating in a basket on the Nile and being found by your grandson."

"My grandson?" Pharaoh roared
"How can you have seen my grandson? Nefertomuch, that silly chit of a daughter doesn't even want to look at men. All she wants is more jewelry and pickled lark's tongue."

By now Pharaoh's face had turned a dangerous shade of red. His royal fly-swatter fluttered in his trembling hand. The Prime minister tried looking at his feet.

"I give you one more chance to catch that darned Hippo and if you don't find it you'll spend the rest of your life shoveling hippo...stuff!"

[This message has been edited by Jayhawk (edited 11-29-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 11-29-00 16:14 ET (US)     12 / 40       
"Nebhotep, this had better work," warned Pharaoh's Chief Adviser and Prime Minister, all one person in HipHopHotep's government.

"Trust me, CA," said Nebhotep. "Have I ever failed before in battle?"

"No... But then HipHopHotep has never sent you into war with anyone."

"That's beside the point, CA," said Nebhotep testily. "Look how well my soldiers drill and how well they parade before Pharaoh during ceremonies. How could they ever be defeated in battle?"

"I am not reassured, General," said the Chief Advisor. "And by the way, my name is not CA."

"Okay, what does Pharaoh call you then?"

"He calls me Chief Advisor because he can't remember my name," replied the Chief Advisor.

"What is your name?" asked the General.


The general looked incredulously at the man who just revealed his name. "And what did your parent's actually call you when they wanted your attention?"


"Right... Skip it is," agreed Nebhotep. "Okay, here's how it'll go. The hippo appears, is lured by these bushels of veggies and goes after that group of men there. It chases them and walks right over that rope net. The other men over there pull up on the rope net, trap the hippo and I brain it with this club. The hippo's skin becomes a trophy in Pharaoh's hunting room."

The Chief Advisor shook his head. "I don't know, General. I just don't know." Suddenly their attention was drawn to the bank of the Nile nearest where they stood. The Great Hippo erupted from the water and promptly waddled towards the baskets of vegetables set one behind the other leading to the net. Even as the hippo began to feed the soldiers began to toss vegetables at the harvesting hippo.

At first the hippo ignored the pummeling, but when the fourth melon struck it on the head, the hippo became enraged and charged after the annoying soldiers. It finally reached the net and then stopped sensing a difference in the feel of the ground. Men on all sides pulled on the net. Men on all sides pulled again. It would not budge.

The fat general laboriously reached down for his club even as the hippo stared at him with its strange smile. Nebhotep cautiously circled the bemused hippo until the general was between the hippo and the river, and standing on the outer part of the net. The hippo circled with the general always keeping its grey, grinning face towards the man with the club. Nebhotep raised his club.

Just then, the hippo rapidly stepped backwards as the men pulling on the net pulled hard once more. The net was freed of hippo and rose into the air catapulting Nebhotep upwards and into the Nile. As the soldiers watched in disbelief, the hippo munched down another bushel of veggies and then pranced (as only a hippo could prance) back into the Nile disappearing completely from sight.

Skip turned to a nearby aide and said, "Go now and please advise Pharaoh that he will need a new General of the Armies." Then the Chief Advisor said to himself, "I wonder where I might find a shovel this time of the day?"

posted 11-29-00 16:30 ET (US)     13 / 40       
Rahotep walked in the corridors of the Temple of Ra. He was just carrying the offerings to the Statue of Ra, when he saw the Hippo.

" Sometimes I wonder why i became a priest? To see the omens of the gods, or to just watch the silly folk around the Nile."

"destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation" -Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication
Eminence Grise
posted 11-30-00 09:56 ET (US)     14 / 40       
A dripping wet general stood next to a glum looking chief advisor. They were facing the rather red and exited Pharaoh. Saliva dripped down his fake beard as he yelled at the two men.

"Nebhotep!. You are a disgrace to the uniform! a disaster! a...a...a ninkenpoop" he spluttered vaguely.
"You will be banished. You will take you soldiers and take them South to defend our border from the Wat-a-wussy tribes. You will come back only once you've taughthem who is Pharaoh. Understood?"

Nebhotep mumbled something, still dripping on the sandstone floor.


"Yer, my lord."
The fat general turned and with sopping sandals retreated. He was not happy, for the deep inlands of the Two Riverland were not pleasant. He'd probably loose some weight.
A small smile touched the corner of his mouth.
Loose some weight, now that was something he'd been trying to do for a long while, but there was always another feast always another festival.
Maybe he good get the women to notice him as a man instead of a hill once more.

"And you..." Pharaoh spluttered, yanking his fake beard, but softly so as not to rip it off. His two crownd balancing precariously on his head.
"Out! and get me that hippo!!"

"Father?" a voice sounded behind him as his Chief Advisor walked bowing backwards. Hiphophotep looked round at the pretty 17 year old behind him. Oh she looked so much like her mother he thought fondly. Too bad the woman had decided to go swiming in one of holy lakes without checking for crocodiles. The priests had been very sorry when they told him and meek for about a week after the incident.

"Father, " the girl repeated. "I need new linnen dresses, I've actually worn some of them twice now. And more jewelry, and did you know there's a new perfume shop opened on the Wall-market?"

Pharaoh groaned...

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 11-30-00 20:49 ET (US)     15 / 40       
"How many times must I tell you? I don't have the time! Look, take this 500 deben and leave me alone will you?" The Princess then leaves. "Sigh. Too many troubles to handle nowadays in Egypt."

Suddenly two advisors enter. "Your majesty, the Nile is predicted not to inundate this year!" said the first advisor. He then left the room.

"Your royal Majesty, would you like to hear the Daily Report of Egypt?" said the second advisor. "What's there to lose," muttered Pharaoh. "Very well your majesty. A clay pit in Memphis has fallen in, construction on all monuments have stopped because the workers are ill with a plague, Priests are demanding more sacrifcies, riots are breaking out all over Egypt because of high taxes and.....the Wall Mart is rumoured to be infested with rats which carry the deadly plague from the monuments." announced the advisor.....

[This message has been edited by Vizier Johnleemk (edited 11-30-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 11-30-00 21:06 ET (US)     16 / 40       
"Uh huh... So when will you get to the bad news?" asked Pharaoh idly watching his daughter chastise a guard for some unknown reason just before she left the King's throne room.

It was then that an idea finally occurred to Pharaoh. He called for his Chief Advisor. The Chief Advisor appeared before the King and bowed. "Yes, your Majesty. I was just on my way to shovel hip..."

"Oh, never mind that. I have an idea," replied Pharaoh.

"You do?" said the Chief Advisor incredulously. "Ahem. I mean, you do! Excellent! What is it, Sire?"

"Announce to Egypt that Pharaoh offers his daughter in marriage to the first man who can capture the Great Hippo, dead or alive."

"You want a dead man to marry your daughter?"

"NO! Don't you understand these heiroglyphs I'm speaking!? The hippo can be dead or alive. The man has to be alive!"

"Yes, your Majesty. I understand," said the Chief Advisor. Then Pharaoh turned to the clerk nearby and said. "So it is said, so shall it be scribbled."

The clerk looked at the king. "Scribbled, Sire?"

"Yes, isn't that what you do? You know... penned, etched, carved, scribed, recorded...," said HipHopHoTep.

"Don't you mean 'written', your Majesty?" asked the clerk.

"Whatever," said the King testilly. (With apologies to Piers Anthony)

Shortly afterwards, the Chief Advisor began arranging for the King's Proclamation to be written and read throughout the land. The first to accept the challenge was the most famous soldier in Pharaoh's army. He sought an audience with his Pharaoh. It was granted and the soldier, in full dress skirt, err...uniform, presented himself before Pharaoh to accept the challenge and the King's personal promise of his daughter in reward.

Nefertomuch was not impressed or amused.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 11-30-2000).]

Eminence Grise
posted 12-01-00 08:43 ET (US)     17 / 40       
Another alabaster vase narrowly missed an escaping servant.

Nefertomuch stamped her dainty little feet, but that didn't do more than wrinkle her silver thread slippers.
"I will NOT marry just any mud-skipping, sand-stepping, beer-guzzling, senet-playing idiot my father tells me to just because he got lucky and caught a pesky hippo.
How dare he? How DARE HE!"

Her voice reached a screeching level and another alabaster bowl burts under the impact, sending the two fish that swam in there skipping for the pool just outside the room. Ptula, Nefertomuch' nursemaid, hurried them along then turned her gray-haired, wrinkled face to her charge.
"Now, now child. He is your father."
The with a speed belying her age, she ducked a duck feather stuffed pillow.

Meanwhile, Sehkmetpatra, Beloved of Sekhmet, the soldier, was wading through the tall papyri, a bow in his hand, a quiver on his back, and his hooked sword in his belt.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-01-00 20:49 ET (US)     18 / 40       
"Here hippo, hippo. Here hippo, hippo." A splashing sound from nearby in the river water caught his attention. Then it was quiet again.

"Here hippo, hippo. Here hippo, hippo." Again a splashing sound. The soldier pulled an arrow from his quiver and placed it on the bow, drawing the string back. He sighted down the shaft of the arrow, using it as a guide for his hunting eyes.

Two large twitching ears rose above the water in the center of the river. The flat grey top of a hippo head and pink circled eyes followed. Ahhhh, thought Sehkmetpatra, the thing is in the deep river. He released the string and returned the arrow to his quiver. He turned about and found a small reed bound coracle at the edge of the river, placed his weapons in the boat, climbed in and paddled out into the deep part of the river.

The hippo's head watched the coracle's approach. It saw Sehkmetpatra withdraw another arrow from his quiver and load his bow as before. The soldier sighted down the arrow's shaft and... watched the hippo's great head disappear under the water. It's gone? Where is it now?

The soldier lowered his bow so that the point of the arrow was directed at the bottom of the boat, but he held the string pulled back and taunt just in case.
KERSPLASH! The Great Hippo raised his entire head and brought it down fully onto the surface of the river water behind Sehkmetpatra, frightening the poor unsuspecting soldier nearly to death. In his fright he released the string of his bow and shot the arrow straight through the bottom of the boat.

Sehkmetpatra looked down in horror as murky brown water gurgled up and into the bottom of the coracle. He grabbed his paddle and began to turn the coracle about and paddle towards the nearest shore. Water filled the boat faster than he could paddle and it wasn't long before he was up to his folded skirt in the liquid of the Nile. Yet, Sehkmetpatra made it back to shore, swimming the final distance, bow in one hand, quiver in the other.

The Pharaoh and his daughter watched the goings on from the safety of the shore. When the soldier reached the shore he promptly walked up to Pharaoh, bowed, threw his bow and arrows on the ground, waved to the princess and walked off never to seen or heard from again.

The Pharaoh watched the soldier walk off and spoke calmly to his Chief Advisor standing nearby. "So, who's next?" Nefertomuch snickered in satisfaction, then stuck her precious little tongue out at Pharaoh HipHopHotep when he wasn't looking.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-01-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 12-05-00 16:08 ET (US)     19 / 40       
The foreigner strutted into view before Pharaoh. He was dressed in hardened brown leather chest armor, a similar hardened leather helmet with a blue and white plume. He carried a hammered bronze shield and a bronze sword. His blue shirt ran in length to just above his knees. The pair of sandals on his feet was the last piece of his apparel.

He bowed before Pharaoh. "And you are?" asked HipHopHotep.

"Greseus of Troy, your Majesty. The greatest mercenary in all of Egypt."

"That we shall surely see," said Pharaoh. "You are familiar with the prey and the reward?"

"Yes, your Majesty. The Great Hippo and the princess."

"Good... Proceed on your quest." The Trojan bowed and left the presence of the king. Nefertomuch watched him leave with an expression of curiousity on her face. I wonder how this one will fare, she thought.

Vizier Johnleemk
posted 12-06-00 00:32 ET (US)     20 / 40       
Greseus marched towards the Nile. "Aha, hippo tracks." he said. He followed till he arrived at a side of the Nile overgrown with papyrus reeds. Suddenly, he drew his sword and charged against what he percieved to be the Great Hippo. He was right that it was the Great Hippo. But right that he could kill it? Wrong. It charged him. He attempted to deflect the charge with his shield, but it continued to attempt to push and push against him. When he could bear it no longer, he dropped his shieled and ran back to the Palace. He threw his sword on the ground and disappeared too to whoever knows where...

Visit My Forums and My Homepage. Particularly my forums. Please!! *grovels* Pretty please!!!

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eminence Grise
posted 12-06-00 10:31 ET (US)     21 / 40       
"So, " Pharoah asked, leaning forward and looming over the Chief Advisor, "where is Greseus?
Did he kill that pesky hippo?"

"Err, no your highness, the...err...customs office in Gaza saw him running by at top speed. He might still be running, for all I know."
"I told him he should have used a wooden hippo, " the Advisor mumbled softly.
"You say what?" Pharaoh inquired gently as his face turned purple.
"N...nothing, my Lord.
I...err...want to introduce the next contestant Iamhotnot, th engineer."

A slender fellow with a shaven head approached Pharaoh.
"My lord, " he said and kowtowed deeply.
"So, what do you think to do?" Pharaoh inquired.

Iamhotnot clapped his hands and two assistants walked in, carrying a model contraption. While Pharaoh watched he placed the little blue, faiance hippo in a sling, while explaining how he would tease it in there. Then he pulled a little switchs and pullies rolled, counterweights sank and a tiny boom swung upwards.

The little hippos was flung upwards and after a neat flight struck the Pharaoh on his forhead.

Iamhotnot and the Chief Advisor gulped and paled.

Hiphophotep looked at the two men and started spitting.
"Out, OUT! and don't come back till you got that hippo. I might forgive you if you do. If not...."

A little later Nefertoomuch wandered into the throne room and saw the little hippo.
"Oh Daddy, how cute! Can I have it? Please? Pretty please? with incense on top?"

Hiphophotep harumphed as his flighty duaghter wanderd off caressing the blue hippo.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-06-00 15:54 ET (US)     22 / 40       
Iamhotnot stepped backwards twice then brought his hands together and began to spread them apart. "Hmmm, that should be enough," he said to his brother standing nearby. Then Iamhotnot walked over to a piece of wood, hands still spread apart, and holding the separation placed his hands on the wood. "Cut at these two places," he said to the carpenter nearby.

His brother, Hottotrot, interceded. "No, brother, I think you measured that wrongly." Iamhotnot's face pinkened in irritation. "Well, brother, if you think it is so wrong, you go measure it yourself." And that is what Hottotrot did.

Moments later, Hottotrot walked to the piece of wood with his hands spread apart and did the same as his older brother. Hottotrot's hand locations, the carpenter noticed, were slightly but evenly to the left on the wood as compared to Iamhotnot's locations. The carpenter noted that fact to each of the brothers and then took a water break while the two brothers "discussed" the appropriate cut points.

When Iamhotnot and Hottotrot were separated and returned to their feet following their wrestling match, the carpenter was informed to cut the wood exactly between the left and right locations at each end. It was the last piece of wood needed for the hippo-catching contraption. The carpenter, wisely, removed himself from the location by the Nile and quickly footed it for his hovel.

Iamhotnot placed another blue faiance hippo in the center of the trap and sprinkled hippo scent (from a hippoette) onto the glazed blue exterior. Then he took a seat next to his brother behind nearby tall papyrus and picked up the rope that would spring the trap. They didn't have long to wait.

Snorting and snuffling sounds began to emanate from the nearby river bank. An enormous grey hippo with bright pink highlights emerged and headed straight for the contraption and its invitingly scented blue occupant.

Just before entering the contraption the Great Hippo halted in midstride. He lifted his broadly structured head and examined the thing before him. This to GH was the most bizarre clump of papyrus he had ever seen. Intertwined vines with tall pieces of wood; some of the wood rising to the sky and other pieces laying on top, across or between the rising wood. The Cat God told him something about this once. A Cat God's Cradle? Yes, that's what the god called it. The hippo flared its nostrils in contemplation and some alarm. In so doing, GH received a heady dose of scent from the blue hippo.

Ahhh... Ahhhh.... Ahhhhh! CHOOOOOO!

The Great Hippo let loose a monumental sneeze. Iamhotnot had no time to release the rope before the force of the sneeze struck both brothers full front. Iamhotnot fell over backwards taking the rope end with him. The rope went tight and triggered the trap.

The huge hippopotamus watched wood pieces and vine separate and travel in 50 directions at once. The whole interplay between flying wood and intertwining vines nearly mesmerized the hippo into forgetting about the blue hippo. But the trap itself came to his aid.

A rope under the blue hippo snapped sending the object airborne to land neatly, niftily on the Great Hippo's back. GH watched its flight and felt its landing. Contentedly, his everpresent smile pinker than usual, the Great Hippo turned and lumbered back into the waters of the Nile.

A few minutes later a massive figure in the Nile broke the surface and let loose a ferocious bellow. "Uh oh," said Hottotrot. "I think it discovered our blue hippo's secret."
Both brothers and all around them dashed for the town to avoid the wrath of the Great Hippo.

Pharaoh leaned on his right hand, elbow resting on the arm of this throne, disappointment and disgust written on his face. Nefertomuch stood there snickering, stroking her blue hippo. As the guards led the two engineers away to Pharaoh's Hovel Design Workroom, Pharoah found the energy to say only one word to his Chief Advisor. "Next."

Meanwhile, the Great Hippo in his grief over his lost love, laid waste to Pharaoh's nearby docks and river fleet. At the same time, the Chief Advisor led into Pharaoh's presence the next to take up Pharaoh's offer. He was an oddly shaped, ponderously bellied little man who walked slightly bent backwards to accomodate his frontal girth. "I present," began the Chief Advisor, "Egypt's most famous and respected beermaker, your Majesty." The little man bowed and then burped. Pharaoh was intrigued. Nefertomuch was horrified.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-07-2000).]

Eminence Grise
posted 12-07-00 08:40 ET (US)     23 / 40       
"M'lord, " the man mumbled and made a sweeping bow, that made him bounce on the floor. The smell of alcohol and barley rose of his body in great unseen clouds.

Nefertoomuch held a lotus scented linnen handkerchief close to her nose. This man really was too crude for words. If her father thought she was going to marry this pityful excuse for a human being he had another thing coming.

"M'lorrrd, " the man said again as he scrambled to his feet. The Chief Advisor looked on, his face drawn in the rictus of a smile. Pharaoh seemed...bemused.

" is Budweiser...hips...hotep, your...hips...highness."
"Well, " Pharaoh asked, "What is your plan, loyal Budweiserhipshotep?"
"Jus...Budweiser...hips...hotep, y'r highness"
"That what I said, didn't I?"
Pharaoh gave him a brooding look.

The beermaker started to protest again but stopped when the advisor kicked him in the ankles.
"You shall be named whatever Pharaoh calls you, " he hissed.

Budweiserhotep shrugged, which made his huge belly bounce up and down in a way that seemed to mesmerise Hiphophotep and made Nefertoomuch say to herself:
"This is just going to be my luck. The man even looks like a hippo!"

"Whasever, " he mumbled.
"Great...hips...Lord of the Sun, I have a ... hips... cunning plan. We will dig a ...hips...hole and fill it with lovely beer. The...hips...hippo will fall in and drink and be too...hips...drunk to do anising againsht being caught."

Pharoah nodded.
"Well, man, be off, I say."

Budweiserhotep bowed once more and waddled towards the door.

Civis Romanus
posted 12-07-00 20:37 ET (US)     24 / 40       
Budweiserhotep looked with pleasure upon the fruits of the pitdiggers' work. The maw of the pit lay open and waiting for the brew. Other workers rolled bulging grey skins of brew to the edge of the pit and emptied all five skins of their content. Foamy beer lapped at the edge of the pit around its entire circumference.

Bud (as his workers called him, especially the ones prone to covert sips of brew from the skins before they were emptied)filled pottery bowls with beer and laid them in a line from the Nile's shore to the pit. Then the ponderous brewmaker wormed into a grey skin, put over his own head a large hippo head and waddled into the papyrus to wait. The workers rolled the now empty skins carts to an area near the pit in plain view of anything considering tasting the pit's content. It didn't matter, they thought. A cart is a cart is a cart. Then the workers hid as well.

They didn't have long to wait as the Great Hippo's keen sense of smell soon detected the presence of the brew. It left the waters of the Nile and sought out the first bowl of beer, slurrped it down and then sought out the next... and the next... and the next. In only moments it seemed the Great Hippo was standing at the edge of the beer-filled pit considering whether to drink or not.

GH sniffed the liquid and detected the subtle scent of hops, grain and sweet well water. But still the beast hesitated. Surprising the Great Hippo momentarily, Bud emerged from the papyrus and waddled over towards the pit, hippo head on his own and feet and hands on the ground. The Great Hippo bellowed a greeting to what he thought was one of his own. Bud couldn't bellow, so at the very edge of the pit he moved the hollow hippo head up and down as if to acknowledge the greeting.

The Great Hippo promptly accepted the gesture and plunged its great mouth into the beer and began to drink. Too bad for Bud, but moving the hippo head up and down cost him his balance and the beermaker fell head first, hippo skin and all, into the pit and the beer.

Startled, the Great Hippo reared backwards as it observed a desperate Bud trying to extricate himself from the costume before it took him down to the bottom of the pit. In so jumping, the Great Hippo elevated its head and saw the beer carts for the first time.

Witnesses to the devastation that followed could never completely agree as to whether the Great Hippo was more horrified by Bud and the costume, by the despoiling of the beer when the beermaker fell in, or by the recognition that the great grey skins now emptied of beer were formerly hippos. Regardless, once again workers scattered as GH took out his fury on anything and everyone within reach of its toothed mouth and ponderous feet.

This time, it was Pharaoh's prized grain farm nearby that absorbed the brunt of the hippo's fury. Pharaoh was not amused. Nefertoomuch was greatly relieved.

The Chief Advisor didn't need to be told. He led the next man to take up Pharaoh's challenge into the King's presence immediately after the beermaker's dismal failure was announced. "Pharaoh HipHopHotep, I present Wrapsalothotep, the greatest embalmer in all of Egypt."

"Fine," replied Pharaoh. "You see my daughter there. She is your reward." Nefertoomuch felt her skin chill and begin to crawl up and down her arms.

Wrapsalothotep looked the girl over. "Yes, sire, about a size 5. Thirty yards of linen wrap would be just fine. She's small enough. Six jars I would say. We can do up the hair with small braids and..."

"ENOUGH!" bellowed Pharaoh. "She is not a customer!"

"Oh no sire, I was simply admiring her beauty. I mean... if she were not the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, I would rate her only worth 20 yards. No, no, my King, she is a thirty yard beauty at least."

Pharaoh shook his head. "You know your mission, embalmer. Proceed!" And as Nefertoomuch looked on, Wrapsalothotep bowed to both, left the chamber and set about executing his plan to end the rampages of the Great Hippo.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 12-07-2000).]

Eminence Grise
posted 12-08-00 05:59 ET (US)     25 / 40       
Wrapsalothotep was a skinny fellow with a greyish cast to his skin, long slender hands whose fingers seemed to have a joint too many. He scratched his head displacing his wig as he walked out of the palace.

"To catch a hippo, " he thought, "I must be a Catcher in the Papyrus..."

Psalo, as his friends called him, walked back to his shop and put the do not disturb sign, a picture of a mummy with a curse, on the door and started gathering his tools. He took pieces of linnen from spare canoptic jars, took his knives and scissors, brought a few spatula for luck and, most important, a mile of bandages.

With his tools he walked towards the Nile and spent some time locating the Giant Hippo. When he found it, the great beast was standing in a pommegranete farm and enjoying itself by rubbing against the trees until the fruit fell down. It would then procede to eat the fruit.

Unfortunately for the farm, the hippo wasn't too careful rubbing and a sway of broken trees lay behind it.

Psalo said a small prayer to Osiris and took his bandages in hand. Quietly he snuck up to the hippo and tied a bandage round it's left hoof.
The hippo ate blissfully on.

Breathing a sigh of relief Psalo now started running circles around the bemused animal, slowly but steadily wrapping the bandage around its great legs.

The hippo watched with, might that have been a smile?

Some 30 minutes later, Psalo sat down panting against the bandages he'd wrapped the hippo's legs in.

"I've done it, " he told himself, "I've actually caught the hippo."

Suddenly there was a tearing sound, as the hippo stretched. Yawning widely it took a step forward, and linnen ripped. It lost it's balance and fell sideways smothering Psalo in a swath of linnen.

The two of them rolled down hill towards the river. Linnen ripping and tearing, twisting and binding.

A wrapped up muddle plunged into the river, the hippo shrugged and swam off, behind him, floating on the water, thanks to all the air trapped in the linnen, was a ball of bandages.
Psalo's now red face was the only thing sticking out of it.

Almost too scared to breathe Psalo floated down stream.

[This message has been edited by Jayhawk (edited 12-08-2000).]

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