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The Tree of Life
How important is a tree in your life? Not much? Maybe your chair or the cot was made out of a tree? That’s all? Guess what?? The good air we breath is thanks to the trees! We have a lot in life to be grateful about. Trees might just top the list!
Long long ago, the people in the Land of Kemet believed that in the beginning, the entire universe was made of nothing but water. Turbulent, chaotic dark water. They called it Nun. When the universe was just dark, chaotic water, suddenly a mound rose up from its midst. “Whoooooosh”..
The mound rose up to became a hill and in the hill top, there was a single sacred tree. The roots of the tree went deep into the earth and the branches rose up to the skies. The tree bore fruits which was so tasty that eternal life came to those who ate its fruits. Or so the people in the Land of Kemet believed.
Gods and humans recognized the Tree as a ‘Tree of Life’ and nurtured the tree with love and care. The tree stood tall on the hill, at a distance from the dark waters of Nun. Not everybody was happy with the ‘Tree of Life’. Especially Apophis – the God of Underworld.
Apophis observed that the tree is enabling people to reach higher and become better in life. Apophis felt that his popularity is at stake because of the tree. No one wanted to come to the underworld anymore! Also, Apophis is a snake God and that made him even unpopular in comparison with the tree which bore eternal fruits.
Apophis was so unhappy, that he wanted to uproot the tree and throw it away into the mighty waters of Nun. He tried to flood the ground on which the Tree of Life was standing and one day water rushed into the Land “Whooooosh”. But the Tree held its ground. Apophis didnt give up too.
Apophis rocked the underworld to uproot the tree. “bbbbbbrrrr— crrrrrrr—” The entire ground shook, humans and animals ran helter-skelter. But the Tree still held firm.
None of Apophis’ plan was working. Finally he thought to himself “Why would I send the water and earthquake while I myself can go and flick the tree over?!” He shouted.. “I am after-all, mightier than a single tree. I AM the God of the Underworld!”
Soon enough, Apophis came near the ‘Tree of Life’ to uproot it. As Apophis walked to the tree, he noticed as bushy undergrowth near the tree. The nearer he came, the bigger the bush looked like. When Apophis was close enough, the big bush suddenly shook, rose up and jumped at him with a sharp claws! It was none other than the Cat Goddess Mafdet (also called as Bastet). Apophis was shocked, badly injured and fled the scene, never to return again.
The Tree of Life is protected by the Goddess Bastet herself!
Ancient Egyptians always saw to it that their feline friends are cared for and nurtured in the same way that the trees are! The Cat Godess Bastet is one of the very popular deities in Egypt and even to this day, cats are loved and revered in most parts of Egypt!
(This Tale has been edited to adapt to the taste of early readers)