The Doomed Prince
literature work is contained on the Harris Papyrus which is housed in the
British Museum. When it was first discovered the story was complete, but since
then, the papyrus has been partly destroyed and the end of the story has been
lost. Any Amelia fan will know this story as The Crocodile, the Snake and the
Now hear the tale of the doomed prince.
There was once an Ancient king who was sore in heart because no son had been
born to him. He prayed the gods to grant his desire, and they decreed that as he
had prayed, so it should be. And his wife brought forth a son. When the Hathors
came to decide his destiny they said, "His death shall be by the crocodile,
or by the serpent, or by the dog." And those who stood round, upon hearing
this, hurried to tell the king, who was much grieved thereat and feared greatly.
And because of what he had heard he caused a house to be built in the mountains
and furnished richly and with all that could be desired, so that the child
should not go abroad. When the boy was grown he went one day upon the roof, and
from there he saw a dog following a man upon the road. Then he turned to his
attendant and said, "What is that which follows the man coming along the
road?" And he was told that it was a dog.
And the child at once wished to possess a dog, and when the king was told of his
desire he might not deny him, lest his heart should be sad.
As time went on and the child became a man he grew restive, and, being told of
the decree of the Hathors, at once sent a message to his father, saying,
"Come, why and wherefore am I kept a prisoner? Though I am fated to three
evil fates, let me follow my desires. Let God fulfill His will."
And after this he was free and did as other men. He was given weapons and his
dog was allowed to follow him, and they took him to the east country and said to
him, "Behold, thou art free to go where soever thou wilt."
He set his face to the north, his dog following, and his whim dictated his path.
Then he lived on all the choicest of the game of the desert. And then he came to
the chief of Nahairana. And this chief had but one child, a daughter. For her
had been built a house with seventy windows seventy cubits from the ground. And
here the chief had commanded all the sons of the chiefs of the country of Khalu
to be brought, and he said to them "He who climbs and reaches my daughter's
windows shall win her for wife."
And some time after this the Prince arrived, and the people of the chief of
Nahairana took the youth to the house and treated him with the greatest honor
and kindness. And as he partook of their food they asked him whence he had come.
He answered them, saying, "I come from Egypt; I am the son of an officer of
that land. My mother died and my father has taken another wife, who, when she
bore my father other children, grew to hate me. Therefore have I fled as a
fugitive from her presence." And they were sorry for him and embraced him.
Then one day he asked the climbing youths what it was they did there. And when
they told him that they climbed the height that they might win the chief's
daughter for wife, he decided to make the attempt with them, for afar off he
beheld the face of the chief's daughter looking forth from her window and turned
And he climbed the dizzy height and reached her window. So glad was she that she
kissed and embraced him.
And thinking to make glad the heart of her father, a messenger went to him,
saying, "One of the youths hath reached thy daughter's window." The
chief inquired which of the chief's sons had accomplished this, and he was told
that sit was the fugitive from Egypt.
At this the chief of Nahairana was wroth and vowed that his daughter was not for
an Egyptian fugitive. "Let him go back whence he came!" he cried.
An attendant hurried to warn the youth, but the maiden held him fast and, would
not let him go. She swore by the gods, saying, "By the being of Ra-Harakhti,
if he is taken from me, I will neither eat nor drink and in that hour I shall
And her father was told of her vow, and hearing it he sent some to slay the
youth while be should be in his house. But the daughter of the chief divined
this and said again, "By the Great Lord Ra, if he be slain, then I shall
die ere the set of sun. If I am parted from him, then I live no longer!"
Again her words were carried to the chief. He caused his daughter and the youth
to be brought before him, and at first the young man was afraid, but the chief
of Nahairana embraced him affectionately, saying "Tell me who thou art, for
now thou art as a son to me." He answered him, "I come from Egypt; I
am the son of an officer of that land. My mother died and my father has taken
another wife, who, when she bore my father children, grew to hate me. Therefore
have I fled as a fugitive from her presence!"
Then the chief gave him his daughter to wife; he gave him a house and slaves, he
gave him lands and cattle and all manner of good gifts.
The time passed. One day the youth told his wife of his fate, saying to her,
"I am Doomed to three evil fates- to die by a crocodile, a serpent, or a
dog." And her heart was filled with a great dread. She said to him,
"Then let one kill the dog which follows thee." But he told her that
could not be' for he had brought it up from the time it was small.
At last the youth desired to travel to the land of Egypt, and his wife, fearing
for him; would not let him go alone, so one went with him. They came to a town,
and the crocodile of the river was there. Now in that town was a great and
mighty man, and he bound the crocodile and would not suffer it to escape. When
it was bound the mighty man was at peace and walked abroad. When the sun rose
the man went back to his house, and this he did every day for two months.
After this as the days passed the youth sat at ease in his house. When the night
came he lay on his couch and sleep fell upon him. Then, his wife filled a bowl
of milk and placed it by his side. Out from a hole came a serpent, and it tried
to bite the sleeping man, but his wife sat beside him watching and unsleeping.
And the servants, beholding the serpent, gave it milk so that it drank and was
drunk and lay helpless on its back. Seeing this, with her dagger the wife
dispatched it. Upon this her husband woke and, understanding all, was
astonished. "See," she said to him, "thy god hath given one of
thy dooms into thy hand. Surely he shall also give thee the others!"
And then the youth made sacrifices to his god and praised him always.
One day after this the youth walked abroad in his fields, his dog following him.
And his dog chased after the wild game, and he followed after the dog, who
plunged into the river. He also went into the river, and then out came the
crocodile, who took him to the place where the mighty man lived. And as he
carried him the crocodile said to the youth, "Behold, I am thy doom,
following after thee...
At this point the story becomes unsalvagable as the papyrus is destroyed. This
is the only known copy of this story, so we may never know what happens to the