I found the name of King Crocodile when I was preparing for writing about the Egyptian pharaohs.
Mr Mummific sat in his chair as usual, observing my Egyptology books with interest, and leaning forward to see me use the computer. He found it hard to understand how a computer worked, but what can you expect from someone who had been dead thousands of years before the invention of… well most things we take for granted.
”Ok, so you want to tell about the first kings of Egypt?” I asked Mr Mummific
”Egypt… May I remind you that the name of the Two Lands is not Egypt but Kemet. The Greek were the ones who re-named the country. To us it is Kemet. You have no idea of the long discussions we’ve had about this, when playing senet… The Ptolemies don’t find it so hard to swallow, having come from Greece, but us real kings of Kemet… We just don’t swallow ”Egypt”.”
Mr Mummific proudly straightened his back which caused an interesting series of crackling noises. He seemed to be keeping himself together, though, so I returned to the task at hand.
”Hmm… I see these names for Dynasty 0…
Crocodile, Iry-Hor, Ka, Scorpion, Narmer. What have to you tell about them?”
Mr Mummific scratched his jaw. Little pieces of linen fluttered to the ground.
”Do you mind?” I asked, ”Such a mess…”
”Hmm, it seems the Mrs needs to do some re-wrapping for me…”, Mr Mummific used his hand to swipe off bits of linen that had landed on his lap. I sighed and looked at the bits now on my carpet. ”But let me see… King Crocodile…Now there’s an elusive person… We think he got a bit peeved at the fact he was buried before proper mummification methods were developed. He is basically a skeleton these days, even with the rejuvenation that we all experience in the Afterlife. No matter how much he eats, he just doesn’t seem to gain any weight. He prefers to keep his distance on his country house. Also he works way too much - when the gods ask us to work, he has to go himself. He had no shawabtis, you see. Poor fellow… Cannot gain any weight that way for sure…”
I could not resist a sideway glance at the ”rejuvenated” Mr Mummific. Even though the eyes were surprisingly lively, the little I could see of his face from under the bandages was definitely dry. Very dry. And of course, he was dangerously near of scratching the dry skin on his nose again.
”Don’t… Or you will be reduced into a skeleton”, I said and he quickly lowered his hand.
”My complexion is a bit dry.. Too much sun in my lifetime. And so much salt was necessary when they mummified me, I am sure that had an effect… I’ll have to ask the Ornaments of the King to prepare some oils for my skin… They are such lovely ladies…”
”King Crocodile”, I reminded him when it seemed he would slip into happy memories of the ladies of his ”harem” as we called the keneret.
”Yes, yes… Well, the guy doesn’t talk much to anyone, so we are not exactly sure if he ever was a king or not. These were times, when Kemet was not quite unified yet. I have heard rumors the real name of King Crocodile was Horus Crocodile, and that he ruled at the same time as king Ka. There may even have been a situation where he usurped the crown”, Mr Mummific bent forward and put his finger to his lips, ”But we don’t discuss these matters in the open in the Duat. The kings are rather touchy about their reputation, and I have heard Ka was and is a bit of a hothead… So we better keep this to ourselves. Just so he won’t send me angry letters when I visit home next.”
I had no idea how an ancient king Ka would even know what we were writing in a foreign language on a website in the world of the living, but did not say a thing. After all, if Mr Mummific had found his way back to our world, then perhaps King Ka could do the very same thing. Perhaps there was some truth behind the Hollywood movies. Return of the Mummy, Revenge of the Mummy and what have you…It had been quite enough of a scare to meet Mr Mummific for the first time. No need for more mummies sneaking in the corners.
”It seems the only proof of his existence seem to be a writing from a potter shard…” I read from the net, ”Are you sure he really was a king?”
”Well, he says so. And who am I to judge. I did not live quite yet. Besides these older guys behave so oddly anyway, and speak such ancient language no one really understands them. So if King Crocodile says he was a king, let him keep his beliefs. We do need to keep in polite terms in the afterlife. After all we have to live together with the folks in the Duat, as there is no escaping. No one can kill anyone, as we are already dead, so we are stuck with each other. We can only take a little vacation once in a while…”
”Here, you mean?”
”Here, yes. But not all know how to come back to the land of the living. But we have places too where you can go and rest from the rest of your family…”
As that would be another discussion altogether, I though we’d keep to the subject and move to the next king on the list. Iry-Hor.
If you wish to study King Crodocile, you may like these references:
Clayton, Peter A.(1994), Chronicle of the Pharaohs, the Reign-by-reign Record if the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London