art-creativity, Human Nature, politics

Humbaba is Coming! What will you do?

What would you do if a hideous, powerful monster was coming to attack your neighborhood?

First, a motherly word of advice: Never fall asleep listening to the Epic of Gilgamesh. That’s what I did last night and woke up with a nightmare. What brought that on? Could it have been Humbaba?

Gilgamesh I crush lions while posing for selfies.

Gilgamesh
I crush lions while posing for selfies.

Gligamesh, king of Uruk, was a real historical figure and his epic, a blend of history and fantasy, is the oldest written epic in the world, dating back to 4,000 years ago. Sure, the monsters and battles are fun, but you might find the human pathos quite up-to-date.

“Ahh, This audiobook reading is excellent,” I thought, as I pulled the covers up to my chin, only to wake hours later in a cold sweat with visions of Humbaba devastating my neighborhood. Who is Humbaba?

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu, said to him:

‘In the forest terrible Humbaba lives

Let us, you and I, slay him,

And banish all that is evil from the land!’

 

 

Humbaba Guardian of the Cedar Forest

Humbaba
Guardian of the Cedar Forest

(Enkidu answers)

And Humbaba – his roaring is the Great Flood,

His mouth is fire,

His breath is death!

Why do you wish to do such a thing?

 

 

 

 

(No, not because Gilgamesh is a particularly noble king, but because he’s young and cocky and wants to make a name for himself. In fact, the Epic of Gilagamesh is the first written reference I can find to people griping about their leaders. They say that he takes their sons and beds their daughters and abuses his power in general.)

Yet he is king and should be

The people’s careful shepherd.

He is king and should be

Shepherd of the city.

Here is a thought experiment: What would you do if a hideous, powerful monster was coming to attack your neighborhood? In my nightmare, some ran away, some grabbed pointy kitchen utensils and I tried to form a coalition to outsmart Humababa. I figured the refugees were safe, the pointy-utensil-grabbers were dead and the best thing was to outsmart the huge, powerful, but let’s face it-stupid Humababa. The only thing I feared was Humbaba’s begging for mercy and offering friendship, which had also fooled Gilagamesh. Lucky for him, his friend Enkidu was less trusting and the blood and body parts started flying as they should in any epic worthy of the name.

That was the last scene I remembered before I fell asleep.

Never fall asleep listening to the Epic of Gilgamesh. 🙂

Advertisements

About Je' Czaja

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years and is the author of several books. https://www.smashwords.com/interview/jeczaja Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IU4RWKE

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: