THE BOOKS OF FOUNDATION - Meeting with Upuaut

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
The Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) also known as the African Wolf or Wolf Jackal is currently listed as a subspecies of the golden jackal but may be a subspecies of grey wolf or a unique species in its own right. It is native to Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, though its post Pleistocene range once encompassed the Palestine region.
The Egyptian jackal resembles a large, blackish-yellow dog in size and appearance, with the addition of a dorsal mane.
The tail is brush-like and relatively short, with black hairs on the tip and upper side.
The front of the forelimbs have black markings. Adults measure 872 mm in head and body length, 312 mm in tail-length (36% of head and body length) and weigh 13 kg.
The Egyptian jackal has a dorsal mane consisting of long, coarse and black-tipped hairs which fade to buff or white at the bases.
The mane extends from the crown to the base of the tail and onto the shoulders and hips. The flanks are yellowish with some black and white-tipped hairs. The chin is greyish, while the throat, belly and the insides of the legs are whitish to yellowish. The chest sports a medial strop of black-tipped hairs. The face is rufous, but grizzled with white, yellowish or black hairs. The feet are orangish buff.

Compared to other wolves, the Egyptian jackal is not gregarious, and is mostly found travelling alone or in pairs.
Although a nocturnal animal, the African jackal is occasionally seen in the late afternoon.
It shelters in tombs, natural caves and crevices.
Egyptian jackals living in the north of El-Faiyum reportedly live on fish caught in shallow water, while those of the Nile Valley and Delta feed on various cultivated crops and fruit and domestic animals.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
A young man sits in the late afternoon sun on the West Bank, near Luxor in Egypt.
Luxor - once known as the city of Thebes, and the capital of Ancient Egypt.
The landscape is in a area known as شيخ عبدالقرنة‎ (Qurnah) - consisting of a group of three closely related villages (New Qurna, Qurna and Sheikh ‘Adb el-Qurna) located on the West Bank of the River Nile, opposite the modern city of Luxor, near the Theban Hills.

The young man's Egyptian guide has just gone off to the nearby 'rest house' to buy some cigarettes.
The young man is alone, surveying the unearthly, almost lunar landscape.
And then, suddenly, from behind a low outcrop of rocks, there appears an small animal - like a small dog.
But it's not a dog, it's a jackal.
Now jackals were seen on the West Bank, and the young man had seen them before (he was living in El Tarrerf), but they usually appeared at dusk. It was unusual to see one when the sun was up.
The young man stayed absolutely still.
To his amazement the young jackal slowly moved towards him, step by step.
Less than a meter away the remained still - gazing at each other.
'I have come to you to give you a gift', were the words the young man heard - coming from nowhere, but reverberating in his psyche.
'It is I - Wepwawet - the opener of the ways.
My voice will come to you again - when you are far away from here - and I will tell you much.'
Almost without thinking, the young man held out his hand.
The jackal - or was it  Wepwawet - took a couple of steps, and then put his muzzle into the young man's hand.
After one lick, the jackal turned, and disappeared once again behind the small outcrop of rock.
The young man remained sitting, with his hand outstretched - puzzled by what had happened.
His Egyptian guide came up. He had seen it all, and yet he couldn't believe it.
All he could say was that the young man was lucky not to have been bitten, as many jackals and wild dogs on the West Bank had rabies.
The young man said nothing about the voice - but the voice did return - and the gift was given - and the gift was 'The Books of Foundation'.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014


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