The Eloquent Peasant

The Eloquent peasant

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Once upon a time in ancient Egypt, there was a peasant named Khun-Anup who lived with his wife and children. He decided to travel south Egypt to market his valuable goods. Khun-Anup used to travel this way on his don for long so it became a routine for him to travel and sell his goods. On his journey, he found there a man called Nemtynakht, standing on the bank staring at him and his goods.

Nemtynakht was the supervisor of the land owned by an upper class man called Rensi. Khun-Anup had to pass through the property of the landowner, who started thinking how to steal Khun-Anup’s goods. Nemtynakht realized he cannot just take the goods without a reason and so devises a trap.

The house of Nemtynakht stood close to the side of the path, which was very narrow to pass. It was about the width of a cloth. Upon one side of this narrow path was the water and upon the other side was growing grain. Nemtynakht ordered his servant “bring me a shawl from the house”. Nemtynakht spread this shawl upon the middle of the road, and extended it, so one edge was to the water, and the other to the grain.

Khun-Anup came along the path which was the common highway. Then, said Nemtynakht: “Look out, peasant, do not trample on my clothes” The peasant answered: “I will do as you wish” As he was turning to the upper side, Nemtynakht said: “Look out, peasant, do not trample on my grain” Then said the peasant: “I am going in the right way. The peasant was trying to figure out how to pass through this road, and didn’t watch that his donkey took a mouthful of grain. Nemtynakht then said: “See, I Will take away your donkey because it has eaten my grain.”

Nemtynakht beated Khun-Anup for allowing his donkey to eat from the grain and then confiscates all his other donkeys and his goods. Khun-Anup cries out for justice. Nemtynakht shouted at him to be quiet; no one will listen to the complaint of a peasant against a landowner. Khun-Anup, however, did not settle for this kind of injustice and he went to South Egypt to find the magistrate Meruitensi, the son of Meru, who presides over the region. Khun-Anup told all the story to Meruitensi, who believed the story and decided to appeal the case to the king.

Rensi told the kind how eloquent the peasant is. The king instructed him to feed Khun-Anup, and send food to his wife and children, but to deny his appeal in order to keep him making his speeches. These speeches, the king instructs, should be written down and brought to him and then the peasant will receive justice.

Meruitensi was so pleased with the eloquence of the peasant that he pushed Khun-Anup to make nine addresses and write them. The speeches were so powerful and the king was so impressed how Khun-Anup, believed in the power of justice. In the end, the king rewarded Khun-Anup for his eloquence and persistence in seeking justice. He ordered all Nemtynakht’s property to be confiscated and given to Khun-Anup to live happily with his family.

Why did Nemtynakht beat Khun-Anup?

Because he is stupid.
His donkey ate from the grass.
Because Khun-Anup was rich

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