If you enjoyed the story set in ancient Greece, I have another treat for you! Here is an exciting historical fiction story for kids, based in ancient Egypt, by Ariana Sosa. Read on to learn about the food, dress, habits, and customs of these early Egyptians, in a heart warming story full of perilous adventure!
The First Pyramid
One day in the hot, dry land of Egypt during the time of the old kingdom, 2686-2181 B.C, a young boy, at the age of five, named Dakari was running through the town in a hurry to find his mother. He had something very special for her. “Mama! Where are you?” Dakari screamed at the top of his lungs hoping his mother would hear the cry, but no reply came. Dakari was now in distress, and he was lost. He collapsed where he was and began to cry. In his hand was the surprise for his mother, a beautiful and delicate rose a nearby farmer had given to him on his way home from fishing with his friends.
However, when he arrived at his home no one was there. Not even his mother, which was very unusual because she was always there looking after the place. When no one was home Dakari began searching for her in the city, which led him up to this moment. After he had given up all hope of finding his mother or even his way back home, a man came up to him. Dakari looked up to see who had approached him when he did his eyes flooded with tears of joy. “Papa!” Dakari leaped into his father’s arms. “Where is Mama? I’ve been looking for her everywhere.”
“She is at Rashida’s, her midwife’s house,” Papa replied calmly. “Come with me.” After they had walked a little, Dakari asked his father what a midwife was and what Mama was doing there. Papa replied, “A midwife is someone who helps Mothers deliver a new baby into the world. Rashida helped bring you into this world.”
“Then what is Mama doing there now?” Dakari questioned, very confused on the matter. “She is going to deliver your very first sibling today. However, usually, the midwife would come to our home, but Mama was in the marketplace, which was close to Rashida’s home, when it was time to deliver the child, so she went there instead.” Papa replied. “Is that why Mama was getting fat?” Dakari asked. Papa replied with a chuckle, “Yes.”
“Wow, I’m going to be a big brother? When can I see him?” Dakari asked, desperate to meet his new family member. “We don’t know that yet so don’t get your hopes up that it’s going to be a boy, but after your mother has gotten her rest, we will visit her and the baby, and you can give her that lovely rose,” Papa said, noticing the beautiful rose in Dakari’s hand that he had been saving for his mother. And with that, they made no conversation until they arrived home.
“I’m hungry, do we wait for Mama to eat supper?” Dakari asked his father. “No. Rashida will provide food for your mother.” Papa said as he began to bake the fish, which he had caught earlier that day. “Today we will have a feast in honor of our new member of the family,” Papa explained to Dakari.
That night they had fish, an assortment of green vegetables and fresh bread dipped in honey, Papa even made beer for them to drink. And to top it all off they had made a fancy cake, made of bread, cream, and honey, for dessert, foff fitting for a feast in Egypt. Once all the food was laid out on the mat on which they eat, Dakari and his father prayed to Tawaret, the god of childbirth in Egypt, to bless the child with good health. “Let us eat,” said Papa.
Once their bellies were full, someone knocked on their front door. “Who is that?” asked Dakari. “I’m not sure,” replied Papa. They went to the door together, and when they opened the door, they saw a woman dressed in a nurse’s gown. “Is the home of the Ahmed family?” the woman asked. “Yes. Who asks?” Papa replied. “I assisted with your wife’s delivery. I am here to inform you that your wife had a very successful delivery, and she is ready for visitors,” the women informed Papa. While the woman was saying this, Dakari couldn’t contain his excitement. He was overjoyed to hear that Mama was ok.
As soon as he heard the news, he ran to the back of the courtyard grabbed the flower, which he saved for his mother, and returned to the door. “Come on, what are you waiting for?” urged Dakari to his father. So, the women led them to the home in which Mama was in. “Hi, Dakari,” Mama said from the back of the room. When Dakari ran to his mother, he saw a small sleeping infant in his mother’s arms. He was overjoyed to hear that his first sibling was a boy. “This is for you,” Dakari said, holding the flower up for his mother to see. “Oh, that’s beautiful. You’re so thoughtful. Thank you.” Mama said with a smile. The next day the happy family was able to go home together.
Over the next several years their family was constantly growing. They were now a family of seven, three boys and two girls, an average size for a family of Egypt. Dakari was now twelve years old and was very energetic. But he helped his mother a lot with the little children running around the house all the time, and for that, he was rewarded with more times with his friends. He was now becoming a man, but he still has his mischievous moments when he was with his friends. His friends were not respectful children; they were thieves and bullies, and sometimes they forced Dakari to do things he shouldn’t do, and he will be the one to blame when they get caught. But Dakari always seemed to give his friends second chances.
Dakari’s family was unfortunately very poor, and there were now so many mouths to feed, but Dakari’s father always made sure that his family never went to bed hungry, even if it means that he needs to skip a meal. Dakari couldn’t watch his father starve himself to death. So, he decided to do something about it. He thought about it for a while, and he decided to go to his friends for help. He went to them with the issue the next day.
“I need help getting money for my family before my father dies from starvation,” Dakari said, presenting the issue to his friends. “We will help you only if you do everything that we tell you to do,” said Lapis, the leader of the group. Dakari agreed to his proposal. He will do anything it took to make sure his family would survive. But at what cost? What would they make him do? He thought to himself.
The following day Dakari met with his friends in the marketplace. When Dakari arrived in the designated spot, Lapis gave the instructions to Dakari, “You will steal that big bag of fish over there to take to your family.” Lapis pointed to the bag which was in the back of the fish shop that was right in front of them. Dakari was evaluating the area around them, thinking about how he was going to take the bag of fish without getting caught when the owner of the shop came up to the young men.
“Can I help you young gentlemen?” asked the man. “Yes, we are looking for some fish to buy,” Lapis said as he stepped in front of Dakari, so the man couldn’t see the frightened look on Dakari’s face. “Here, let me show you the variety I have here,” said the man. As the man was walking toward the front of the shop, Lapis quickly turned to Dakari and said, “now’s your chance.” and then he turned to follow the man.
Dakari, knowing he had very little time to take what he so desperately needed, cautiously walked toward the bag of fish. Once he looked around to make sure no one was watching, he snatched the bag and ran as quickly as his legs would run. He continued to run as long he could, but eventually, his legs just couldn’t go any further. So, he stopped to rest under a large rock that had an indent underneath it, creating a sort of cave for Dakari to rest under in the intense, dry heat of Egypt. After almost an hour of resting, Dakari stood up to start walking towards his home.
As he stood up, he saw his friends in the distance running up to him. When they came up to him, they asked, “did you get the fish?” “Yes, it’s right here,” Dakari pointed to the bag of fish that was on the dirt road next to his feet. They snatch the bag. “Hey!” Dakari exclaimed, but it was no use, they had already started to take the fish out of the bag. They each took two fish for themselves and threw the rest that was left in the bag at Dakari’s feet. Dakari picked up the bag and looked inside.
“There are only five fish left, and there are seven mouths to feed in our family. How am I supposed to feed my entire family with this?” Dakari said determined to save his family. “This is our way of getting paid. If we don’t get paid, we can’t help you.” said Lapis. That evening Dakari walked home crying, realizing that he should have never trusted his “friends”. He let his family down and for what? A few fish.
When he got home his mother was worried because he had been gone all day. “Where have you been, and what’s that in your hand?” questioned mother. Dakari looked down at the bag of fish that he and his friends had stolen from the market.
“It’s just a few fish that my friends and I caught while we were fishing. They let me keep all the fish.” Dakari lied, knowing it was too many fish to have been split with his friends. “How many do you have?” asked mother. “There are five fish,” Dakari replied. “I already made supper, but if we split the fish there will be plenty of food for all of us to eat. Thank you, Dakari.” Mama said, happy that the family can once again eat this common meal in Egypt together. That night the entire family went to bed with full stomachs. Dakari, knowing that he could have provided more, felt pleased with himself for at least providing a full meal for his family.
The following day Dakari went to a nearby farmer’s house to pick up some vegetables for his family when his friends saw him. They approached him and said, “Are you ready for your next job?”
“No. I’m not going to do anything with you guys ever again. You guys just take whatever I steal anyway.” declared Dakari. “Fine, but if you join us you can be the richest Egyptian in all of Egypt.” coaxed Lapis. “How would I be able to do that?” asked Dakari very interested in his proposal. “There is a construction site near the edge of the village, and I heard that they bury a bunch of riches in the middle of it.” explained Lapis, never imagining the Great Pyramid would become the wonder of Egypt, and make Egypt famous.
“Why would they do that?” asked Dakari. “I don’t know, that’s what we are going to find out.” Dakari gave much thought to the possibility of making his family rich, especially after seeing how happy his family was after they had their stomachs full last night. “How do I know you guys aren’t going to steal everything I get from me?” questioned Dakari. “We believe that there will be plenty of riches to be split evenly between everyone, so there will be no need to steal from you,” said Lapis. “Ok, I’ll join you guys.”
After they had walked toward the edge of a village, they saw a large tower-like structure in the distance. So, they kept walking in that direction until they arrived at a bush that kept them hidden, but they were still able to see what they were building in the tower. “Wow! That’s huge!” screeched Dakari. It was a massive triangular tower made of giant bricks, and it was pointed at the top. “I wonder what it’s for. Look over there.” Dakari pointed to a map that had rolled away from the construction worker’s feet. “Go grab it,” commanded Lapis.
Obeying what Lapis told him to do, Dakari ran up to the map, snatched it from the ground, and ran back to the bush. When they opened it up, they saw exactly what it was being built for. “It’s a tomb, call a pyramid. That’s why there are so many riches inside, it’s because the person they are burying inside of there has many riches, which they are going to bury with him,” said Lapis every excited. “I’m not sure that I feel comfortable stealing a dead man’s treasures, for his afterlife,” said Dakari. “Do you hear yourself? That man is dead anyway. He has no use for his riches anymore,” said Lapis, scoffing at the thought of any life hereafter, mocking the faith of Egypt. “Yeah, I guess.” So, they planned to meet back there at night, so they won’t be seen.
Once it was night, and everyone was there, Lapis decided to make a plan. “The bricks of Egypt are too thick and strong to go through, so maybe we can dig underground and from there we can take the jewels and leave. I have a bag to put all the riches in and then we’ll split it after we are a safe distance from here.”
“Ok.” approved Dakari. So, they began to dig and dig with their bare hands. Two hours had passed and they’re only halfway there. Dakari decided to take a break from shoveling, and when he did, he went for a little walk around the new pyramid of Egypt. He started to think about how he was going to tell his family that he somehow got a hold of all these riches when he saw something on the other side of the pyramid.
He ran back to his friends to tell them what he had found. “Guys! There is an opening on the other side of the pyramid.” They came with him to see what he was talking about. It was a giant hole that must have caved in when they were building it and they were going to repair it in the morning. “Let’s go. No time to waist.” said Dakari. So, they went into the tomb to look for the riches and what they saw inside was an abundance of gold and jewels, riches in Egypt. “Take all of it,” commanded Lapis.
They were almost done collecting all the riches, when they heard voices in the distance. “Hurry up!” said Lapis. The voices grew closer and closer. “We aren’t going to make it,” said Dakari. “Take the jewels and run. Please give my share of the riches to my family. I will guide them away from you.” “Why are you doing this for us? We stole from you,” questioned Lapis. “Because everyone deserves a second chance,” said Dakari as he ran in the opposite direction of his friends.
“Let’s go,” said Lapis to his fellow thieves. That night Lapis felt changed for the better for the good deed that Dakari did for him, even though he himself had not treated him nicely.
The next morning Lapis went to take Dakari’s share of riches to Dakari’s family because Lapis felt that the least, he can do for Dakari, who had protected him, was keep his promise. When Lapis arrived at Dakari’s home, he noticed that he heard crying from the inside of the home. He didn’t want to be seen dropping off the riches at the home, so he left the bag full of riches on their doorstep, knocked on the door, and ran away.
When Mama opened the door and she saw the bag there, she looked around to see who had left if there but when she saw no one she dragged the heavy bag into their home and opened it. “Oh, my goodness look at all this!” exclaimed Mama. “What is it?” asked Papa. “Look!” Father looked inside the bag and saw all the riches. “Where did you get all this?” questioned Papa. “Someone left it on our doorstep.” That day the family, though they had the difficult news that their son was caught and going to be hung for his crime, as thievery of graves was harshly punished in Egypt. But they finally had something they had needed for a very long time.
As years past, Lapis took care of Dakari’s family as his way of showing his respect. Lapis changed very much since that night, he was now a strong and kind gentleman who cared for everyone he knows. Although Dakari was remembered as a thieve when he died, he completely changed someone else’s life for the better.
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