The king and the scribe arrived at the Dancing Cockerel as everybody was leaving. A barmaid gave them each an ale.

Despite the excited charge in the air around the people, they all left in silence.

The males walked towards Heduana; the females towards the king. They made a large circle, leaving a space for one more at the North point in between the king and Heduana.

The last person to leave the inn was the innkeeper.

Queen Kubaba exited the ancient stone building, the crowd cheered and danced with drunken happiness.

The Queen of Sumeria knew how to reign.


Kubaba made her way towards the king and Heduana, the people made little groups of three and holding hands they danced around each other; a dizzying spiral of singing and laughter.

Kubaba made her way through the crowd. Weaving in and out of the dancing trios until she reached the king and Heduana.

She took their hands and raised them to the sky. Everyone else slowed to a stop and raised their hands in the same manner.

Then they all put their hands towards the centre of their circles and held each others hands tightly.

Sumerians knew how to pray.


After a brief moment of complete stillness, they each took a deep breath and a low hum emanated from the people.

It started low; the sound coming from deep in their bellies. As the noise increased they released each others hands.

They each took another deep breath whilst putting their own hands together. They reached to the sky for Great Father An; their first and most distant ancestor. The noise increased slightly.

They parted their hands, and with palms facing forward they honoured Father Enlil and Father Enki. Thus completing the triad of heaven.

There was order in the Universe.


It was now midnight and everyone gazed at the glorious moon; a pure white peacock showering the land with its luminescent glory.

With feet together, the people lowered their arms until their elbows were in line with their waists. With palms facing forward they breathed out slowly; releasing their life’s breath into the atmosphere; to rejoin the north wind created at the beginning of time by Father Enlil. They waited for the High Priestess to begin.

Heduana closed her eyes and let out a low whistle. The people were alerted and paid attention.

There was a breach coming to Sumeria.


Heduana whistled and the people sang along:

The final stage of waxing,
Look south and upon high,
The moon in all its glory,
Sailing through the sky.

Praise Great Mother Ninlil,
Lady of the wind.
Living in the Dilmun.
Then she went and sinned.

Her and holy Enlil,
Begetters of the moon.
Another son is coming.
And he is coming soon.

Then you must honour;
Nergal, Lord of Death.
Be mindful of your manners,
For he will steal your breath.

Now it’s at its fullest,
Tides are on the rise.
Now is time to hunt.
Go and claim your prize.

©CMA 2018

To The King, The QueenThe People and The Challenge


From Tall-ish Tales (Short-ish Stories)