2400 BCE (Old Kingdom, 5th dynasty), Egypt
Carved limestone, red pigment
43 x 101 x 3.5 cm
Collection of The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
It is late morning. I wake with the Egyptian sun bearing on my back. The warmth spreads across my fur and I sigh in contentment.
Around my neck my master has tied a rope collar finished with two large distinguished knots. I walk proudly with my head held high next to my master, whose walking cane matches my stride four for one. I spend my days close to my him, following him closely like a shadow. I am never far from him and he is never far from me. At night, I sleep curled up at the foot of his bed, and his is the first face I see when I awake.
He calls me many names, but Beha is the one I treasure most.1 To me, Beha means freedom, companionship and family. It means him passing me bread and meat from his dinner plate; it means the soft pats and belly rubs I have become accustomed to; it means the hunting trips we go on together. I am a member of his pack, with his companion, his children, and the other dogs that he keeps of whom I am the leader. I know I will follow him to the ends of the world.
Days like these are easy to pass.