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The Bast Curse

Lore Trial #4

It is said that the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast protects our precious land and property. I sometimes wonder if it is because we have offended her so that she has forsaken so many of our natural waters. Bast is represented by a cat or a cat-like woman. I think that we have insulted Bast by breeding cats and undervaluing women. If you do not believe in the powers of this divinity, let me share a little story with you about my very wealthy friend, June.

Actually, June was not so wealthy until she married her husband. Together, they lived in a lovely home in San Francisco where they hosted grand parties and traded fine art. During one of their travels to Egypt, June acquired an authentic bronzed statue of Bast. June was attracted to the statue because of her domestic affection for housecats. Her husband had conceded the purchase because it was a very valuable “knick knack” that would greatly appreciate in value. A casually superstitious man, he figured that it also couldn’t hurt to have the statue around their home to protect the property and its belongings.

A few years later, after June’s pet cat died, she took to sitting still for long stretches of time, looking at the Bast statue. Finally her husband, embarrassed and inexplicably enraged by June’s behavior, decided that it was time for them to become a “dog household.” He had the bronze from the Bast statue melted down and used it to commission a dog statue. He presented both this statue and a new puppy to June upon her return from a long weekend visiting me in Ocotillo.

At first June was upset with her husband, but she took very quickly to the dogs. She even began to feel safer with a dog around to guard the house while her husband was away on business. Shortly after the gift, though, all sorts of horrible acts of vandalism took place on June and her husband’s home. When June called me in tears asking me “why her?” I couldn’t help but whisper, “why, the curse of Bast.”

June and her husband decided to recommission the same artist to return the bronzed dog to a bronzed cat. The night before he completed his charge, a beautiful piece of vandalism was left on their back wall. Ultimately, my friend and her husband sold this piece of graffiti for a lot of money. It was Bast’s curious way of thanking them for returning their faith to her and ensuring that they secured more property for her to protect.


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