Cricket Magazine


Upon the death of his father, the slave Nabi-sin must leave the kitchens of his master, where his father had been embellisher, or cook. His master apprentices Nabisin to Zarriqum, slave and royal seal cutter to the household of King Hammurabi of Babylon. Kirum, Zarriqum’s adopted daughter, escorts Nabi-sin to his new home and gives him an amber stone with a fire-bug trapped inside. Nabi-sin is delighted to learn that his master’s son, Mar-eshtar, works with Zarriqum. As boys, Nabi-sin and Mar-eshtar pretended they were the hero Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu looking for adventure. When they meet again, Mar-eshtar tells Kirum how Nabi-sin once prepared a special drink for Old Taribum, a singer of tales. He added manna as a sweetener, not realizing that it was a very strong laxative!

The ambassador of Mari often comes to the workshop to see Zarriqum. One day he gives the seal cutter an expensive bowl as a gift. Although the ambassador has been sent as an envoy of peace to King Hammurabi’s court, he seems to enjoy ridiculing the people of Babylon, and Nabi-sin does not like him. Late one night Nabi-sin overhears the ambassador plotting with Zarriqum and Kirum to forge the seal of King Hammurabi. The ambassador will use the seal to make an official impression on a clay tablet that looks like a decree from Hammurabi, ordering his armies against Mari. The king of Mari, thinking that Hammurabi has broken the peace, will attack Babylon. Caught unawares, the city of Babylon will fall.

Nabi-sin confides what he has heard to Mar-eshtar and is horrified when his old friend seems to be in on the plan. When the ambassador discovers that Nabi-sin has stumbled onto the plot, he orders him tied up and announces that the tablet and seal must be finished immediately. In the kitchen, Mar-eshtar secretly tells Nabi-sin that King Hammurabi knows everything and that they are only pretending to go along with the ambassador. Mar-eshtar unties Nabi-sin so he can prepare

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