By Mimi Papathanasopoulos
This is a short story called “Aardvark and the Me” that I wrote while studying Gilgamesh and Ancient Mesopotamia in English class. It is written in the style and based on the Mesopotamian myth called “Inanna and the Me.” (pronounced « may »)
“I, the Queen of mascots, shall visit the God of Wisdom. I shall go to the chapel, the sacred place at OES. I shall honor Enki, the God of Wisdom.”
Aardvark set out by herself. When she was getting closer to the chapel, he who knows the me and who knows all things (Enki, the God of Wisdom) called to his servant, Isimud:
“Come, my sukkal, the young mammal is about to enter the chapel. When she enters, give her termite cake to eat. Pour her a glass of ant flavored beer. Treat her like an equal.”
Isimud did as he was told. When Aardvark entered the chapel, he gave her termite cake to eat. He poured her a glass of ant flavored beer. He treated her with respect. He treated like an equal.
Enki and Aardvark drank the ant flavored beer together. They drank more ant flavored beer. They drank more and more ant flavored beer together. They gave toasts and challenges to each other.
Enki, swaying with drink, toasted Aardvark. He said:
“In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! To my daughter, Aardvark, I shall give new opportunities, curiosity, and eagerness to learn and adapt!”
“I take them!”
Enki raised his cup again and gave Aardvark a second toast. He said:
“To my daughter, Aardvark, I shall give kindness, respect, and service!”
“I take them!”
Enki raised his cup and gave Aardvark a third toast.
“To my daughter, Aardvark, I shall give dedication, motivation, intelligence, and hope!”
“I take them!”
Fourteen times Enki raised his cup to Aardvark. Fourteen times he offered her the me. Fourteen times Aardvark accepted the me. Then, Aardvark stood before her father and recited all the me that Enki had given her.
“My father has given me the me:
He gave me new opportunities and curiosity. He gave me eagerness to learn and adapt. He gave me kindness and respect. He gave me service. He gave me dedication. He gave me intelligence. He gave me hope. He gave me honesty and sportsmanship. He gave me diversity. He gave me acceptance. He gave me forward-thinking. He gave me strength. He gave me friends. He gave me family.”
Aardvark gathered all of the me and placed the me in her OES drawstring bag and started to leave the chapel.
When the ant flavored beer had left Enki, he looked about the chapel. He called to his servant Isimud, saying:
“My sukkal, Isimud- the new opportunities? Curiosity? Eagerness to learn and adapt? Where are they?”
“My king has given them to his daughter.”
Fourteen times Enki questioned Isimud. Fourteen times Isimud answered, saying:
“My king has given all the me to his daughter, Aardvark.”
Then Enki spoke, saying:
“Isimud, the OES drawstring bag, with the holy me, where is it now?”
“The OES drawstring bag is one building away from the Upper School.”
Enki was furious so he sent termites to retrieve the me from Aardvark. However, Aardvark devoured all the termites he sent.
In response, Enki sent an unruly mob of kids after Aardvark but Aardvark shared the me with them. She became their friend. She inspired them. They protected her and continued the journey to the Upper School with her.
When Aardvark arrived at the Upper School, she said:
“On the day the OES drawstring bag enters the Upper School, let students, teachers, and staff rejoice. Let the little children laugh and sing. Let everyone be joyful! Let everyone find their passions and interests. Let everyone share and nurture their talents! Let everyone be kind. Let everyone be united.”
Enki was in distress. He called to his servant Isimud for the seventh time, saying:
“My sukkal-Isimud, where is the OES drawstring bag now?”
“It is in the entrance of the Upper School.”
Enki sighed and then slowly smiled. He said:
“She has aroused wonder there. She has started something wonderful. Aardvark has created a beautiful community at Oregon Episcopal School.”