King Sneferu’s Ring – Maev Barba

On a fishing expedition, Sneferu gave a maiden a golden ring.

She slid the ring onto her finger, then, thinking better of it, slid it off and dropped it in the Nile. 

Stop the boat, she said. And retrieve my ring.

This is Pharaoh Sneferu, the men said.

He built the Bent Pyramid, they said.

And then the Red Pyramid, they said. 

And now he has given you his favorite ring.

Clouds obscured the light and the maiden turned away.

I know, she said, that you have a million of those rings.

Sneferu was not a callous man, nor did he disbelieve in magic.

You and you, he said. He ordered two men holding staffs and wearing beards. 

These, perhaps the same who later challenged Moses, dipped their staffs into the water.

The Nile parted end to end. The boat teetered on the edge of water. 

Sneferu reached between the Nile and retrieved the ring from where it nested in the rocks.

Dry it, said the maiden. Before you slide it on my finger. 

Dr. Maev Barba attended the Puget Sound Writer’s Conference in 2018. She is a PNW native and a great lover of books. She used to sell books door-to-door. A doctor of astronomy, Barba looks into space and considers neither the small as too little, nor the large as too great, for the lover of stars knows there is no limit to dimension.

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