Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fragment: Nimrud sleeps

Fragment from: Christie, Agatha. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography. London: Collins, 1977.
As for the mound itself, it lost its early beauty, owing to all the great dumps.  Gone was that innocent simplicity, with the stone heads poking up out of the green grass, studded with red ranunculus. The flocks of bee-eaters - lovely little birds of gold, green and orange, twittering and fluttering over the mound - still came every spring, and a little later the rollers, bigger birds, also blue and orange, which had a curious way of falling suddenly and clumsily from the sky - hence their name. In the legend, they had been punished by by Ishtar by being bitten through the wing because they had insulted her in some way.
Now Nimrud sleeps.
We have scarred it with our bulldozers. Its yawning pits have been filled in with raw earth. One day its wounds will have healed, and it will bloom once more with early spring flowers.
Here was once Calah, that great city. Then Calah slept. ...
Here came Max Mallowan and his wife. Now again Calah sleeps.
Who shall disturb it next?
We do not know.
p. 514

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