Isis and the Seven Scorpions

Whenever Isis left Horus in the evening while they were in hiding in the papyrus swamps near Buto, she was accompanied by seven scorpions. Three of the scorpians preceded her, Petet, Tjetet, and Matet and made sure that the path ahead was safe. At her side were the scorpions, Mesetet and Mesetetef. Bringing up the rear were Tefen and Befen.

Every night, Isis warned her companions to be extremely cautious as to avoid alerting Seth as to where she was. She would remind them not to speak to anyone they met along the way.

One night, Isis was traveling to the Town of the Two Sisters in the Nile Delta. A wealthy noblewoman saw the strange party arrive and quickly shut the door to her house. The scorpions were enraged at her rude behavior and decide to teach the woman a lesson. In preparation, six of the scorpions gave their individual poisons to Tefen who loaded his stinger with it. Meanwhile, a humble peasant girl had offered her simple home as a refuge to Isis.

The scorpions anger was not ameliorated by the young girl’s kindness toward their mistress, and Tefen snuck out of the house. He crawled under the door of the noblewoman’s house and stung her son. Distraught, the woman wandered through the town seeking help for her child who was on the verge of death.

Isis heard the woman’s cries for help. Although the woman was unkind to her, Isis could not bear the thought of the death of an innocent child and left with the woman to help her son. Isis held the boy in her arms and spoke words of great magic. She named each of the scorpions and thereby dominated them; rendering their combined poison to be harmless in the child.

The noblewoman was humbled by Isis’ unconditional kindness and offered all of her worldly wealth to Isis and the peasant girl who had shown hospitality to a stranger.