20 / 23

The Snake

— Will he eat the plant of youth at once?

— No, he could not. He is a ruler, and kings perform important deeds in a proper fashion, full of nobility and beauty, so that tales can later be told of them.

— The bath in the lake also strikes me as noble. Could he not have eaten the root if he was unclean?

— Kings would never do such a thing. And what’s that wriggling over there?

— A snake is crawling toward the root left on the shore, Gilgamesh leaps from the water, but he is too late. The beast devours the plant and sheds its skin, slithering off more youthful.

— Now you can only holler out your rage, ruler of Uruk  — you are now clean, but mortal.