His name was Dog.
He was part of a large group of escaped slaves. His people had been oppressed for hundreds of years in a foreign land. The ruler of a great empire in the south had originally invited them to his land as guests. The ruler’s successors employed them in building massive monuments to the dynasty’s glory. Originally they were paid wages. Then they had to work longer and longer hours with decreasing pay. Eventually they were incarcerated in work camps. They were forced to work day and night with no rest. When their bodies wore out they were thrown into the ditch like human garbage.
The ruler of this empire used to walk around among the slaves to inspect their work. He would wear a heavy yoke on his shoulders, like those that used to be placed on oxen. The tyrant would taunt the slaves, saying that they were weaklings, more tender than himself. After all, he told them, he too was a slave of his position. His economic policy for all people in the empire was one of genocidal austerity. There were a few exceptions. These were his family and relatives and the priests, who numbered about one percent of the population. They were worshipped as gods. Continue reading