Out of Egypt

“Foster, what are you doing?”

a pious faceFoster appeared not to have heard my question at first, so I asked it again, jumping down from where I had been sitting on the windowsill behind him. a by tnnel“I’m practicing my sphinx pose,” came the reply. “Don’t you think I look like a sphinx? “I hesitated, trying to recall if I knew what a sphinx even was.a cuter than sphinx“Actually,” Foster continued, “I think I’m much cuter than a sphinx. At least that’s what Mom says.” I had to agree there. “Well, you are pretty cute,” I admitted. “But what’s all this about a sphinx?”Lincoln's drawing“Well,” Foster explained. “The other night at church a boy named Lincoln gave Mom this drawing. He thought of the idea that we should go to Egypt and see the sphinx.” I was impressed. “Wow, that’s really good,” I remarked. “So where is Egypt, anyway?”under printer“I have no clue,” Foster admitted. “Let’s go look on the computer!” It didn’t take us long to find Egypt on a map, because it seemed as if Mom had been searching for photos of Egypt recently.a both on computer Egypt“Hey,” Foster said excitedly. “It looks like Egypt is part of Africa!” I nodded. “We won’t be able to take the train this time,” I replied. “I guess we should take the travel tunnel.”a Foster being sphinxFoster jumped up onto his windowsill shelf, practicing another sphinx pose. “Hey, I’ve heard that cats were treated with the greatest respect in ancient Egypt. Practically like royalty!”  I rolled my eyes. “Okay, don’t even go there, Bro.” I replied. “Cats act enough like royalty as it is without using ancient history to make it worse!”a travel tunnel to EgyptFoster conceded. “I guess you’re right,”  he said. “Well, let’s get started.” It took us awhile to get there, but finally we found ourselves sailing above the amazing pyramids of Egypt!a riding camelThe first thing we did after we landed was hire a camel to take us to the Egyptian ruins. Riding a camel was kind of like riding an elephant, which we have done both in Africa and India. The view from atop the camel was breathtaking. a seeing the sphinx“Wow!” I exclaimed when we jumped off the camel and got our first sight of the sphinx in the distance. “So that’s what a sphinx is!” We stood looking at the sphinx for awhile and then we decided to go on an Egyptian tour. a reading column croppedWe were surprised at the size of everything. “What does that writing say?” Foster asked as I jumped up to get a better look at one of the huge columns. “I can’t tell,” I called back. “It just looks like hieroglyphics to me.”a Foster on statueUnbeknownst to us, there are a lot of different sphinx statues in Egypt. Every time we saw one, Foster had to jump up and pretend like he was a sphinx, too. “Dude,” I called from the ground. “You’d better be careful. I don’t think you’re supposed to climb on the statues.”a explaining to manI was proven right when a man approached us as Foster was practicing his sphinx pose on another statue. “What are you doing here?” he demanded gruffly. “Don’t you know these statues are off limits to cats and pandas?” Immediately I attempted to diffuse the situation. “You’ll have to excuse my friend, sir,” I began. “He’s been practicing his sphinx pose for the longest time, and this is his first chance to really try it out.” a explaining to man 2 Foster jumped over and gazed at him with his most innocent look. The man considered for a moment. “Well,” he began, “I guess you do kind of look like a sphinx. But you aren’t supposed to climb on the statues. Why don’t you go check out the marketplace? That will give you something to do where you won’t get in trouble.”a in marketThat sounded like a good idea, so after asking directions and thanking our new friend, we headed for the marketplace. As soon as we got there, we were amazed by what we saw. There were so many beautiful handcrafts that we almost didn’t know what to look at first.a looking at lampsWe knew Mom would love these colorful glass lamps, but they were pretty expensive, and we didn’t have enough money to buy her one. “Oh well,” Foster said. “Maybe she can find a picture of them online and then she can draw one.” I agreed. “And besides, we might not be able to fit one inside our travel tunnel.”a plate of food 2We had a blast at the marketplace, but after awhile we got hungry and stopped for a snack of delicious Egyptian food. The plate was as big as we were! After our meal, we decided to go for a walk through the village.a colorful streetAs usual, Foster walked pretty slowly,  but the bright, cheerful colors had an energizing effect on me. I ran ahead of him down a narrow pathway between two brightly painted walls. “Come on!” I called. “Let’s go see where this path leads!” Unbeknownst to us, at the end of the street there was a group of children playing together. We ended up running right into them!a dad says to put down “Hey, look!” called a little boy as he picked me up and waved me in the air. “I found a panda!” His sister giggled joyfully. “I found a cat!” she replied. We were just wondering how we were going to get out of this dilemma when the children’s dad saw what was going on. “Put that panda down,” he ordered, pointing in my direction. “And let that cat go! You don’t know if they’ve had their shots.” Reluctantly the children obeyed. As soon as we were free we hurried away as fast as we could.a watching manAs we continued our walk we breathed a sigh of relief. “Wow, that was a close one!” Foster said, and I agreed. “Hey, let’s go see what that man is doing!” I suggested, pointing to a man seated on the sidewalk surrounded with stones. “I’m making a sidewalk mosaic,” the man explained in answer to our inquiries. a talking to manWe were impressed. “Our mom likes to make mosaics,” Foster said. “She would probably like making one on the sidewalk, too!” The man laughed genially and picked me up. “I’ve never seen a panda in overalls before,” he remarked. “Where did you get them? Are you from around here? Is that a real pocket?” We answered his questions and then it was time to continue our tour.a hide and seekWe played a fun game of hide-and-seek when we got back to the ruins. “Ready or not, here I come!” I called after following Foster’s instructions and counting to a hundred. It took me forever to find him, but overall we had a great time.a sunset boatThat evening we had the opportunity to enjoy a boat trip along the Nile river. The men on board gave us lots of information about the river, and we even saw the bulrushes along the bank. “Did you know that bulrushes are also called cattails?” asked our other guide as we gazed at the beauty of sunset over the Nile.bulrushes Foster perked up his ears and swished his tail. “Cool!” he exclaimed, “Hey, was that where Moses floated down the river when he was a baby?” Our guides nodded. “Yes,” they replied. “And that’s where he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter.” “Wow,” I said, impressed. “Wait till we tell Mom about this!” Suddenly Foster and I looked at each other, our eyes wide. “Mom!” we exclaimed in unison. We had forgotten to tell her where we were going! She’d probably be worried by now. We decided it was time to head home.a leaving egyptWe said goodbye to our friends and before long we were soaring above the pyramids in the sunset, on our way back to Fresno.asleepWe were so tired from our trip that we went right to sleep when we got home. “You guys aren’t up yet?” Mom asked later the next morning. “I didn’t hear you playing in the hallway last night so I figured you’d be up early today!”

Author’s Note: Egypt background photos are from royalty-free websites, www.pixabay.com and www.unsplash.com.

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