Histoire Naturelle - Mammals - Plate 6 - Mongoose & Hare ~ The Egyptian mongoose, or ichneumon, is Herpestes ichneumon. The mongoose is a highly prized today for its ability to fight and kill snakes, even the deadly cobras. They will bit into the back of the head, right at the base of the neck, and keep biting until the snake is dead. Often, several mongooses will work to battle a single snake, for the mongoose is a communal animal. Known for its skills as a stealthy nest robber, the mongoose became the center of many mythical tales where human children were abducted. The mongoose became a sacred animal to the Egyptians, perhaps as an acknowledgement for its deceptive powers.

The desert hare, 'Sheyt' was probably pronounced like 'Wen' or 'Uen'. The species is Lepus aegyptius. In Egyptian myth, hares were associated with the cycles of the moon, which was viewed as masculine when the moon was waxing and feminine when waning. Hares were likewise believed to be androgynous, shifting back and forth between the genders.

Framed 35 1/2 inches x 28 inches ~ $1,700