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The Bestiary of Mara ~ Die Bestiarum van Mara

Hark how she rolleth, hark how she twisteth and turneth upon the surface of the waters, from the highlands to the sea, Idimma playeth upon the waters. Of all freshwater spirits be she the greatest, see her plumes, watch the spattering foam she leaveth in her wake, the rolling waves.

Idimma loveth the wind, she cheriseth the gales, she rideth upon them on the surface of the waters, they make her glide indeed. The ripples are her children, the pools are her playing fields, the water spirits are her offspring and many are they according to their sizes and their types.

She holdeth court in the highland grottos with the springs, she hasteneth over the water, yea, she dwelleth also in the deep dark lake. In her be verily no darkness, nay, but she loveth too much the winds and the gales, and in that way may she injure mankind. For in her wild infatuation with the wind, Idimma stirreth up the waves, yea, she maketh them to gallop like the steeds of the northern plains, like the wolve packs that seek to devour, they indeed stampede upon her bidding. Then great be the potential to drown beast and man and field of cereal grain, oh woe to them upon the day Idimma playeth with the wind. Idimma dwelleth in all the rivers of renown, indeed to the east, the Inti*1 of Meluhha hath multitudes of her, yea, the enormous Idiruna*2 which giveth as a gift the land of Mezeru, it hath even more. The long, strange river that swelleth not in early summer like Buraduna and Idiina. Nay, Idiruna floodeth the dry land in the autumn season, when bursting its banks, it covereth the land like a blanket, making all of Kemmu land a shallow lake. And to the north, in the lands of many rivers, in atti and Arattu and beyond, there abideth she. Not by brook or stream or rivulet but by the wider, deeper waters, the waters of substance, there dwelleth Idimma. And in spring, from the highlands, she shepherdeth the welcome floods to Shumer to water the fields, to irrigate the lands for cereals and goodly plants of every nature. Yet can she be perilous when in passionate abandon she mateth with the wind, yea, when she surgeth across the surface, indeed when she breaketh the banks. Of mankind she knoweth little, yea, she careth less, for her pleasures are with the fish and the eel and the waterbug that maketh circles upon the surface, also with the otter and the water turtle and the fat water beast.

*1 Indus *2 Nile

Idimma bringeth good and she bringeth bad for she be part of nature. Verily giveth she the welcome floods of spring, the beneficial waters, the wholesome waters that feed the land of Shumer. Wild is her nature, however verily be she not immune from the passions of Tiamat, and when she becometh one with the winds, the fierce winds, the ill winds may drive her to bring destruction in her fiery passion and in her speed when she rolls across the land. Build ye therefore yer houses on solid foundations, yea, preferably on the rocky ground. And when thou hast no hard ground to build, when thou liveth on the river amongst the reeds, weave then carefully thine home and thy boats to withstand the storm, yea indeed so that they keep thee safe and dry wherever the storm taketh thee. Sela.

Translated from Sumerian by Pieter Uys From: The Bestiary of Bawa Mara, the great seer of Nippur Text rights reserved. Pieter Uys 2013 Illustration: Unknown.