favourite faces for favourite mythic ladies: Ninhursag with Zoe Saldana
In the ziggurat at Shuruppak, Ninhursag tinkers with the ingredients of life to make a thing more alive than the rest, a thing that will appreciate that she is a god. (The animals don’t seem to care. This new thing will need more thought.) She works long hard hours, bent over clay and leaves and various pre-made creatures and at the end of the day she stretches and cracks her back. Enki (brother, lover, rival) peers over her work just as she spies on his, and when they grow bored of such work they lounge on the stone steps and drink. That’s where they make bargains with each other, bets on who will create the best versions of life and who will do it first. (Ninhursag thinks it will be her. She is the Mother of all Living, the Exalted Lady, so of course it will be her alone who makes the best thing.)
'I bet I can make things so horrible and misshapen that you'd never find a place in the world for them,' she slurs after one very successful day of work. Her hands are still coated with a fine layer of mud.
A derisive snort from Enki. ‘I’ll bet you can’t.’
'I will!', Ninhursag says, pointing her cup at him (which makes wine spill over the top and onto the steps between them.) 'And when I win I'll ride you around in front of the others like my very own mount.'
They sat and argued and laughed and soon went stumbling back into their laboratory, sure to wake up tomorrow with pounding headaches and no memory of the last thing they’d been trying to create from hawk feathers and toad legs.