This story is based on one found on a papyrus scroll of hieroglyphs from the nineteenth century B.C., Egypt. It tells the tale of a voyage on the Red Sea to a mysterious and enchanted land of riches located south of Egypt.
On his way to the King's gold mines, a sailor is shipwrecked on a magic island, the Island of the Soul. Not long after he arrives, a gigantic serpent with scales of gold appears and reveals to the sailor that he is the Prince of Punt, and is also a lone survivor. The two become good friends, but one day a ship comes to rescue the sailor. Bearing gifts from the Prince, the sailor returns to Egypt with full hands, and a full heart.
This is a tale of the surprising (and fortuitous) bonds that unite us, and of the good that comes to us when we least expect it. Tamara Bower's lush illustrations are rendered in Egyptian style, and phrases from the story appear in hieroglyphs with their literal translations.