The Mummy's Foot (French: Le Pied de momie) is a horror short story by the French writer Théophile Gautier, first published in 1840. It relates the fantastical tale of a contemporary man and the adventures which befall him when he ventures into a Parisian curiosity shop and buys the four-thousand-year-old foot of Princess Hermonthis.

"The Mummy's Foot"
Short story by Théophile Gautier
Original titleLe Pied de momie
TranslatorLafcadio Hearn
Genre(s)Gothic fiction
Published inLe Musée des familles
Publication typeperiodical
Publication dateSeptember 1840

Plot summary edit

A man enters an antiques shop and buys a mummified foot which supposedly belonged to an Egyptian princess, Hermonthis. He intends to use the foot as a paperweight. In the night, he sees a vision of the princess, who explains her foot has been stolen, and he agrees to return her foot in exchange for a small statuette. The princess steals him away to Egypt where he meets her father and several other ancient pharaohs. Hermonthis' father, Xixouthros, is appropriately pleased that his daughter's foot is returned to the rest of her. Xixouthros asks what he can do in appreciation. The protagonist asks Hermonthis' hand in marriage, which is refused, as he is only 27 and Hermonthis is over 30 centuries, and deserves someone who is equally durable. The protagonist is abruptly woken from this potential dream by the arrival of a friend. Now awake, he observes that the mummified foot that was on his desk has indeed been replaced by the statuette.

Adaptations edit

The story was adapted for television as part of the NBC Television anthology series Your Show Time, airing February 11, 1949.

External links edit