Classics
Bulfinch Mythol.
The Odyssey
The Iliad
Argonautica
Hesiod-Theogony

Site Search



greece
athens airport
casino
bet
greek news
tavli sto internet
livescore
news now

Olympians Titans Other Gods Myths Online Books
 
Aristophanes Index


< Previous Next>

THE BIRDS by Aristophanes, Part 17

LEADER OF SECOND SEMI-CHORUS
I want now to speak to the judges about the prize they are going
to award; if they are favourable to us, we will load them with
benefits far greater than those Paris received. Firstly, the owls of
Laurium, which every judge desires above all things, shall never be
wanting to you; you shall see them homing with you, building their
nests in your money-bags and laying coins. Besides, you shall be
housed like the gods, for we shall erect gables over your dwellings;
if you hold some public post and want to do a little pilfering, we
will give you the sharp claws of a hawk. Are you dining in town, we
will provide you with stomachs as capacious as a bird's crop. But,
if your award is against us, don't fail to have metal covers fashioned
for yourselves, like those they place over statues; else, look out!
for the day you wear a white tunic all the birds will soil it with
their droppings.
PITHETAERUS
Birds! the sacrifice is propitious. But I see no messenger
coming from the wall to tell us what is happening. Ah! here comes
one running himself out of breath as though he were in the Olympic
stadium.
MESSENGER (running back and forth)
Where, where, where is he? Where, where, where is he? Where,
where, where is he? Where is Pithetaerus, our LEADER?
PITHETAERUS
Here am I.
MESSENGER
The wall is finished.
PITHETAERUS
That's good news.
MESSENGER
It's a most beautiful, a most magnificent work of art. The wall is
so broad that Proxenides, the Braggartian, and Theogenes could pass
each other in their chariots, even if they were drawn by steeds as big
as the Trojan horse.
PITHETAERUS
That's fine!
MESSENGER
Its length is one hundred stadia; I measured it myself.
PITHETAERUS
A decent length, by Posidon! And who built such a wall?
MESSENGER
Birds-birds only; they had neither Egyptian brickmaker, nor
stone-mason, nor carpenter; the birds did it all themselves; I could
hardly believe my eyes. Thirty thousand cranes came from Libya with
a supply of stones, intended for the foundations. The water-rails
chiselled them with their beaks. Ten thousand storks were busy
making bricks; plovers and other water fowl carried water into the
air.
PITHETAERUS
And who carried the mortar?
MESSENGER
Herons, in hods.
PITHETAERUS
But how could they put the mortar into the hods?
MESSENGER
Oh! it was a truly clever invention; the geese used their feet
like spades; they buried them in the pile of mortar and then emptied
them into the hods.
PITHETAERUS
Ah! to what use cannot feet be put?
MESSENGER
You should have seen how eagerly the ducks carried bricks. To
complete the tale, the swallows came flying to the work, their beaks
full of mortar and their trowels on their backs, just the way little
children are carried.
PITHETAERUS
Who would want paid servants after this? But tell me, who did
the woodwork?
MESSENGER
Birds again, aid clever carpenters too, the pelicans, for they
squared up the gates with their beaks in such a fashion that one would
have thought they were using axes; the noise was just like a dockyard.
Now the whole wall is tight everywhere, securely bolted and well
guarded; it is patrolled, bell in hand; the sentinels stand everywhere
and beacons burn on the towers. But I must run off to clean myself;
the rest is your business.
(He departs.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS (to PITHETAERUS)
Well! what do you say to it? Are you not astonished at the wall
being completed so quickly?
PITHETAERUS
By the gods, yes, and with good reason. It's really not to be
believed. But here comes another messenger from the wall to bring us
some further news! What a fighting look he has!
SECOND MESSENGER (rushing in)
Alas! alas! alas! alas! alas! alas!
PITHETAERUS
What's the matter?
SECOND MESSENGER
A horrible outrage has occurred; a god sent by Zeus has passed
through our gates and has penetrated the realms of the air without the
knowledge of the jays, who are on guard in the daytime.
PITHETAERUS
It's a terrible and criminal deed. What god was it?
SECOND MESSENGER
We don't know that. All we know is, that he has got wings.
PITHETAERUS
Why were not patrolmen sent against him at once?
SECOND MESSENGER
We have despatched thirty thousand hawks of the legion of
Mounted Archers. All the hook-clawed birds are moving against him, the
kestrel, the buzzard, the vulture, the great-horned owl; they cleave
the air so that it resounds with the flapping of their wings; they are
looking everywhere for the god, who cannot be far away; indeed, if I
mistake not, he is coming from yonder side.

 

< Previous Next>

Aristophanes Index

 

[Home] [Olympians] [Titans] [Other Gods] [Myths] [Online Books]

Contact:  
Copyright 2000-2014, GreekMythology.comTM. 

For more general info on Greek Gods, Greek Goddesses, Greek Heroes, Greek Monsters and Greek Mythology Movies visit Greece.com Mythology.

All information in this site is free for personal use. You can freely use it for term papers, research papers, college essays, school essays. Commercial use, and use in other websites is prohibited.
If you have your own Greek Mythology stories, free research papers, college term papers, college essays, book reports, coursework, homework papers and you want to publish them in this site please contact us now at:

Griyego mitolohiya, 그리스 신화, 希腊神话, griekse mythologie, mythologie grecque, griechischen Mythologie, ギリシャ神話, Греческая мифология, mitología griega, ग्रीक पौराणिक कथाओं, الأساطير اليونانية, Grekisk mytologi