The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 5: Dying Mouse Curses Coward Frog

(How did our animal friends make it this far? Go here…)

“Suddenly, a water snake appeared, a bitter sight to both,
who held his throat up straight out of the water.
When he saw him, Bellowmouth went under water, considering not
what sort of friend he was about to abandon to death.
He submerged in the depth of the pond, and avoided black death.
But the mouse, as he let go, fell straight down into the water,
clenched his hands, and squeaked as he was dying.
Several times he went down below the water, and several times
He kicked and came back up. But it was not possible to ward off fate.
His wet hair took on more weight,
And dying in the water, he shouted out these words:

“You won’t get away with doing these deceitful things,
Tossing your passenger from your body as if off a cliff.
You rotten bastard, you were no better than me upon land
At fighting or wrestling or running, so you brought me to the water
And hurled me into it! God has an eye for vengeance.
And you will not avoid paying a penalty and
Righteous payback to the host of mice who honor me!”

This is definitely not what happened. Treacherous Frogs!
This is definitely not what happened. Treacherous Frogs!

82 ῞Υδρος δ’ ἐξαίφνης ἀνεφαίνετο, πικρὸν ὅραμα
83 ἀμφοτέροις• ὀρθὸν δ’ ὑπὲρ ὕδατος εἶχε τράχηλον.
84 τοῦτον ἰδὼν κατέδυ Φυσίγναθος, οὔ τι νοήσας
85 οἷον ἑταῖρον ἔμελλεν ἀπολλύμενον καταλείπειν.
86 δῦ δὲ βάθος λίμνης καὶ ἀλεύατο κῆρα μέλαιναν.
87 κεῖνος δ’ ὡς ἀφέθη, πέσεν ὕπτιος εὐθὺς ἐφ’ ὕδωρ,
88 καὶ χεῖρας ἔσφιγγε καὶ ὀλλύμενος κατέτριζε.
89 πολλάκι μὲν κατέδυνεν ὑφ’ ὕδατι, πολλάκι δ’ αὖτε
90 λακτίζων ἀνέδυνε• μόρον δ’ οὐκ ἦν ὑπαλύξαι.
91 δευόμεναι δὲ τρίχες πλεῖον βάρος εἷλκον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ•
92 ὕδασι δ’ ὀλλύμενος τοίους ἐφθέγξατο μύθους•
93 Οὐ λήσεις δολίως Φυσίγναθε ταῦτα ποιήσας,
94 ναυηγὸν ῥίψας ἀπὸ σώματος ὡς ἀπὸ πέτρης.
95 οὐκ ἄν μου κατὰ γαῖαν ἀμείνων ἦσθα κάκιστε
96 παγκρατίῳ τε πάλῃ τε καὶ εἰς δρόμον• ἀλλὰ πλανήσας
97 εἰς ὕδωρ μ’ ἔρριψας. ἔχει θεὸς ἔκδικον ὄμμα
97a ποινήν τ ἀντέκτισίν τ᾿ ὀρθήν ὅς κ᾿ ἀποδώσει,
98b τοῖς τίσουσί σε μυῶν στρατὸς οὐδὲ ὐπαλύξεις
98 ποινήν αὖ τείσεις σὺ μυῶν στράτῷ οὐδὲ ὐπαλύξεις

[There are some variants in the MSS at the end. We’re keeping them all. For fun.]

What will happen next?

2 thoughts on “The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 5: Dying Mouse Curses Coward Frog

Leave a Reply