The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 11: Zeus Gives the Frogs Crabs to Counter the Mouse Menace

In the last installment, the mice were about to accomplish their dream of frog extinction. Zeus, however, has different ideas

So he spoke and the son of Kronos threw down shining lightning
as thundered first and shook great Olympos.
He frightened all the frogs and mice with his bolt.
The army of the mice did not let up, but still
hoped to eradicate the race of spear-bearing frogs.
Just then Kronos’ son took pity on the frogs from Olympos
and sent helpers straight away to the frogs.

Immediately, the armor-backed, crooked-clawed
Bow-waling, twisted, shear-mouthed, pottery-skinned
Bone-built, broad-backed, with shining shoulders
Crooked-legged, lip-stretching with eyes set in their chest,
Eight-footed, two-headed, spastic creatures who are called
Crabs, who easily cut off the ears from the mice’s faces
along with their feet and hands went forth. The spears sprang back from
the cowardly mice who were frightened and waited no longer
but turned to flight. The sun went down
And the end of this war was accomplished in a day.

284 ῝Ως ἄρ’ ἔφη• Κρονίδης δὲ βαλὼν ἀργῆτα κεραυνὸν
285 πρῶτα μὲν ἐβρόντησε, μέγαν δ’ ἐλέλιξεν ῎Ολυμπον.
286 πάντας μέν ῥ’ ἐφόβησε βαλὼν βατράχους τε μύας τε•
287 ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ὣς ἀπέληγε μυῶν στρατός, ἀλλ’ ἔτι μᾶλλον
288 ἔλπετο πορθήσειν βατράχων γένος αἰχμητάων,
289 εἰ μὴ ἀπ’ Οὐλύμπου βατράχους ἐλέησε Κρονίων,
290 ὅς ῥα τότ’ ἐν βατράχοισιν ἀρωγοὺς εὐθὺς ἔπεμψεν.
291 ῏Ηλθον δ’ ἐξαίφνης νωτάκμονες, ἀγκυλοχεῖλαι,
292 λοξοβάται, στρεβλοί, ψαλιδόστομοι, ὀστρακόδερμοι,
293 ὀστοφυεῖς, πλατύνωτοι, ἀποστίλβοντες ἐν ὤμοις,
294 βλαισοί, χειλοτένοντες, ἀπὸ στέρνων ἐσορῶντες,
295 ὀκτάποδες, δικάρηνοι, ἀχειρέες, οἱ δὲ καλεῦνται
296 καρκίνοι, οἵ ῥα μυῶν οὐρὰς στομάτεσσιν ἔκοπτον
297 ἠδὲ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας• ἀνεγνάμπτοντο δὲ λόγχαι.
298 τοὺς δὴ ὑπέδεισαν δειλοὶ μύες οὐδ’ ἔτ’ ἔμειναν,
299 ἐς δὲ φυγὴν ἐτράποντο• ἐδύετο δ’ ἥλιος ἤδη,
300 καὶ πολέμου τελετὴ μονοήμερος ἐξετελέσθη.

And so the battle of frogs and mice has ended?
Don’t fear
for in the New Year
we’ll be posting a commentary to keep you contented.

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