The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 7: The Mice Arm and Frogs Respond

(For Part 6, go here)

When the Mice arm themselves for War
No Frog will fear their martial roar.
They make their battle plans,
And arm themselves to a ‘man’
To station their treacherous ambush on the shore.

“In saying this he persuaded everyone to arm themselves
And Ares who loves war armed them.
First they fit their greaves to their two legs
After breaking some pale beans and fitting them well,
beans they nibbled clean by working on them all night.
They had chest pieces made of reed-bound hides
which they made skillfully after flaying a weasel.
Their shield was the middle-section of a lamp. And their spear
Was a well-measured needle, a completely bronze work of Ares.
The helmet on their temples was the husk of chick pea.
Continue reading “The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 7: The Mice Arm and Frogs Respond”

The Battle of Frogs and Mice Part, 6: A Murine Assembly Calls for War

In our last installment….
A mouse joined a frog upon a pond
But soon a snake appeared and then
Both frog and mouse were good as gone….


“As he said this he gasped in the water. And Plate-licker
Saw him as he at upon the luxuriant banks.
Then he wailed terribly, ran and informed the mice.
A dread wrath fell upon them as they learned his fate,
And they ordered their heralds to summon their kin
To the assembly at the home of Breadmuncher at dawn.
He was the pitiful father of Crumbthief who floated on the pond
high up in a corpse’s form, no longer still alive
on the banks but raised up in the middle of the sea.
And so they came hurrying at dawn and among them first
Breadmuncher rose enraged over his son to make this speech:


“Friends, even if I alone of the mice suffered these many evils
it would be still be a vile crime against us all.
I am wretched because I have lost three children:
A most hateful weasel snatched up the first and killed him
as she dragged him from his hole.
Harsh men dragged the second to his doom
once they designed a wooded trick with their newfangled arts
That thing they call the trap, the destroyer of mice.
[A mouse-eating great beast made my first son into dinner
As he chanced upon him spinning on his fat heel]
The third was beloved to me and his prized mother,
Bellowmouth drowned him once he dragged him to the deep.
Come, let us arm ourselves and go out to face them
Once we’ve arrayed our bodies in our well-worked arms.”



῝Ως εἰπὼν ἀπέπνευσεν ἐν ὕδασι· τὸν δὲ κατεῖδεν
Λειχοπίναξ ὄχθῃσιν ἐφεζόμενος μαλακῇσιν·
δεινὸν δ’ ἐξολόλυξε, δραμὼν δ’ ἤγγειλε μύεσσιν.
ὡς δ’ ἔμαθον τὴν μοῖραν ἔδυ χόλος αἰνὸς ἅπαντας.
καὶ τότε κηρύκεσσιν ἑοῖς ἐκέλευσαν ὑπ’ ὄρθρον
κηρύσσειν ἀγορήνδ’ ἐς δώματα Τρωξάρταο,
πατρὸς δυστήνου Ψιχάρπαγος, ὃς κατὰ λίμνην
ὕπτιος ἐξήπλωτο νεκρὸν δέμας, οὐδὲ παρ’ ὄχθαις
ἦν ἤδη τλήμων, μέσσῳ δ’ ἐπενήχετο πόντῳ.
ὡς δ’ ἦλθον σπεύδοντες ἅμ’ ἠοῖ, πρῶτος ἀνέστη
Τρωξάρτης ἐπὶ παιδὶ χολούμενος, εἶπέ τε μῦθον·
῏Ω φίλοι εἰ καὶ μοῦνος ἐγὼ κακὰ πολλὰ πέπονθα
ἐκ βατράχων, ἡ πεῖρα κακὴ πάντεσσι τέτυκται.
εἰμὶ δ’ ἐγὼ δύστηνος ἐπεὶ τρεῖς παῖδας ὄλεσσα.
καὶ τὸν μὲν πρῶτόν γε κατέκτανεν ἁρπάξασα
ἔχθιστος γαλέη, τρώγλης ἔκτοσθεν ἑλοῦσα.
τὸν δ’ ἄλλον πάλιν ἄνδρες ἀπηνέες ἐς μόρον εἷλξαν
καινοτέραις τέχναις ξύλινον δόλον ἐξευρόντες,
ἤν παγίδα κλείουσι, μυῶν ὀλέτειραν ἐοῦσαν
ὃ τρίτος ἦν ἀγαπητὸς ἐμοὶ καὶ μητέρι κεδνῇ,
τοῦτον ἀπέπνιξεν Φυσίγναθος ἐς βυθὸν ἄξας.
ἀλλ’ ἄγεθ’ ὁπλίζεσθε καὶ ἐξέλθωμεν ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς
σώματα κοσμήσαντες ἐν ἔντεσι δαιδαλέοισιν.

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?