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Pisthetaerus
Birds! the sacrifice is propitious. But I see [1120] 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 Pisthetaerus, our leader?

Pisthetaerus
Here am I.

Messenger
The wall is finished.

Pisthetaerus
That's good news.

Messenger
[1125] 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.

Pisthetaerus
That's fine!

Messenger
[1130] Its length is one hundred stadia; I measured it myself.

Pisthetaerus
A decent length, by Poseidon! And who built such a wall?

Messenger
Birds —birds only; they had neither Egyptian brickmaker, nor stonemason, nor carpenter; [1135] 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; [1140] plovers and other water fowl carried water into the air.

Pisthetaerus
And who carried the mortar?

Messenger
Herons, in hods.

Pisthetaerus
But how could they put the mortar into the hods?

Messenger
Oh! it was a truly clever invention; [1145] the geese used their feet like spades; they buried them in the pile of mortar and then emptied them into the hods.

Pisthetaerus
Ah! to what use cannot feet be put?

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FI´CTILE
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