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[11]

So Cyrus received it and took it away and proceeded to distribute it among the boys, saying as he did so: “What tomfoolery it was, fellows, when we used to hunt the animals in the park. To me at least, it seems just like hunting animals that were tied up. For, in the first place, they were in a small space; besides, they were lean and mangy; and one of them was lame and another maimed. But the animals out on the mountains and the plains—how fine they looked, and large and sleek! And the deer leaped up skyward as if on wings, and the boars came charging at once, as they say brave men do in battle. And by reason of their bulk it was quite impossible to miss them. And to me at least,” said he, “these seem really more beautiful, when dead, than those pent up creatures, when alive. But say,” said he, “would not your fathers let you go out hunting, too?”

“Aye, and readily,” they said, “if Astyages should give the word.”

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