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The Birds   


PITHETAERUS
Here! look!
EUELPIDES
What's the matter?
PITHETAERUS
Why, the crow has been directing me to something up there for some
time now.
EUELPIDES
And the jay is also opening it beak and craning its neck to show
me I know not what. Clearly, there are some birds about here. We shall
soon know, if we kick up a noise to start them.
PITHETAERUS
Do you know what to do? Knock your leg against this rock.
EUELPIDES
And you your head to double the noise.
PITHETAERUS
Well then use a stone instead; take one and hammer with it.
EUELPIDES
Good idea! (He does so.) Ho there, within! Slave! slave!
PITHETAERUS
What's that, friend! You say, "slave," to summon Epops? It would
be much better to shout, "Epops, Epops!
EUELPIDES
Well then, Epops! Must I knock again? Epops!
TROCHILUS (rushing out of a thicket)
Who's there? Who calls my master?
PITHETAERUS (in terror)
Apollo the Deliverer! what an enormous beak!
(He defecates. In the confusion both the jay and the crow fly
away.)

TROCHILUS (equally frightened)
Good god! they are bird-catchers.
EUELPIDES (reassuring himself)
But is it so terrible? Wouldn't it be better to explain things?
TROCHILUS (also reassuring himself)
You're done for.
EUELPIDES
But we are not men.
TROCHILUS
What are you, then?
EUELPIDES (defecating also)
I am the Fearling, an African bird.
TROCHILUS
You talk nonsense.
EUELPIDES
Well, then, just ask it of my feet.
TROCHILUS
And this other one, what bird is it? (To PITHETAERUS) Speak up
PITHETAERUS (weakly)
I? I am a Crapple, from the land of the pheasants.
EUELPIDES
But you yourself, in the name of the gods! what animal are you?
TROCHILUS
Why, I am a slave-bird.
EUELPIDES
Why, have you been conquered by a cock?
TROCHILUS
No, but when my master was turned into a hoopoe, he begged me to
become a bird also, to follow and to serve him.
EUELPIDES
Does a bird need a servant, then?
TROCHILUS
That's no doubt because he was once a man. At times he wants to
eat a dish of sardines from Phalerum; I seize my dish and fly to fetch

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