photography from the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Labels: dogs, myth and legend
posted by emory at 10:10 AM
And so these two men talked to each other about these things. Then a doglying there raised its head and pricked up its ears.It was Argus, brave Odysseus' hunting dog,whom he himself had brought up many years ago.But before he could enjoy being with his dog,he left for sacred Troy. In earlier days, young menwould take the dog to hunt wild goats, deer, and rabbits, but now, with his master gone, he lay neglectedin the piles of dung left there by mules and cattle,heaped up before the doors until Odysseus' servantstook it as manure for some large field. Argus lay there, covered in fleas. Then, when he saw Odysseus,who was coming closer, Argus wagged his tailand dropped his ears. But he no longer had the strengthto approach his master. Odysseus looked awayand brushed aside a tear?he did so casually to hide it from Eumaeus. Then he questioned him: "Eumaeus, it's strange this dog is lying here, in the dung. He has a handsome body. I'm not sure if his speed once matched his looks or if he's like those table dogs men have, ones their masters raise and keep for show." Then, swineherd Eumaeus, you answered him and said: "Yes, this dog belongs to a man who died somewhere far away. If he had the form and acted as he did when Odysseus left him and went to Troy, you'd quickly see his speed and strength, and then you'd be amazed. No wild animal he chased escaped him in deep thick woods, for he could track a scent. He's in a bad way now. His master's dead in some foreign land, and careless women don't look after him. For when their masters no longer exercise their power, slaves have no desire to do their proper work. Far-seeing Zeus steals half the value of a man the day he's taken and becomes a slave." This said, Eumaeus went inside the stately palace,straight into the hall to join the noble suitors.But once he'd seen Odysseus after nineteen years,the dark finality of death at once seized Argus.http://www.mala.bc.ca/~Johnstoi/homer/odyssey17.htm
That makes me cry, Bill, for so many reasons. My mother dotes on the dog my father left behind. She will not neglect him.
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