Sophocles, creator; Mahoney, Anne (Anne Elizabeth), translator.
- What did it look like? Long, curved, short?
- Short, like a pitcher, and covered with a colorful hide.
- Was it like a cat, or rather a leopard?
- In between, really: it’s round with short legs.
- Closer to a ferret, then, or a crab?
- No, that’s not it; try something else.
- Is it like one of the horned beetles that live on Aetna?
- Now you’re getting closer to the beast
- And which part makes the sound, the inside or the outside?
- ---first cousin to a potsherd.
- What name do you call it? Tell me, if you know any more.
- The boy calls the animal a tortoise and the instrument a lyre.
- ---property---[*](Several fragmentary lines follow, and a couple of lines are lost.)
- ---and this is his only consolation or cure for sorrow. He enjoys idly singing along; he coaxes Aeolian tunes from the lyre. Thus the boy made himself a voice from a dead animal.
- A loud voice extends over the place,
- flitting around like a bee over the flowers. As for the other matter, I am getting closer. Know this, goddess: whoever contrived this is none other than the thief. But don’t be angry or upset that I say this.
- What delusion has come over you? Who are you blaming as a thief?
- Not you, by Zeus; I don’t want to upset you, my lady.
- Surely you’re not calling the son of Zeus a thief?
- ---this very theft.