Argus

As I lie upon my pile, I lay quietly. This mountain of manure and rubbish is a very comfortable spot for an old dog like me. It smells terrible, and the flies surround me, but I feel comfort in my old age.

Argus is my name, faithful hound to my master Odysseus. I am now 20 years old; I know I do not have much time left in this pitiful world. I only hope and wish that I may see my dear master once more.

My master Odysseus raised me as a pup; fed me, trained me, and cared for me. Master Odysseus left one day, and has not returned. Through the years, I have been a great hunting hound, but now I only lay on my pile, treated like the rubbish of which I lie.

I heard a familiar voice coming toward the palace. I know there are 2 of them, but the one is very kind and accustomed. I cannot quite remember who this particular voice belongs top, but it sounds so wonderful, that before I know it, my old arthritic tail begins to thump.

A tear ran down the face of the man with the familiar voice, and my master Odysseus spoke:

"I marvel that they leave this hound to lie here on the dung pile; he would have been a fine dog, from the look of him, though I can't say as to his power and speed when he was young. You find the same good build in house dogs, table dogs landowners keep all for style."

My master Odysseus was quiet now, and I knew he was grieving for me and himself.

The next man, for whom I recognize as Eumaeus, now spoke these words of my past.

"A hunter owned him-but the man is now dead in some far place. If this old hound could show the form he had when Lord Odysseus left him, going to Troy, you would see him swift and strong. He never shrank from any savage beast he had brought to bay in the woods; on the scent no other dog kept up with him. Now misery has him in leash. His owner died abroad, and here the women slaves will take no care of him. You know how servants are: without a master, they have no will to labor, or excel. For Zeus who views the wide world takes away half the manhood of a man, that day he goes into captivity and slavery."

Now I am at peace, seeing my master Odysseus alive and well has concluded my suffering, and quietly ended my life. My eyes close, and a permanent darkness begins to set in.