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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Love of Animals for Man
By Athenæus of Naucratis (Second Century?)
 
From the ‘Deipnosophistæ’: Translation of Charles Duke Yonge

AND even dumb animals have fallen in love with men; for there was a cock who took a fancy to a man of the name of Secundus, a cupbearer of the king; and the cock was nicknamed “the Centaur.” This Secundus was a slave of Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia; as Nicander informs us in the sixth book of his essay on ‘The Revolutions of Fortune.’ And at Ægium, a goose took a fancy to a boy; as Clearchus relates in the first book of his ‘Amatory Anecdotes.’ And Theophrastus, in his essay ‘On Love,’ says that the name of this boy was Amphilochus, and that he was a native of Olenus. And Hermeas the son of Hermodorus, who was a Samian by birth, says that a goose also took a fancy to Lacydes the philosopher. And in Leucadia (according to a story told by Clearchus), a peacock fell so in love with a maiden there that when she died, the bird died too. There is a story also that at Iasus a dolphin took a fancy to a boy, and this story is told by Duris, in the ninth book of his ‘History’; and the subject of that book is the history of Alexander, and the historian’s words are these:—  1
  “He likewise sent for the boy from Iasus. For near Iasus there was a boy whose name was Dionysius, and he once, when leaving the palæstra with the rest of the boys, went down to the sea and bathed; and a dolphin came forward out of the deep water to meet him, and taking him on his back, swam away with him a considerable distance into the open sea, and then brought him back again to land.”  2
  The dolphin is in fact an animal which is very fond of men, and very intelligent, and one very susceptible of gratitude. Accordingly, Phylarchus, in his twelfth book, says:—  3
  “Coiranus the Milesian, when he saw some fishermen who had caught a dolphin in a net, and who were about to cut it up, gave them some money and bought the fish, and took it down and put it back in the sea again. And after this it happened to him to be shipwrecked near Myconos, and while every one else perished, Coiranus alone was saved by a dolphin. And when at last he died of old age in his native country, as it so happened that his funeral procession passed along the seashore close to Miletus, a great shoal of dolphins appeared on that day in the harbor, keeping only a very little distance from those who were attending the funeral of Coiranus, as if they also were joining in the procession and sharing in their grief.”  4
  The same Phylarchus also relates, in the twentieth book of his ‘History,’ the great affection which was once displayed by an elephant for a boy. And his words are these:—  5
  “Now there was a female elephant kept with this elephant, and the name of the female elephant was Nicæa; and to her the wife of the king of India, when dying, intrusted her child, which was just a month old. And when the woman did die, the affection for the child displayed by the beast was most extraordinary; for it could not endure the child to be away; and whenever it did not see him, it was out of spirits. And so, whenever the nurse fed the infant with milk, she placed it in its cradle between the feet of the beast; and if she had not done so, the elephant would not take any food; and after this, it would take whatever reeds and grass there were near, and, while the child was sleeping, beat away the flies with the bundle. And whenever the child wept, it would rock the cradle with its trunk, and lull it to sleep. And very often the male elephant did the same.”  6
 
 
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