The War of Frogs and Mice

The Batrachomyomachia, or the Battle of Frogs and Mice is often attributed to Homer.

It starts with a mouse drinking water from a lake meets the Frog King, who invites him to his house. As the Frog King swims across the lake, the Mouse seated on his back, they are confronted by a frightening water snake. The Frog dives, forgetting about the Mouse, who drowns. This misunderstanding leads the mice to declare war on the frogs.

Although, it is a humorous story about an epic battle between frogs and mice the battles are described in gruesome detail, devoting lengthy portions to describing the grisly deaths of various mice and frogs at the hands of their opponents.

Some of the carnage reads as such:

“First, Croakmaster struck Man-licker with a spear
through his stomach mid-liver as he stood among the forefighters.
And he fell down and dirtied his delicate hair.
He thundered as he fell, and his arms clattered about him.
Hole-dweller next hurled at Muddy’s son
And fixed his stout spear in his chest. So black death took him
as he fell and his soul flew from his body.
Dish-pirate killed Beat-eater when he struck him in the heart
And after Bread-muncher struck Sir Croaks-a-lot in the stomach”

The Gods, who were content to watch the fight without involving themselves soon realize the Mice are to win. This is when Zeus decides to intervene. He sends an army of crabs to fight on behalf of the frogs, and the mice, unable to overcome these new armored opponents, retreat.

The one day war ends with the sunset.

Here is the poem translated in English
The Battle of Frogs and Mice

Here are some depictions of the battles:

This sculpture is by Bjørn Okholm Skaarup

These two were by Henry Barnabus Bright


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