Odysseus on Cyclops Island. Polyphemus.

After a long voyage, I arrived with my companions to the land of fierce cyclopes who do not know the laws. They are not engaged in agriculture, but, despite this, the land itself gives them everything in abundance. Cyclops giants live in caves, everyone knows only their family, they do not gather for public meetings. We did not immediately stick to their land. We entered the bay of a small island located near Cyclops Island. No one has ever visited this island, although it was very fertile. Wild goats abounded on this island, and since these goats had never seen a human, they were not afraid of us either. Having moored to the shore at night, we quietly fell asleep on the shore, and in the morning we started hunting goats. I got nine goats for each of my ships, and I took ten of them for the ship on which I sailed myself. The whole day we rested after hunting, having fun feasting on the shore. We could hear their voices and the bleating of their herds from the land of the cyclopes. The next morning I decided to sail on my ship to the land of the cyclopes to find out what kind of people they were. We quickly swam across a narrow strait and landed on the shore. Near the sea we saw a cave overgrown with laurel trees and fenced with a fence of huge stones. I took twelve reliable companions with me, took a skin with wine and food and entered the cave of the cyclops. As we learned later, this cyclops was terribly fierce, he lived separately from others and grazed his herds alone. He was not like all cyclopes, like other people. He was a giant, he had monstrous strength and had only one eye in his forehead. When we entered his cave, he was not at home, he was herding herds. In the cave of the cyclops there were a lot of cheeses in baskets, there was curdled milk in buckets and bowls. Fences were built in the cave for lambs and goats. My companions tried to persuade me, taking the best lambs and goats and taking cheeses, to run to the ship, but unfortunately I did not listen to them. I wanted to see the Cyclops himself. Finally, the cyclops himself came. He threw a huge bundle of firewood on the ground at the entrance to the cave. When we saw the cyclops, we huddled in fear in the darkest corner of the cave. The cyclops drove his flock into the cave, blocked the entrance to it with a rock and began milking goats and sheep. After milking them, he lit a fire to cook his own food. Then he saw us and rudely asked in a thunderous voice:

- Who are you? Where did you come from? Is it true that you are wandering around the seas without doing anything, causing misfortune to all peoples?

- We are all Greeks, - I replied to the cyclops, - we are sailing from under Troy. We were brought here by a storm. We implore you to receive us kindly as guests. After all, you know that Zeus punishes the one who offends travelers and does not provide them with hospitality.

Blinding Polyphemus
The blinding of the Polyphemus.
(Drawing on a vase.)

- It is clear that you have come here from afar, stranger! - cyclops shouted to me fiercely, - if you think I'm afraid of your gods. What do I care about Zeus! I am not afraid of the wrath of Zeus! I do not intend to spare you! I will do what I want! Tell me where your ships are!

I understood why Cyclops was asking me about my ship, and I answered him:

- The storm broke my ship on the coastal cliffs, only I and my companions escaped.

Cyclops didn't answer me anything. He quickly grabbed two of my companions with his huge hands, hit them on the ground and killed them. Then he boiled them, dissecting their bodies into pieces, and ate them. We were indescribably horrified and began to beg Zeus for salvation. The cyclops, having finished his terrible dinner, calmly stretched out on the ground and fell asleep. I wanted to kill him, I drew my sword, but when I looked at the huge rock that blocked the entrance, I realized that we could not be saved that way. Morning came. Again, the cyclops killed two of my companions. After eating them, he drove the herd out of the cave, and blocked the entrance with a rock. For a long time I came up with a means to escape, finally I came up with it. In the cave I found a huge log that looked like a mast. Cyclops probably wanted to make a club out of him. I cut off the end of the log with my sword, sharpened it, burned it on the coals and hid it. In the evening, he returned with a herd of cyclops. He killed two of my companions again and, having finished his disgusting supper, wanted to go to bed. But I went up to him and offered him a cup of wine. The cyclops drank the wine, demanded more, telling me:

- Pour me some more and tell me your name, I want to make you a gift.

I poured the cyclops a second cup, he demanded a third, and I poured a third. Handing it over, I said to the cyclops:

- Do you want to know my name? My name is Nobody.

- Well, listen, Nobody, I'll eat you last, it will be my gift to you, - the cyclops answered me with a laugh. He drank the third cup, got drunk, fell to the ground and fell asleep.

Then I gave a sign to my comrades, we grabbed the pointed end of the log, lit it on a fire and burned out the cyclops' eye with it. He roared in terrible pain, tore the smoking stake out of his eye and began to call for help from other cyclopes. They ran together and began to ask:

- What happened to you, Polyphemus? Who offended you? Have your flocks been stolen from you? Why did you wake us up?

Polyphemus answered them, roaring wildly:

- Nobody destroys me by force, but by cunning!

The cyclopes got angry and shouted to Polyphemus:

- If no one has offended you, then there is no need for you to cry like that! If you get sick, then this is the will of Zeus, and no one will change it.

With these words, the cyclopes departed.

Morning has come. With loud groans, Polyphemus pushed the rock away from the entrance and began to release the herd into the field, feeling the back of each sheep and each goat with his hands. Then, to save my comrades, I tied up three sheep each and tied one of my comrades under the middle one. I myself, clutching the thick wool of a huge ram, Polyphemus' favorite, hung under him. The sheep with my companions tied under them passed by Polyphemus. Last came the ram, under which I was hanging. Polyphemus stopped him, began to caress him and complain about his misfortune, about the fact that he had been offended by an impudent Nobody. Finally, he also missed this ram. So we were saved from certain death. Rather, we drove the herd of Polyphemus to the ship, where our comrades were waiting for us. I did not let my comrades mourn the dead. We quickly entered the ship, taking Polyphemus' sheep, and sailed away from the shore. When we sailed to such a distance that the voice of a man can be heard, I shouted loudly to the cyclops:

- Listen, cyclops! By your cruelty you have brought upon yourself the punishment of Zeus. You will no longer kill and devour the unfortunate wanderers.

The cyclops heard me, in a rage he lifted the cliff and threw it into the sea. The cliff almost crushed the bow of the ship. The sea was agitated by the fall of a cliff into it. A huge wave picked up my ship and threw it on the shore. But I pushed the ship away with the pole, and we sailed into the sea again. Having sailed away, I shouted to Polyphemus:

- Know, Polyphemus, that you were blinded by Odysseus, the king of Ithaca.

The wild cyclops howled with anger and loudly exclaimed:

- The prophecy given to me by the soothsayer has come true! I thought Odysseus was a formidable giant, and not such an insignificant worm as you!

Polyphemus began to pray to his father Poseidon to punish me for depriving him of his sight. He grabbed a cliff even bigger than the first one and threw it into the sea. A cliff fell astern of the ship. A huge wave picked up my ship and threw it far into the sea. So we were saved. Happily we reached the island where the rest of the ships were waiting for us. There we made rich sacrifices to the gods. After spending the night on the shore of this island, the next day we set off on a further journey across the boundless sea, grieving for our fallen comrades.