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a scene from

by Lucian of Samosata

adapted by Baudelaire Jones

[Mount Olympus--the home of the gods.]

HERA: What do you think of this man—Ixion?

ZEUS: Why? Are you contemplating an affair? I think you should do it—he’s a fine sort.

HERA: He is not! He’s a villain!

ZEUS: I’m intrigued by this little outburst. Is there something going on I should know about?

HERA: There most certainly is!

ZEUS: Well? Go on—the anticipation is killing me!

HERA: You don’t have to make fun. It’s hard enough for me to tell you as it is. The wretch!

ZEUS: Ah! If he’s a “wretch,” you must certainly tell me all about it. I know what “wretch” means on your prudish tongue. Who has he been making love to?


ZEUS: You? Really? And he seemed so sensible.

HERA: It’s been going on for a long time. At first, I noticed him staring—out of the corner of his eye, you know, but glancing away when I caught him—then he started in with the sighs and groans.

ZEUS: Maybe he was constipated.

HERA: I’ll ignore that little remark. I wasn’t sure either, at first, but whenever I hand my cup to Ganymede, he insists on having it next and slobbers all over it, kissing more than drinking, and lifting his eyes to me again, and that’s when I knew. I would have told you then and there, but I thought his mad fit might pass. It did not, however, and today he has crossed the line—he actually dared to speak to me!

ZEUS: Speak to you?

HERA: Yes!

ZEUS: Ah! So you haven’t actually made love yet?

HERA: I left him weeping and groveling at my feet. I stopped my ears so as not to hear his impertinences, and came directly to you. It is for you to determine his punishment.

ZEUS: Wow! I have a rival—and with my own wife! Fascinating! Here is a rascal who has tippled nectar to some purpose! Well, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We admit these mortals to our table, share the celestial nectar, parade before them all the beauties of Heaven—is it any wonder that they fall in love and form ambitious schemes? Love is all-powerful, after all, and not just for mortals—we Gods have sometimes fallen victim to his potent darts.

HERA: You’re certainly a chronic case, eternally under his sway. You’re like a little toy, Love’s pawn, he leads you about by the nose, and you assume every shape at his command. I know very well how this will end—you’re going to pardon Ixion because you’ve had relations with his wife and turnabout is fair play.

ZEUS: Ah! I’d forgotten all about her—you have a better memory for these little outings of mine than I have!

HERA: Stop reminiscing about your adventures and tell me what you plan to do about Ixion.

ZEUS: Well, it would never to do banish him—that would just cause a scandal. No, since he’s so fond of you, perhaps we should just satisfy his appetite, you know—allow him to glut himself on this strange desire.

HERA: What?! You want me to open my legs for this mortal?!

ZEUS: No, no, of course not—believe it or not, you still have a few charms left, and I’d like to keep you for myself. I was thinking we could make a cloud-phantom in your image, and after dinner, you know, as he lies awake dreaming of you and vainly striving to soothe his desire, we’ll lay this phantom-lady at his side. He’ll think you’ve come to satisfy him, and the conquest complete, he’ll move on to a more willing victim.

HERA: Never! The presumptuous devil!

ZEUS: What harm can it do if Ixion makes love to a cloud?

HERA: He will think I am the cloud and that he’s working his wicked little will on me!

ZEUS: Oh, don’t be ridiculous. The cloud is not Hera, and Hera is not the cloud. It’s just an illusion. He might as well be doing himself.

HERA: While he’s thinking of me!

ZEUS: You don’t think that’s happened already?

HERA: Oh! You men are all alike! What if he goes home afterwards and brags about how he’s made Hera scream like a little girl, and made a cuckold of Zeus in the bargain—that won’t bother you?

ZEUS: If he says anything of the kind, I’ll plant my thunderbolt so far up his … well, somewhere that won’t be very comfortable for him! And it’ll serve him right! Not for falling in love—I see no great harm in that—but for letting his tongue wag.

* * *

Download the full text of Dialogues of the Gods

Copyright © 2008 by Baudelaire Jones

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Dialogues of the Gods is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at sandmaster@aol.com



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