One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed. As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king's favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed.[Click on horses to hear them]
"You will not succeed," they told him. "No one can."
To which the thief replied, "I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die.
And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.
-- "The Mote in God's Eye", Niven and Pournelle.
Wednesday, 8 October 2003
An epigram :