2200. Then Odysseus seized Irus by the feet, and dragged him out of the house, and to the gate of the courtyard. He lifted him up and put him standing against the wall. Placing the staff in the beggar’s hands, he said, “Sit there, and scarce off the dogs and swine, and do not let such a one as you lord it over strangers. A worse thing might have befallen you.”
2201. Otis instantly recognized the passage the crow had
recited for him, and he could easily see how it applied to his present
situation. As for the crow, he flew up into a nearby tree and settled
down to witness the combat. Since it was actually a divine crow, he
would have seen this kind of combat many times in his long life, but he
never got tired of watching how it would unfold each time.
2202. The crow knew, for example, that Otis would not be
the one to attack the brute of a dog he was facing and that Leon would
attack first, just as Irus, in his impatience, had struck first. What
Otis did however, was quite unexpected. He sat down on the floor of the
arena and began to scratch himself as if he was bothered by some fleas.
2203. Gradually Otis turned his entire attention to the pesky fleas and seemed to be unaware of Leon glaring at him. You have seen this kind of behavior before. Have you ever observed two cats facing each other on the sidewalk in the middle of the night? Those cats are about to engage in a fight, but before the fight begins they have to size each other up.