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.

“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

Vocabulary Help

  • bargain – barganha, acordo
  • die – morrer
  • horse – cavalo
  • laugh – rir
  • make (make, made, made) – fazer
  • sing (sing, sang, sung) – cantar
  • take away – levado
  • teach (teach, taught, taught) – ensinar
  • tell (tell, told, told) – contar
  • thief – ladrao