Conversations in High Society

THE NEW SLEEPING PARTNER

Scene: The grounds of the royal palace in heaven. Ganymede, a good-looking boy scantily dressed in a sheep-skin, stands registering bewilderment. Behind him, with his hands on the boy's shoulders, is a tall bearded man, Zeus. Hermes, a handsome youth with wings on his sandals and hat, is waiting in the background.

ZEUS: All right, Ganymede, now that I've got you here, you can give me a kiss - just to make sure that the hooked beak and sharp claws and wings have really gone.

GANYMEDE [turning round and staring]: Why, you're a human being! But weren't you an eagle a moment ago? Didn't you come swooping down and whisk me away from my sheep? Then what's happened to all your feathers? Are you moulting, or what? You look completely different all of a sudden.

ZEUS: No, my boy, I'm not really an eagle. Nor am I a human being. [Grandly.] You see before you the king of all the gods. [Reverting to an ordinary tone.] That eagle business was just a temporary disguise.

GANYMEDE: Do you mean to say you're the great god Pan? Then why haven't you got a Pan-pipe and horns? And why aren't your legs more hairy?

ZEUS [contemptuously]: Is that fellow really your idea of a god?

GANYMEDE: Of course he is - or we shouldn't sacrifice a perfectly good billy-goat to him, in that cave where his image is. But I know what you are you're a kidnapper!

ZEUS: Come now, haven't you ever heard of Zeus? Haven't you ever seen his altar on Mount Gargarus? The god that sends the rain, and the thunder, and the lightning?

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