like babies, to be allowed to go out to graze on the rich, lush meadows. Odysseus and his men, clever schemers, were clutching the wool underneath the giant sheep’s bellies, hoping to ride out past the Cyclops. Polyphemos lifted the rocky cliff from the cave’s entrance and told his sheep, lovingly running his hands over their backs, “You feel sorry for me, don’t you? You are walking slowly today because you are sad that your master is now blind.”
When the sheep reached the gentle meadows, Odysseus and his men let go their hold of the wool and tumbled to the grass. Then they herded several of the sheep and ran down the hillside towards the safe cove where their ships lay.
Polyphemos by now had realized the men had escaped, and he was in a rage, calling out at them, “Come back! Let me give you the gift you deserve!”
Odysseus could not resist taunting the rude Cyclops, and he called out to him, “You wicked, beastly monster. Know that it was Odysseus who blinded you!”
Polyphemos felt his dark way along and climbed a mountain and broke off the top of it. While Odysseus and his men sailed away, Polyphemos heaved that mountaintop in the direction of Odysseus’ voice. The rocky peak barely missed Odysseus’ ship’s stern, and in the tall wave the splashing mountaintop created, the ships bounded forward on the sea, away from the island of the one-eyed Cyclopes.
They then sailed to Aiolia, where lived Aiolos, the keeper of all the winds. Aiolos was fond of Odysseus and wanted him to reach his home on rocky Ithaca. He gave the captain a bag of winds; the only wind Aiolos left out, which he sent after them to sweep them along home, was the west wind. On and on the ships sailed. But, just within sight of their homeland Ithaca,