Ancient Greek Mythology
A Homeric Hymn to Dionysus
7th century BC, Ancient Greece.
A bear appeared from nowhere, standing upon its hind legs in the stern of the ship.
Some pirates spotted a noble figure on a headland and imagining him to be a youth with some wealthy friends and relatives, captured him with a view to ransom. But it was the god Dionysus whom they tried to bind up on their deck, and when the bonds fell away untied, the helmsman guessed the fearful truth and tried to dissuade his shipmates:
But the god changed into a dreadful lion there on the ship, in the bows, and roared loudly... and a bear appeared from nowhere, standing upon its hind legs in the stern. The pirates crowded about the helmsman but the lion attacked, seizing the captain. Everyone else except the helmsman jumped into the sea,
escaping from a miserable fate, and were changed into dolphins.