The sweet trill of the aulos carried on the breeze. Accompanied by the melodic chorus of song birds, it was a pleasurable mixture to sooth the ears. In the late evening hours, the satyr Marsyas danced around a campfire as he played the wind instrument. Bare-chested as a man, with his legs of fur and hoofed feet, he was a magnificent sight to see. His horned head bowed and lifted to the tune of his flute, along with the graceful twirl of his body in heightened moments of the song. It was a dramatic dance that told a story of bravery, the music as its emphasis, if one knew how to free their imagination.
Steaming in a cast iron pot upon the fire, the aroma of stew gave a friendly mood to his campsite. Marsyas was not a wild satyr like others of his kind; he was a wise scholar, the son of Oeagrus, and a renowned auger, capable of interpreting the flight patterns of birds or cloud formations as omens. Depending upon the reading, the auspices from the gods could be favorable or unfavorable towards the decision in question. Great kings would travel hundreds of miles to seek the prophecies of Marsyas.
But tonight, he danced alone beneath the first visible twinkling of stars. He danced for himself in honor of Dionysus. Occasionally, he would stop playing momentarily to have a taste of wine from a wineskin bag that was strung low across his body. The bladder was that of a goat’s, scraped clean and turned inside out, fitted with a nozzle of which to drink from. As the evening grew long with shadow into the night, Marsyas was feeling the intoxicating effects. So engrossed in his solitary performance, his dancing became more dramatic and primeval, more like a wild creature than a half-human satyr.