Sic deprecantis suamque canitiem distrahentis totos quidem miseruit . Sed unus prae ceteris et animo fortior et aetate iuvenior et corpore validior , quique solus praeter alios incolumis proelium superius evaserat , exsurgit alacer et percontatus quonam loci puer ille decidisset monstrantem digito non longe frutices horridos senem illum inpigre comitatur . Ac dum pabulo nostro suaque cura refecti sarcinulis quisque sumptis suis viam capessunt , clamore primum nominatim cientes illum iuvenem frequenter inclamant , mox mora diutina commoti mittunt e suis arcessitorem unum , qui requisitum comitem tempestivae viae commonefactum reduceret . At ille modicum commoratum refert sese : buxanti pallore trepidus mira super conservo suo renuntiat : conspicatum se quippe supinato illi et iam ex maxima parte consumpto immanem draconem mandentem insistere nec ullum usquam miserrimum senem comparere illum . Qua re cognita et cum pastoris sermone conlata , qui saevum prorsus hunc illum nec alium locorum inquilinum praeminabatur , pestilenti deserta regione velociori se fuga proripiunt nosque pellunt crebris tundentes fustibus .
We were all filled with pity as he begged us to help and tore at his grey hair . One of the younger men , stouter of heart , and stronger of limb than the others , the only one of us uninjured in the recent battle , leapt up readily and asked where the boy was . The old man pointed with his finger to a clump of bushes , and the youth set off in his company . When we animals had grazed , and the humans had tended their wounds and were refreshed , we all rose with our loads and started down the road . At first they shouted and called the young man’s name repeatedly , then anxious at his delay they sent someone off to find their missing comrade , tell him we were off , and bring him back . Soon the messenger returned , trembling and pale as boxwood , with a strange tale to tell of his friend . He had seen his body he said , lying on its back , almost totally eaten by a vast serpent . The snake was coiled above him as it consumed him , but the poor old man was nowhere to be seen . Hearing this , and matching it to the goat-herd’s earlier remarks , who must have been warning them of none another than this same denizen of the place , they fled from that pestilential region , travelling more swiftly than before , driving us along rapidly with repeated blows of their sticks .
As he uttered this plea and tore his white hair , everybody pitied
him . Then one of them , braver and younger and stronger than the rest , the only one who had come off unscathed from the recent battle , jumped up eagerly and asked where exactly the boy had fallen in . The old man pointed out a thicket not far away , and the volunteer went off briskly with him . After a while , when we animals had grazed and the men had seen to themselves and felt restored , they all began to pack up and get ready to move off . First of all they called the volunteer by name , with loud and repeated shouts ; then alarmed by the prolonged delay they sent a messenger to find him and warn him that it was time to leave , and bring him back . Almost immediately the messenger reappeared , deathly pale and terrified , with dreadful news of his fellow servant . He had found him lying half-eaten , with a monstrous serpent crouched over him and devouring him , and of the poor old man not a sign anywhere . Hearing this and recollecting what the old shepherd had said , they realized that this indeed was the fierce denizen of the region that he had been threatening them with , and at once quitted the pestilential place and fled precipitately , urging us animals on with continual beating .