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The Batrachomyomachia, or the Battle of the Frogs and the Mice, is an ancient Greek parody, based on Homer's epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. A mouse, known as Crumb-snatcher, meets Puff-jaw, the frog king, on the bank of a lake. Puff-jaw invites Crumb-snatcher to visit his court on the opposite bank, and offers the mouse a ride on his back. The waves grow more turbulent, and soon a serpent attacks the mouse and frog. Puff-jaw dives to safety, but Crumb-snatcher drowns. News of Crumb-snatcher's death reaches the other mice, and (after a funeral oration by his father, Bread-nibbler) they prepare for war.

On Mount Olympus, the gods discuss whether or not to intervene. Athena refuses to support either side, as the mice nibble at her dresses and drink her lamp oil, and the croaking frogs keep her awake all night. The gods elect to watch the battle, and the frogs are soon in peril. Zeus decides to strike the mice with a lightening bolt and send a legion of crabs to fight alongside the frogs. The mice, fearing the wrath of the gods, flee and the war comes to an end.