THE MAN, THE PIG AND THE MIRACLE
In Athens, there was a man who had taken out a loan and was now being asked
by the creditor to pay back the money. At first he asked the creditor to give
him an extension, since he said he couldn't manage to find the cash. But he
could not get the creditor to agree, so he brought the only pig that he had,
a sow, and put it up for sale as the creditor was looking on. A buyer approached
and asked if the sow was a good breeder. The man replied that she was indeed;
in fact, her litters were miraculous: for the Mysteries she gave birth only
to female piglets, while for the Panathenaea Festival she gave birth only to
males. When the buyer was dumbfounded by this story, the creditor added, 'That's
nothing! For the Festival of Dionysus, she gives birth to baby goats.'
This story shows that when it serves their purposes, people commonly do
not hesitate to swear to the most incredible fabrications.