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Scythian Defiance

When Darius approached Scythia, an ambassador was sent to his tent with a bird, a frog, a mouse, and five arrows, then left without uttering a word. Darius, wondering what was meant, was told by Gobrias it meant this: Either fly away like a bird, and hide your head in a hole like a mouse, or swim across the river, or in five days you will be laid prostrate by the Scythian arrows.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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