(The Old Man of the Sea is narrating the life story of Aithon, who is on his deathbed)

To hear my Lord Aithon tell it, no one could compel Eleni to anything. The girl was as high-spirited as an unbroken colt. Young and sure of herself and bursting with the pure joy of being alive. Gamboling about like a month-old lamb among the clover. According to Aithon, at Eleni’s touch, rose petals would unfurl and autumn leaves blush green again; and as she passed, vines would stretch themselves and grow apace just to be near her. If she were to fetch water in the midst of a hurricane, Zeus himself would bow his head in shame and hide his thunderbolts behind his back. Aithon and she met on an outing to the island of Tragia, not far off the coast, and he was lost in the instant.