But near at hand is a more pleasing contest. Youths of
the ephebus age are practicing leaping. They have no springboard, no
leaping pole, but only a pair of curved metal dumb-bells to aid them.
One after another their lithe brown bodies, shining with the fresh olive
oil, come forward on a lightning run up the little mound of earth, then
fly gracefully out across the soft sands. There is much shouting and
good-natured rivalry. As each lad leaps, an eager attendant marks his
distance with a line drawn by the pickaxe. The lines gradually extend
ever farther from the mound. The rivalry is keen. Finally, there is one
leap that far exceeds the rest.
A merry crowd swarms around the blushing victor. A grave middle-aged man
takes the ivy crown from his head, and puts it upon the happy youth.
"Your father will take joy in you," he says as the knot breaks up.