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Perdix

by Martha Thompson
Perdix was the nephew of the famous inventor Daedalus. When he was twelve, his mother sent him to Daedalus to be his apprentice. He learned quickly, and invented the first drawing compass as well as the first saw. According to some versions, Perdix invented the saw after seeing the ridges on the backbone of a fish; others say that the boy used a snake's jaw.

Either way, Daedalus became jealous of his young apprentice, and hurled him from the Acropolis of Athens. Athena, the goddess of Athens, changed him into a bird as he fell. Perdix is the Greek word for partridge, and it is said that this bird, which barely flies and builds its nest on the ground, does so because it remembers too well the terrible fall from the Acropolis.

Apollodorus says the mother's name was Perdix, and the boy's was Talos.


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