Please trip them gently, they don’t like to fall

Dorothea, the daughter of Kleombotos,
carried the bowl of water to the main family shrine
and set it down before the figwood idol
of Dionysos Meilichios, whom her mother
had an especially fervent devotion to.
She got the incense brazier going,
made all the customary sacrifices and prayers
which it was her responsibility as eldest child to perform,
and then moved on to the next shrine,
still full of offerings from Noumenia.
Her thoughts, however, remained with Dionysos,
and specifically when she’d get to meet
the less gentle sides of him.
She was fourteen, well passed when
other girls in the thiasos had received their initiations.
She wondered what it was like on the other side,
to taste the mainadic ecstasy
and be carried away by Bakcheios,
to lose herself in the exhaustion of the dance,
and not stop, never stop dancing for him
or until the sun comes up.
Their domestic cultus,
and even the festive celebrations
her parents took her to in the Bakcheion
were considerably tamer,
and she wanted the real thing.
The kind of thing she saw on vases,
or the stage, or she had heard
from the lap of her Thracian wetnurse.
Dorothea sighed heavily,
and consoled herself with the thought
that one day her day would come.