Posts Tagged "Hera"

Old McDonald, Io, Prometheus, and the Gadfly

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was a god named Zeus. As you may recall, fidelity was not high on Zeus’ priority list and he was often out in the world cheating on Hera. As you may further recall, Hera did not appreciate or approve of these adventures.

This upon a time, Zeus happened to have become infatuated with Io (pronounced Eee-oh, not E-I-E-I-O). Io was wise and kind and beautiful even if her parents were so poor they couldn’t afford consonants. Throwing on a quick disguise, Zeus began hanging out with Io. And by “hanging out” I mean something else entirely.

Hera, like most gods and goddesses was big on revenge. But she wasn’t stupid and she realized she couldn’t really get back at Zeus except by putting her cold feet in the middle of his back on winter nights. So she went after the floozies. And by “floozy” I mean girls who had no idea that the dude paying attention to them was married much less head chief number one god.

Hera headed down to punish Io. Zeus wasn’t the greatest guy in the world, but he really liked Io and so to save her, Zeus turned Io into a white cow. Yes, there probably would have been better solutions. No one is claiming Zeus is a genius. Also, the whole cow bit didn’t fool Hera for a minute.

Hera said she wanted the cow and Zeus couldn’t really keep the cow without admitting why so after a short argument, Hera took the cow. (Saw that coming, didn’t you?)

Zeus didn’t like the situation at all, but he was afraid of Hera and didn’t say anything. Io didn’t like the situation at all, but all she could say was “moo.” It amounted to the same thing.

Hera had a watchman named Argus who had a hundred eyes. It would have been tough to fit him with glasses but he had great eyesight so it didn’t matter. Argus never closed all his eyes—only half of his eyes fell asleep at any one time, so Io couldn’t escapes and Zeus couldn’t rescue her. (Don’t ask why he didn’t smite Argus because I don’t know.)

Eventually, Zeus bellowed for Hermes (who, as we all know is the messenger of the gods, the god of business men and thieves, and the symbol of the Columbia School of Business). Zeus sent Hermes down to Do Something as he so eloquently put it.

Hermes played his flute and put Argus to sleep. Then Hermes cut off Argus’ head (which was messy but effective) and took Io the Cow into town.

Hera was mightily upset (and you should probably take a moment to imagine what a mightily upset queen of the gods might be capable of). First she took all of Argus’ eyes and put them in the tail of a peacock (now you know where those eyes came from). Then she got mad.

Hera found a gadfly. A big gadfly. A huge gadfly. A gadfly as big as a bat. And she sent the giant gadfly to pester (and by “pester” I mean drive just short of insane) Io. The gadfly buzzed, stung, nipped, and otherwise tormented Io.

The gadfly’s name was Bob. But no one ever remembers that part of the story.

Have you ever been chosen by a mosquito to be the Meal of the Day? That was nothing compared to what Io endured.

Io ran. She became the long distance runner of cows, but no matter how far she ran the gadfly kept up.

Eventually Io came to a place in the mountains where she found Prometheus (Prometheus was just hanging out having his liver eaten daily because Zeus was annoyed that he had given fire to man).

Io felt sorry for Prometheus and Prometheus felt sorry for Io. Big pity party. Prometheus told her (being one of the Titans he could remember into the future) to go south and then west and that she’d get her original body back and eventually be the mother of a race of heroes, one of whom would free him.

Io said, “Moo” but she meant it nicely.

On she trotted. And eventually she got to the Nile where she collapsed in a heap of Tired Cow (she’d been running for more than a year, so you can see why she might need a small snooze).

Right about that time, Hera decided to take a beauty nap. As soon as she began to snore little godess-like snores, Zeus went down to Egypt. He didn’t bother talking to Pharaoh, but he let Io go out of her cow body and back into her sweet girl body. Then he zoomed off, getting home before Hera woke up. You’d think the king of the gods might not worry about getting in trouble, but you’d be wrong.

Sooner or later, the king of Egypt married Io and she lived happily ever after. Many, many generations later (there are too many “greats” involved for me to want to draw a family tree), a hero was born who freed Prometheus. Extra points if you know who that particular hero was.

Love, Mom

The Prometheus-freeing hero in question was Hercules.

Read More

Echo and Narcissus Interpreted and Explained

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was a god named Zeus. The only thing Zeus liked better than hurling the occasional thunderbolt was cheating on his wife (Hera). Hera did not generally (and by “generally” I mean “ever”) take these extramarital bouts with grace and dignity.

In this case upon a time, there was a lovely young mountain nymph named Echo. Echo was a sweet young thing and by “sweet young thing” I mean Echo loved to talk—and to hear herself talk. (You are too young to remember the doll called Chatty Cathy, but it may be a toned-down version of Echo.) There was nothing Echo felt compelled to keep quiet about. Echo was often amusing and entertaining and on the day of this part of the story she was amusing and entertaining Hera.

Zeus loved having Hera amused and entertained and therefore not paying attention to his every move. So he put those moves on the other mountain nymphs. No one said Zeus was brilliant—just randy.

Hera jumped directly to the (incorrect) conclusion that Echo was amusing and entertaining her (Hera) so Zeus could get away with his shenanigans. Which shows the dangers of circumstantial evidence. It also shows the danger of hanging out in the vicinity of the gods, because Hera punished Echo even though her only crime was being in love with her own voice (and therefore being something of a twit).

As punishment, Hera took away Echo’s voice and gave her (Echo) only the ability to repeat words someone else said. This did not improve Echo’s twitness.

Meanwhile, there was a boy (the son of a nymph and a river god) named Narcissus. Narcissus was a good looking dude. From the time he was a wee tot, he made the annual Top Ten Good Looking Dudes list and from the time he was 10 he owned the number one slot. People fell all over themselves falling madly in love with Narcissus, but Narcissus was the most vain individual on the planet (measured by the Bloomberg Vanity Score) and showed no interest in women, men, or goats.

Echo, in her voiceless nymph body, also fell madly in love with Narcissus. Like a love-sick puppy, she followed him around, saying (of course) nothing.

Narcissus; Echo and Narcissus; DearKidLoveMom.comOne day during all this following aroundness, Narcissus thought he heard someone. “Yo! Who’s there?” asked Narcissus. “Yo! Who’s there?” repeated Echo (since all she could do was repeat his words). Narcissus was unimpressed by this dialog. “I said ‘Who’s there’” challenged Narcissus. “I said ‘Who’s there?’” Echo echoed. After this had gone on for a while, Echo leaped out from behind the tree where she’d been hiding and threw her arms around Narcissus.

Much to her amazement, Narcissus did not thereupon declare his undying love for her. Rather, he declared his undying assessment that she belonged in a looney bin. Devastated, Echo wandered off, wasting away until only her voice was left.

Narcissus continued to shun all who adored him. At some point (the timing is sketchy) someone (the gender is sketchy) fell in love with Narcissus and, being scorned, called on Artemis (goddess of the hunt, the moon, and falling in love) to do something about Narcissus and his vanity. Artemis was big on revenge and decided to punish Narcissus.

It’s amazing what deities could get away with in those days.

It so happened then that Narcissus found a pond and wished to take a drink. It was a beautiful pond full of beautiful, clear water that reflected like a mirror. When Narcissus leaned over to take a drink, he saw the most gorgeous creature he’d ever laid eyes on.

Yep, he’d fallen head over heels with his own reflection. And because of Artemis’ intervention, there was no escape.

Narcissus sat at the edge of the pool gazing at the reflection of his beautiful self until either he faded away or killed himself out of desperation (the details in the autopsy report are sketchy). What is clear is that where he died a flower grew. Its blossom leaned out over the water to watch itself. And the nymphs called it narcissus.

Lessons for the day: Do not piss off the gods. Be humble in thy mirror.

Love, Mom

Read More

Herculean Birthdays

Dear Kid,

Today is Hercules’ birthday!

Do you know how I know? Because My Friend the Internet told me so. MFI may or may not be right, but that’s beside the point. Hercules isn’t around to offer cake, but neither is he around to debate his actual natal day, so I say let’s go for it.

Happy Birthday, Hercules!

And so, to a bit about Hercules.

Hercules DearKidLoveMom.comHercules was a man and a god which made it difficult to decide which department to shop in when buying clothes. His lineage was a bit complicated, but basically he’s his own uncle and his own grandfather. It’s possible he’s also his own niece but there is very little evidence to back that up.

Hercules (or Heracles if you prefer) was quite a ladies man, and he clearly had not read any of the latest college campus materials because he left a lot of baby Herculeses running around. And by “a lot” I mean no one can count that high.

Hercules was by no means dumb, but he did one extraordinarily stoooopid thing in his life—he got Hera mad.

Now, when Greek or Roman gods got mad, they tended to throw a lightning bolt or smote the offender. Quick, easy, done.

Goddess tended to go for the long, drawn out, endless torture. (You may recall that Athena held a grudge or two.) In this case, Hera decided to punish Hercules by sending him to work for King Eurystheys. It was a bit (and by “a bit” I mean waaaaay) more complicated than that, but in the end that’s what it amounted to.

So Hercules went off to do whatever Eurystheys wanted.

What Eurystheys wanted was to make Hercules work (and suffer).

Enter Treachery (stage right), Suffering (stage left), and a bunch of crazy creatures (from all directions).

Eurystheys came up with a bunch of chores for Hercules. These weren’t ordinary please-take-out-the-garbage chores. They were Herculean (as it were).

There are conflicts about which task was first (MFI wasn’t around then to document things precisely), but basically Hercules went around slaying and capturing big, bad, terrifying, mythical (or perhaps not) creatures with an occasional break for cleaning out the stables and stealing things that didn’t belong to him.

One of the creatures he captured was Cerberus, the three-headed dog. This is important because Cerberus shows up (in disguise) in Harry Potter. Remember his pseudonym?

After Hercules had completed 12 of his 10 tasks (it got a little complicated what with Eurystheys saying Hercules couldn’t have help and Hercules needing help for some of the tasks), our hero went on more adventures because that’s basically the job description of a man-god.

He was also one of the first male supermodels and almost always insisted on posing nude while he flexed his muscles. You might see proof of this in your Art History class. When he got tired of posing he became a film star.

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Hercules, Happy Birthday to You!

Love, Mom

Read More


Can't remember to check for new posts? No prob. I'll send it to you.

Online Marketing

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: