Chapter 21

The The third labor that King Eurystheus gave Herakles was to capture one of the Cerynitian Hinds, who were the pets of my daughter Artemis, who the neibors believed was the goddess of the hunt because she enjoyed hunting with the native kings, and they, also, enjoyed her hunting them! Despite his best efforts Herakles could not convince her to let him take one of the animals back to King Eurystheus. Creos came to the rescue by promising to give Herakles a weapon that would letr him capture one of the animals without doing it any serious harm.
2 Creos' charm was such, that few women, let alone my daughter, could resist him, so she agreed, on the condition that the animal not long be in the King's clutches. "Oh," Creos promised, "it won't be, I promise you!"
3 Creos gave Herakles a strange looking device, three metal balls that were heavily padded, on the end of long, thick ropes. He showed Herakles how to throw the device so it would wrap around something. Herakles quickly got the idea and after a bit of practice was very proficient with the device. But even with Creos' help time and time again he failed to capture one of the animals. Several times he was diverted by other emergencies and had to give up the hunt! It took him a year before he finally captured one of thebeasts and brought it back to the King, who, as usual cowered in his storage vessel.
4 "Before I accept my next labor," Herakles insisted, "I want some time with my betrothed."
5 "But you are not yet her husband!" the King insisted.
6 "But with the labors that he's done for you," Creos insisted, "it is only fair that he be allowed some time with her, at least from the filling of the moon to the filling of the moon."
7 The King did not like the idea. He knew full well if Herakles spent any time with his daughter what was going to happen, but he knew Creos was my friend and feared offending him. So, reluctantly he agreed. He came out of his vesel and admired his price, but then the hind shed its golden horns becoming so light that it was able to bound out the window and escape, much to the King's dismay! Not only that, the animals had a habit of only travelling in a straight line, simply crashing through anything that got in their way! On its way back to its herd it did a considerable amount of damage, and theKing had to make restitution. The damage that the hind did was exactly the same amount as the gold the King had gotten from her horns, so he gained nothing!
8 The people were getting weary of the trouble that was coming from the labors the King was having Herakles do. Many were praying to me already that they have a new King, but I did not feel the time was yet right.
9 The next task the King gave Herakles was to capture Erymanthian Boar and bring it back alive. It just so happened that Creos was occupied with a problem at this time, and could not help Herakles, and try as he may Herakles could not catch the boar alone! In desperation he sought the help of his friend Pholus the centaur, who gladly came and helped Herakles with the hunt. But sadly during it, Herakles spilled his quiver of arrows, and when his good friend jumped over a rock trying to herd the boar towards Herakles, he landed on one of the arrows that pierced his leg. And because Herakles' war arrows were soaked in poison he quickly died. Herkles' grief was great, and he could not take up the hunt again until winter, but this was to his advantage. He was finally able to drive the boar into deep snow and capture it. He brought it back to the King and presented it, demanding another month with his betrothed.
10 "Well, as it appears she is already with child," the King answered, "it will do little harm." He put the boar on displayk, but though the pen he had built for it had walls of stone three feet thick, the boar busted through them, and escaped, and proceeded home, eating everything in its path on the way! The King had to import food for his neighbors to sustain his people for the rest of the winter. The people were growing more displeased with all that was happening, and they dreaded what task he would next set for Herakles. They petitioned him simply to give Herakles his bride and let them leave, but the King refused.

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