Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The 12 Labors of Hercules: Labor 6 - Angry Birds

Eurytheus was in a bind.  He was supposed to send Hercules on impossible tasks to get him killed or to at least make him commit suicide for failing, but so far he, not Hercules, had failed.  And when it is Hera who is your boss in these matters, failure is not a viable option.  I imagine he sat back and reviewed his previous ideas:

If he follows the pattern, he would need to create another failing cleaning idea, but no.  What does he do?  He falls back to the impossible task that Hercules is that absolute best at - killing things.

Task # 6 - The Original Angry Birds

Hercules was in a bit of an irritated mood after having two additional tasks added on his list; however, being in a rare patient mood, he decided against killing his cousin - especially when he gets the next task to kill the Stymphalian birds.  What could be easier?  Birds rarely strike back and these lived at a lake.  He figured he would pack a grill, bring along a couple of babes and skis and have a nice day.

Fortunately he left the grill and babes at home because when he got to the lake at Stymphalos, he noticed what was going to make this tough.  It wasn't the fact that these are really mean birds.  By mean, I mean that they eat people, they are sacred to Ares, and they have poison poop.

Yes.  Poison poop.
Hercules regretted parking his car so close to the lake.
But these were not the worst things for Hercules.  The worst thing was that he did not have nearly enough arrows to shoot them all.  To make matters worse, he had no way of getting close to them in order to use a sword.  The surrounding swamp was just too mucky and he weighed too much.

He sat there pondering for a while (not his strong point), when Athena decided to help.  She gave him a rattle (a krotala, to be exact).  You remember the vuvuzelas of the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa?  These are louder. It seems that Hephaestus made these things (that guy can make anything).

When Hercules shook his rattle, this is what flew out of the marsh area of the lake:

Hercules shot down as many as he could, but like we mentioned before, he didn't have nearly enough arrows to kill them all.  No worries.  That loud rattle was enough to drive these birds away for good.

Where did they go?  They flew off to an island that was owned by Ares and stayed there for a little while.  Jason (jerk) and the Argonauts landed on the island for a little R and R only to get attacked by them.  they knew they were in trouble when one guy was kill when a feather flew off one of the birds and impaled him.  They too made a lot of noise and chased them off.  Where the birds went to after that, I cannot say for I do not know.

Hercules brought a few dead ones back to prove his kill to Eurytheus who couldn't believe it (not a smart one, this guy).

In 2 A.D., a guy named Pausanias tried to find the Stymphalian birds.  He found a bird in the Arabian desert known as a Stymphalian that was mean.  He described them as being as mean as lions and that they woudl come after you if you hunted them instead of flying away.  He pretty much figured that these were the birds.  This makes sense since the legend states that these birds originally came from the Arabian desert after being chased away by wolves.

O.K., six down and six to go.  I'm sure that Eurytheus will come up with a better plan next time.  Surely he wouldn't do something stupid like come up with killing another animal that is impossible to kill/catch/survive.  You know, something like a really mean cow or something.

Surely not.

Missed some?  Catch up on the other Labors of Hercules.