The Nemean Lion
This next is a very interesting one and it is Curtis’s favorite because he is a Leo and it is about the slaying of the Nemean lion. There was once this land where people lived that was plagued by this giant, terrible, frightful lion. He roamed the countryside and if anyone got into his way he tore them to pieces and ate them and this terrified the people who lived there and they were afraid to go outside. People were starving to death because they could not even plow their fields for fear of getting eaten by this horrible lion. They did not leave their homes unless their life was at stake and this whole land was filled with terror because of this lion. He was a terrible thing and they were praying for some type of deliverer to come and free them from this horrible nightmare they were trapped in.
Hercules was told to go and free the people from the Nemean Lion. So all he takes with him is his trusty club along with his bow and arrows. So when goes to the land where the lion is they see that he traveled light with hardly any weapons. They wanted a man with armor and many weapons because this lion feared nothing. They wanted someone to put the fear of God into it and destroy it.
The people did not have much faith in Hercules because he traveled light but Hercules was sublimely confident and told the people that they did not to worry that he would take care of this lion. One day the lion shows up terrifying the land and its people and he spotted Hercules and he started to run towards him. Hercules did not run from the lion and this was the first man the lion had ever met who was not afraid of him.
Hercules stood his ground, prepared to fight the lion and as the lion approached him he became a little nervous thinking, “Why is this man not afraid of me?” He came very close to Hercules and let out a terrible roar that made the trees shake and Hercules just stood there ready to do battle with the lion. This made lion a little nervous so he took off and hid from Hercules. The story continues where Hercules had to pursue the lion. One time he got the lion within his line of sight and he shot an arrow at him and it just ricocheted off the lion and did not even hurt him.
Hercules wondered how he would kill this lion, he seemed to so powerful, but Hercules was determined to proceed because this was his mission so he had to kill this lion. He pursues the lion through the forest and the lion keeps evading him until finally they come to this cave.
Here Hercules has an idea, he will chase the lion into this cave and then the lion will have to face him. The lion goes into the cave and Hercules follows only to find that there is no lion in the cave and he cannot figure out where the lion went to, so he waits and he chases the lion in the cave again and once again the lion is not in there. So Hercules looks around the cave and he finds that it has an exit out the other side and he figures out that when he chases the lion in the cave, the lion then exits out the other side and escapes.
This time Hercules seals off the exit so that he cannot escape and has the lion cornered. He realizes that his bow and arrow are useless against the lion and the only way for him to kill him was with his bare hands. So he approaches the lion with only his bare hands and a great struggle ensues, after a great struggle with the lion he chokes him to death.
The garb that Hercules wore was made from the lion that he had killed when he was a child and this was very worn by now so he discards it and takes the new skin of the Nemean Lion that he had just killed and he asks his teacher if he could wear it to substitute for the old skin and the teacher said yes. So he put on the skin of the Nemean Lion and goes back to the towns’ people and explains to them that he has killed the lion and they are free. Hercules is wearing the skin of the lion. There is rejoicing throughout the land and Hercules is the hero, and he has accomplished his mission.
JJ: What do you suppose the lion represents?
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