Sunday, 2 December 2012

#TwitterFiction Festival: 100 Greek Myths in 100 Tweets (The Full Story 21-40)

More expanded explanations from my ongoing mythic tweet marathon...Endymion to Echo and Narcissus

Bored shepherd woos Moon! Selene brokers eternal sleep deal for mortal lover! Says sex life now 'well dreamy'! 50 kids ensue
Endymion the demigod shepherd and Selene the Moon goddess fall in love.  Selene asked Zeus to make her lover immortal, so he put Endymion (his son) into an eternal sleep, and Selene entered his dreams and made love to him there.  They had 50 daughters together.

Philemon & Baucis feed godly hobos. Zeus & Hermes reward '2 Best Humans on Earth'! Save generous couple from dire flood fate
Zeus and Hermes wander the world as tramps in an attempt to find some 'good humans'.  The only ones they can find are Baucis and Philemon, who feed them and take care of them. These two are therefore the only ones saved from the Great Flood, and afterwards they are turned into an oak and lime tree, whose roots intertwine eternally.

Ace weaver Arachne in saucy tapestry stand-off with Athene! Owl goddess stuns impudent spinner with spider-change sentencing
Mortal Arachne thinks she's better at weaving than Athene herself.  The goddess challenges her to a competition, and Arachne weaves a picture of the gods in compromising and ridiculous positions.  Athene is so angry that she changes Arachne into a spider.

Midas in Golden Touch Tragedy! Barber reveals 'shameful secret' of royal asses' ears! Pointy caps now must-have palace môde
Rich king Midas rues the day he asks Dionysius to turn everything he touches to gold. When he tries to hug his own daughter or eat a crust of bread, he finds that they too have turned to the precious metal.  After the god has taken off the spell, Midas has to judge a music competition between Pan and Apollo. When he chooses Pan, Apollo punishes the king by giving him asses' ears.  Midas swears everyone to secrecy, but is betrayed by his barber.  The king sets a new fashion trend by wearing a tall Phrygian cap to cover his shame, and all in the palace soon follow him.

Bragging Niobe rues boastful ways! 14 kids charcoaled/frozen by Sun & Moon! Stone queen weeps streams from new mountain home
Queen Niobe of Thebes has fourteen beautiful children, all twins.  She boasts that she is better than the goddess Leto, and makes her people worship her.  Leto calls on her own twins, Artemis (moon goddess) and Apollo (sun god), to turn the children into piles of ice and charcoal. Niobe herself cries so much over the loss of her children that she is turned into a statue on Mount Sipylus by Zeus, where she weeps streams of tears from her stone face.

'My Grasshopper Husband!' Dawn goddess despairs! Tithonus shrinks in bug drama! 'It's all Zeus's fault!' cries agitated Eos
Eos the Dawn goddess falls in love with Tithonus, and ask Zeus to have her husband made immortal.  Zeus is in a temper that day, so he obliges, but without also keeping Tithonus young and handsome.  Eventually, Eos's husband ages, shrinks, and turns into a grasshopper, which Eos keeps in a basket by her bed.

Apollo in resentful rage! Scorpion sting fells mighty Orion! Sun god 'sorry', sends hunter to stars! Artemis inconsolable 
Virgin huntress Artemis has a cousin called Orion, a great hunter.  Because she spends so much time with him, her brother Apollo gets jealous, sends a scorpion to sting Orion's heel, and kills him.  Artemis is so sad that Apollo eventually puts Orion (and his belt) in the stars to shine forever.

Forbidden feast fiasco! Tantalus's taboo 'Son Surprise' a dud for deities!  'Did he need more salt?' asks cannibal demi-god
Tantalus decides to give the gods a treat by giving them something to eat they've never had before.  Unfortunately he serves up his son, Pelops, in a stew.  The gods are rightly revolted, bring Pelops back to life, and send Tantalus to the Underworld to be punished for eternity.  He is set in a pool of water with a bunch of delicious grapes over his head, which he can neither touch nor eat.

Poseidon confesses agony over absent Amphitrite! Delphinus in quest for God's missing missus! Petulant pair kiss & make up
Poseidon wants to marry Amphitrite, daughter of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea.  But Amphitrite is unwilling, and hides.  Poseidon send the dolphin messenger, Delphinus as his ambassador, and eventually Amphitrite agrees to return as the sea god's bride.

Contest splits citizens! Athene or Poseidon? Wisdom goddess wins with nifty tree trick! Athenians choose olives over ocean
Poseidon and Athene fight over who will have a certain piece of land for their capital city on earth.  They agree to let the people decide between them.  Poseidon gives a gift of a fountain of salt water, Athene gives an olive tree.  The people choose the goddess of wisdom, and Athens is born.

Evil innkeeper executed! Theseus in close shave with expanding bed! 'Procrustes nearly stretched me to death!' reveals hero
Theseus is on his way to meet his father, when he stops at an inn for the night.  The wicked robber Procrustes has made his living for years by luring tired travellers into his 'special bed' (more like a torture rack!), where he then stretches them to death, cuts them up, and steals their possessions.  Theseus kills Procrustes and escapes.

Sharp-eyed Sisyphus spots sexy shenanigans!  Sneaky Zeus found out in illicit nymph affaire! Turns lover Aegina into island!
King Sisyphus misses nothing, including the fact that Zeus is having an illicit affair with Aegina, daughter of the river-god Asopus.  He tells Asopus what he has seen, and the irate father bursts in on the lovers, taking them by surprise.  Zeus disappears, after turning the nymph into the island of Aegina.

Phaëton pinches Sun chariot! Runaway race ends in shattering smash with stars! Troubled teen's tragic end saddens dad Helios
Helios (who pulls the sun across the sky every day with his golden chariot) has a rebellious son.  One day, Phaëton steals chariot and horses, and tries to drive them across the heavens, with disastrous results.  The horses bolt, and pull the sun too far away from the earth, bumping into stars on the way.  Zeus hurls a thunderbolt to stop the runaway boy, and kills him.

Party god Dionysius concocts treacherous tipple! 'Hic!" slurs hungover Hermes, "Ish bloody brilliant thish wine stuff!"
A bored Dionysius (god of revels) tips some grapes into a barrel and dances on them.  Sometime later, he finds it has fermented and turned into wine.  The gods get drunk, and he becomes god of wine.

Leda in erotic antics with sensuous swan! 'Feathers turn me on!' preens satisfied Queen! Rainbow eggs due to hatch tomorrow
Zeus makes love to Leda, queen of Sparta, in the form of a swan.  She produces two beautiful rainbow eggs, which eventually hatch Helen (of Troy), Clytemnestra, Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux).

Exclusive! 'God of War a coward' says secret source. 'Teensy cut made him blubber like a baby!' Ares issues violent denial 
Eris (Discord) and Ares (God of War) go into battle in a flying chariot.  Ares is wounded and makes a horrible fuss, because he is a coward at heart. Zeus heals him, but Ares' secret is now out.

Cowstealing baby hits headlines on Olympus! Apollo outfoxed & furious! 'Tee hee! Can't catch me!' giggles wily infant Hermes
Baby god Hermes steals all Apollo's cows and hides them where the sun god can't find them, making all the gods laugh at him for being outwitted by an infant. Eventually Hermes gives the cows back, and appeases Apollo's hurt feelings by inventing the lyre for the sun god (who is also the god of music).

Sisyphus Sharp-Eyes defies death no further! Cunning King takes up eternal  boulder-pushing burden after Hades appeal fails
Zeus is angry with King Sisyphus of Corinth after the king betrayed him over the nymph Aegina (see above).  He asks his brother Hades to drag Sisyphus down to the Underworld and punish him.  Sisyphus tricks Hades by various means, but when he eventually died of old age and went down to join Hades, the god of death made him push a boulder up a hill, and arranged it so that poor Sisyphus never got to the top.

Scorned Hera plots revenge! Moos of protest from love rival Io! 'Let Zeus screw that stupid cow NOW!' hisses spurned spouse
Zeus has an affair with the nymph, Io, which makes Hera (his wife and Queen of the Gods) very angry.  She turns Io into a cow, and sends a gadfly to chase her all over Greece.

Narcissus falls for own reflection! 'I abtholutely ADORE mythelf!' lisps vain youth as girlfriend Echo fades to a shadow
The chattering nymph Echo is in love with the handsome Narcissus, who only has eyes for his own reflection, and can't make him take any notice of.  Hera is annoyed with her whiny voice, and makes Echo only able to repeat what has been said to her. The nymph eventually turns into a ghost, and then to a voice in the air, echoing sadly.

Click HERE for Part 1: Myths 1-20 Creation to the Minotaur
Click HERE for Part 3: Myths 41-60 Actaeon to Autolycus
Click HERE for Part 4: Myths 61-80 Death of Heracles to Odysseus's Call-up for the Trojan War
Click HERE for Part 5: Myths 81-100 Philoctetes to Odysseus's Return to Ithaca (the whole Iliad and Odyssey)

You can find more detail on these stories in my book,

which was written for children, but also seems to be the 'ready reference' book of choice for many university Classics students.  It's available HERE

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