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Athena and the Hydrocto

Crete, Ancient Greece

Three thousand years ago in Ancient Greece, there was a stunning island in the Aegean Sea called Crete. It was a boiling hot day and a countless number of people were strolling in the local agora. Some children, who were on the steps of an amphitheatre, were playing knucklebones. A young handsome man walked proudly down the dusty path while being followed by groups of young ladies. A carpenter’s slave was fanning his master while his master was carving a griffin on a wooden chest. A donkey, which was being lead by his cruel master, was trying to steal some olives from a lady’s basket. All the citizens were very happy until it all happened…

The Hydrocto was a fearsome monster that lived at the bottom of the ocean. The Hydrocto was created by Poseidon, the god of the seas. Poseidon had created the Hydrocto by putting together a lion and a hydra. Who knew that he was going to create such a nasty creature? The Hydrocto had claws like the ones grown up lions would have and his mouth could open up so wide that he could swallow Mount Olympus in one bite. The Hydrocto had two heads with two different abilities. The head which was on the front of his body could breathe out fire, and the other one could breathe out freezing cold water that could freeze anything. The fight between Poseidon and Athena had just ended and Athena had got what she wanted, the city named Athens. Poseidon was so angry that he wanted to send the Hydrocto to Athena’s city, Athens. And he did, but while the Hydrocto was heading for Athens something went wrong, something that made the Hydrocto head for a different place. An island named Crete…

While the citizens were chatting happily at the agora, a child came running towards the centre of the agora and screamed as loudly as he could
“ A monster a monster, a monster is coming! I saw it with my own eyes!”
All the people stopped and stared at the child for a few seconds, then they started to laugh.
“Really I really saw the monster!”
The people laughed even harder. The child finally gave up and ran into his house to hide. While the people were laughing, a weird roar went across the agora. There was a weird moment of chill and coldness. There was another roar that filled the people’s hearts with fear. Then suddenly fog was everywhere and the people could not see a thing. Then the fog cleared and there was a statue of a kind of monster that nobody has seen before. The statue moved! It was no statue at all; it was the Hydrocto!

A lady screamed and fainted on the dusty path. Everybody ran and nobody cared about the lady. They just ran like headless chickens. The Hydrocto picked up a boy and bit his head off!
“No! That’s my baby boy!” The boy’s mother yelled.
A cruel master, who was hitting his horse to go faster, got flung into the air and landed in a well. The Hydrocto ate all the food that he could find in the agora. After the Hydrocto had eaten everything he could find, he set off to find a cave he could rest in.

The agora was destroyed. Pottery shattered everywhere, pools of blood stained the sandy ground and people were crying and praying in the dusty temples of the gods. The king of Crete saw what had happened and told the citizens to go pray to Athena the goddess of war and see if she can help them. The citizens went to Athena’s temple and prayed to Athena from dawn to dusk. They hoped that Athena would understand what terrible things had happened to them and the agora. Athena knew what Poseidon had done to the people and why. So as goddess of wisdom Athena decided that helping the people was what she was going to do. So Athena went down to Earth. The citizens were so happy that they bowed in her honor. Athena was also happy that she could help. The citizens took Athena to the king. Athena asked him when she should kill the Hydrocto.
“Go to the agora and look for the Hydrocto and when you see it kill it!” yelled the king.
Athena bowed, and then she started to walk to the agora. The Hydrocto did not know how much danger he had got himself into…

Athena went to the destroyed agora. She tip toed through the agora. As she walked, she heard strange noises and roars that sent chills up her body. And slowly a mysterious shadow appeared. At the other end of the agora, a two-headed monster was waiting for something to eat. Athena hurried behind a rock. She could not breathe. Her heart was pumping more blood then she needed.
“What am I going to do!” she thought.
Then Athena finally thought of an idea,
“I know that the Hydrocto balances himself with his tail, so if I just chop it off then it can’t stand up anymore. And if it can’t stand up anymore, then I can stab my sword into his heart and this will be all over.”
Athena sneaked up behind the Hydrocto and chopped his tail off. But it was not over yet. Athena had forgotten that the Hydrocto had wings and could fly. And the Hydrocto also had the power to regrow any missing parts of his body. The Hydrocto was angry when he got here but now Athena just made him even angrier.

The Hydrocto flew up into the sky, turned around and froze Athena’s right leg. Athena fell down and could not stand up. The Hydrocto waited for a few minutes. Then he melted the ice and burnt Athena’s right leg. Athena could not move. Then the Hydrocto lowered his head and opened his mouth so he could easily swallow Athena. But just then Athena managed to take out her sword. And with all the power that was left inside her she stabbed the Hydrocto’s thought. The Hydrocto was petrified for a few seconds. Then the Hydrocto crashed to the ground and bled to death. The battle was finally over. Athena had scars and bruises all over her body and she was badly injured and tired. What was she going to do next?

Athena left the Hydrocto’s body in the agora and limped back to the castle. The king was very sorry to see Athena badly injured. The king brought Athena to the best room in the whole castle and said that she could stay there until she got better. That night the whole of Crete went to the castle and had a big symposium to celebrate the death of the Hydrocto and to honour Athena. There was the smell of a freshly caught suckling pig. There was a magical sound of the music being played over and over again. There were people dancing in an elegant way and there were also people stuffing snails into their mouth like it was a race. Seeing the people so happy made Athena happy too. Days passed and Athena got her strength back. Now she was powerful enough to return to the heavens.

Just to remember the Athena’s victory, every August 1st is a national holiday at Greece. People dress up as Athena and have a parade in the agora where Athena slayed the Hydrocto.

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