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The 13th Labour of Heracles (Hercules)

Kingswinford, West Midlands, england

If you know the story of Heracles (Hercules) you will know that he was the son of Zeus (king of the gods) and Alcmene. As Zeus was married to Hera (queen of the gods) this made Hera jealous and she tried to assassinate Heracles while he was sleeping with 2 serpents but Heracles strangled them and tossed them for Venus. This made Hera angry and she put him through suffering with 12 labours which were:

1. Kill the Nemean Lion
2. Kill the Hydra
3. Fetch the Cerynitian hind
4. Fetch Erymanthian Boar
5. Cleaning the Augeian stables
6. Chase away Stymphalian Birds
7. fetch the Cretan Bull
8. Fetch flesh-eating mares of Diomedes
9. Fetch Hippolyte's belt
10. Fetch cattle of Geryon
11. Fetch the golden apples of Hesperides
12. Go to Hades and fetch the Cerberus the 3 headed

After that Heracles went back to Thebes to marry Deianeira. On his wedding day he had to put the necklace on (used to symbolise marriage like a ring). Little did he know it was cursed by Hera and when he put it round his neck his body began to burn and there was nothing he could do to stop it so he asked his wife to burn his body at the bottom of mount Olympus so she did.

The curse was eternal and only Hera could stop it. So Deianeira preyed to Zeus who persuaded Hera to lift the curse and when she did Heracles' body floated up to mount Olympus and he joined the gods.

That is where the story of Heracles usually stops, but mine carries on.....

When Heracles reached the top of mount Olympus Hera was very sorry for what she had done to him and welcomed him to his new home. Heracles forgave her and his father Zeus king of the gods also welcomed him home along with all the rest of the gods, all except Hades god of the dead.

During Heracles' 12th labour he had to fight his way past Hades and won. Hades made a deal with Heracles which was; - "beat me and you keep your title of a god and if you lose you come with me to the underworld where all the dead mortals are kept".

Heracles accepted his challenge and there fight raged on for nearly a century with two immortals fighting, there was thunder, there was lightning, there was war, there was rain, there was snow down on the earth from the gods cheering for Heracles to win.

Eventually Hades gave up and returned to the underworld and peace restored on earth and Heracles took the role as prince of the gods.

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