Heracles and the Lion

Hello all, well it is time for a new balloon project and this time it is all based around the subject of Myths and Legends, to kick off I am going to be covering the 12 Labours of Heracles, a story that has fascinated me for years.

To give you a bit of back ground info and to cut a VERY long story short, Heracles was the son of the affair that Zeus had with an immortal woman called Alcmene. Hera (Zeus’s wife) obviously had a hatred for Heracles and one day she tricked him into murdering his wife and children (nice huh). Heracles was required to carry out a series of labours, if he succeeded then he would be purified of the sin, become a god and be granted Immortality. I will go into more details with the story of Heracles as we go but for now let’s get to the 12 Labours.

The labours were set by King Eurystheus and the first labour was to slay the Nemean Lion, This ferocious Lion lived in the caves near the city of Nemea, for many years it had terrorised the city, it had a fur made of impenetrable gold and claws sharper than any mortal weapons. There are several different versions of the story, one says that Heracles eventually shot an arrow into the lions unarmoured mouth killing it, the version I have gone for is that after a long fight Heracles eventually wrestled the hideous beast to the ground, after wrapping his strong arms around its neck Heracles strangled the lion to death.

This part of the story ends with the beast being skinned with help from one of the claws, Heracles could then use the impenetrable skin as his armour. Next week Heracles meets a very nasty creature.