The Fate of Hydra
Part one. The Olymp: Many years ago I was on a chartered tour to Greece, and we had a very engaging tour guide who guided as through all the sites of antic Greece. On the last evening and our fare-well banquet, he asked us to think about what had engaged us the most and share this with the rest of us. That afternoon I strolled through the market in Loutraki, and was „ hit in the eye „ and whirled back in time to an age long before mankind, where only the gods – more precisely Zevs and his court – roamed the plains and waters between both peaks of Olymp.
They were all frolicking and having a wonderful time, but I could sense an undertone of uneasiness. There was one amongst them that always crawled on her belly, and when she opened her mouth trying to speak, she only emitted hissing sounds and her tongue would dart back and forth. As she moved silently, her unexpected appearance gave everyone the creeps. This of course was Hydra. She did not really want to antagonize anybody, but felt left out, lonesome, and that again made her angry. And everybody complained all the time to Zevs and demanded that he should do something about this. Zevs himself was annoyed too: It is true that he has a roving eye for the beauties around him, but that was not all together his fault. Many of the fair sex all to willingly crossed his path and swooned. But he dared not antagonize his wife: Hera, so least of all he wanted somebody to creep around in the bushes. Hera did not really mind****, but she detested to being found out.
In his plight Zevs came upon a grand idea. He invited Hydra to the top of Mount Olympos and asked her to look around. In carefully chosen words he said that he had noticed, that her body needed moisture to keep her skin smooth, and here she could see the plains and waters of our realm, and just
over there the waters running over the edge. And it is only a matter of time before the plains are dried out. So why don‘t you encircle the realm and make sure that the waters do not „ run over „ You would do everyone a favor, not only your self. Hydra was over joyous in her vanity that Zevs was talking to her and had singled her out for such a task, but if there was a rat, she would smell it, and that she did. But again, the facts before her eyes were undisputed-able, and she agreed. She took up a position around the horizon and made sure that no drop of water would escape. To begin with the other gods paid her visits, but as the novelty wore off, they stopped seeing her. And only slowly it dawned on her that she had been had. In her anger and despair she stiffened and hardened , turning the enclave into a prison., and grew bigger and bigger for each year.