My new book re-tells the stories of all the Greek heroes and their adventures in Ancient Greece. The greatest of all the Greek heroes was arguably the mighty Heracles – note, his true name is not HERCULES – that was the Roman variation – the Greek name is HERACLES – so I thought that I would share a little snippet from my chapter on the mightiest warrior of all.
Hope you like it 🙂
The First Labour of Heracles
The Nemean Lion was no ordinary beast. It was twice the size of a wild lion, with supernatural strength and claws sharper than any mortal blade. Reared by none other than Hera herself, the lion was feared throughout the land, although some claimed that it was nothing more than a coward, for it always attacked its victims under cover of darkness and no man had stood a chance without the aid of the sun.
The creature’s impenetrable skin was as hard as stone, its golden fur like a cloak of armour, impervious to an attack by any weapon known to man. Of course, these difficulties posed no problem to the great Heracles.
He tracked the monster to its cave and waited patiently all night just inside the entrance. Eventually the lion came prowling home, its mouth smeared with the blood of its victims; animals and humans alike. The beast sensed a change in the cave as soon as it placed one paw inside, but it was too late.
With a great roar, Heracles pounced on the terrifying creature. The lion fought back, striking at the warrior with its razor-sharp claws and whipping its tail across his face. Heracles wrestled on, driving the beast deeper into the dark cave by smashing his club over its head again and again, rendering it dazed and confused, but of course unharmed.
Wrapping his arms around the monster, Heracles drew on his childhood memory of when he had first killed a servant of the dark, the two deadly vipers, and immediately knew what he had to do. With all his might, he throttled the lion with his bare hands until at last the giant cat took its final breath and collapsed in a heap.
Heracles stood and reached into his pocket for the scroll Eurystheus had given to him. Using one of the lions’ claws, he triumphantly tore through the first labour listed. That done, Heracles used the claw once more, this time to skin the creature’s hide before fashioning it into a cloak (for he had also excelled in arts and crafts).
Emerging from the cave, the son of Zeus swung the cloak around his shoulders and fitted the lion’s head like a hood. As the sun began to rise Heracles continued on with his journey, heading towards the marshes of Lerna and the nine-headed Hydra who waited in her lair.
The book will be out on Friday 26th September on Amazon worldwide!!