By: Tala Bar

Note: The following story is based on the Greek myth of Perseus and Andromeda. Readers who do not know it would do well to familiarize themselves at least with the names of the characters and their place in the myth.

Perseus had trouble with his flying. Hermes’ winged sandals were all very well, but he wished he had a pair of proper wings, like Eros for instance, or at least a winged horse to ride on; that Pegasus, that jumped out of Medusa’s blood when he had cut her head! Now, how did that happen? Of all the marvels he had seen since coming on this mission, he thought that might have topped them all. He only regretted not having captured the horse when he had the chance; but everything happened so quickly, and besides, he was busy averting his eyes, looking into Athena’s mirror while cutting Medusa’s head. He had no wish to turn into stone, and even now, keeping that snaky head safely inside Athena’s bag, he felt a slight apprehension every time he looked at it.

Oops! He was faltering again. Better pay attention to his flying. Perseus managed at last to find the knack how to straighten himself flying with winged sandals – now, whoever heard of such a flying machine! But it worked, at last, and no thanks to anyone but himself... Well, except maybe to Hermes. Now, that’s a man for you, running here and there, free as the wind to do any mischief he feels like getting into. That’s what Perseus would have liked to do himself, instead of running errands for kings and goddesses...

But where was he, now? Coming from Egypt – he could clearly see the pyramids! And passing over the Mediterranean shore of the Sinai desert, he was flying fast now, with the westerly wind behind him, reaching the sea’s eastern shore where some Cretan people have began to settle among the ancient peoples of Canaan. That’s why some people saw in Andromeda a distant relation to Ariadne...

Not that he was really interested, but there always seems to be a muddle whenever it concerned women! Look how he himself was conceived – fathered on his mother Danae by a golden rain? Do me a favor! And in this case, it was all Athena’s fault, of course – goddesses were even worse than ordinary women! He wished he could put them in their place, for once. Always bossing over him, telling him, do this and do that, never a moment rest. Even now he was not just flying for his own pleasure, but going on purpose to save that girl, Andromeda, from the sea monster. And why should he save her? What’s her troubles to do with him, anyway? Just because that stupid mother of hers had boasted of her beauty! He had great doubt that she was really that beautiful. Medusa used to be beautiful, and look what happened to her! Snakes for hair, now, if you please!

Here, he had to slow down now, as he was quickly reaching his destination. Looking down, and saw the shore he was supposed to land on. Joppa, was it called? They probably meant Jaffa, that place where the oranges came from... Not that he was so keen on oranges, so messy to peel and to eat – he’d much rather munch on an apple any day of the week. Still – yes, the place was settled. Some white-washed square houses, like those in Greece, and there was the palace at a little distance, looming against the blue sea... Beautiful! That’s where Queen Cassiopea ruled, together with her husband Cepheus – for, as he heard, she was much more a queen than he was a king. No one had even heard of him, but her place was right up among the stars, so famous for both her beauty and her hardship... Hard as nails, they said, no nonsense about her, and that’s exactly how the trouble with Andromeda, their daughter, had actually happened! All right, he’ll see what’s what when he got down.

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-Tala Bar

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