After the battle of Troy, all the chiefs went home. But the gods were angry and made many of the chiefs unhappy. One was shipwrecked and another was shamefully murdered by his false wife in his palace and others found all things at home troubled and changed. And some had to go on unwanted adventures. One of all, the wise Ulysses, wandered farthest and suffered most. Twelve ships with 50 men on each he brought with him to Troy. Half of them were killed in the battle.
In the evening the monster came back and drove his sheep into the cave. Then he had his cruel meal as before. After that Ulysses came forward with the wine bottle and said:
"Cyclops, have a drink after such a good meal. Drink and see what things we had in our ship. But no one will come to you if you deal with strangers as cruelly as you deal with us."
The Cyclops drank and was very pleased. He said:
"Give me again to drink and tell me your name, stranger, and I will give you a gift such as a host should give."
Then Ulysses gave him the wine again. And again. The monster didn't know what it would do in his head. Then Ulysses spoke:
"You asked my name, Cyclops. My name is No Man. And now when you know my name you should give me your gift."
"My gift will be that I will eat you last of your company." And the monster fell back in a drunken sleep.
Ulysses was waiting for this moment. He and his companions took the pole and thrust it into the monster's only eye. The burning wood hissed in his eye. Then the giant leapt up, tore away the pole and cried out that all the Cyclopes heard the cry and came in a hurry to their hurt companion. They asked him:
"Why do you cry so loud, Polyphemus? Is anyone stealing your sheep? Or does anyone want to kill you?"
"No Man wants to kill me!" said Polyphemus.
"If no man wants to kill you, we cannot help you." The giants thought that Polyphemus went crazy and left. But Polyphemus rolled away the great stone from the door of his cave and sat in the middle of the entrance. He stretched out his arms to feel if the men inside would try to escape. For a long time, Ulysses thought how to get away. Then he had an idea. He fastened his comrades under the bellies of big strong rams. He himself got under the belly of the strongest ram and held to its fleece tight with his hands.
In the morning, the sheep went out to the pasture. Polyphemus sat in the door and felt the back of each sheep. When the sheep were away out of reach of the giant, Ulysses untied his men. Then they ran to their ship and rowed away. When they were a hundred metres away, Ulysses stood up and shouted:
"Hey, Cyclops! You killed my men, now you will suffer for that!"
Polyphemus was furious. He took a great rock and threw it where he heard the voice. It fell in front of the ship making a huge wave which took the ship back to the shore.
They had to row hard to get away from the shore. When they got twice as far as before, Ulysses stood up and shouted at the Cyclops again:
"Listen, Cyclops! If someone asks you who blinded you, say it was the warrior Ulysses, son of Laertes from Ithaca."
The Cyclops in anger started to pray to Poseidon, god of the sea." Poseidon, if you are my father, may this Ulysses never reach his home, or may he come alone to find sore troubles in his house!" Then he threw another mighty rock which almost hit the ship.
Ulysses an his warriors escaped and came to the island where their comrades were waiting. They were happy that they were safe. However, the curse of Polyphemus was strong and Ulysses had problems to get home. But that is another story...
Adapted from "MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF ALL NATIONS Translated and Edited by LOGAN MARSHALL"
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Created by J. Brandecky, December 28, 2011. Copyright.
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