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Breaking News Update! Last evening I uploaded the book, Terrible Secret, to Lulu.com and ordered a proof copy. (Yes, I finished the book, and my two contest judges read it and found a bunch of errors/typos.) It will take a couple of weeks to get here. Then I will go over it (and still probably miss something), reupload, and then order a bunch of copies. I’m still hoping for a late August release date. The proof copy cost more to ship to me than the book cost to print: $11.89! What a rip-off! But it’s because I only ordered one copy. When I order a bunch of copies, the price goes down for shipping, thankfully, or I couldn’t afford to sell them to you.
Today’s post about the Minotaur is just below this cover flat image.
Fun with the Minotaur
In the story “A Very Special Spot,” from the new book, Yosemite at Last, Riley finally takes Andi to the spot he told her about in The Last Ride. At first she’s doubtful that he really knows about a place she has never seen, but once in the labyrinth of cliffs, boulders, and other narrow twists and turns, she starts to believe him. Being educated in all of the Classics, Andi is familiar with Greek mythology and compares this labyrinth with the one she read about in school. Do you know the story? If you don’t, it’s full of imagination but quite untrue. There of course is no such thing as a half-human, half-animal of anything. That’s why the story is a “myth.” You can read the short excerpt, then the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Then . . . enjoy printing out the maze. Can you Help Theseus ﬁnd his way through the labyrinth so he can slay the Minotaur?
A minute later, Andi and Riley were staring at a solid rock cliff. “I told you so. These trails lead nowhere.”
“Oh ye of little faith.” Riley tied Dakota to the half-dead branch of a scrawny pine tree. It appeared to be growing straight out of a boulder.
It wasn’t really. The tree grew between the cracks, but there was barely enough dirt to hold its meager roots in place. “Tie Shasta and come along, my doubting Thomasina.”
Andi laughed at the way he’d turned “doubting Thomas” into a girl’s name. She did what he said, leaving the two horses in the shade of the huge boulders.
Riley grasped Andi’s hand and led her past the horses. He took a sharp left that looked like it headed for one more dead end. Then, just before they bumped into another rock face, Riley turned right and squeezed between two massive boulders.
Andi gripped Riley’s hand and let him pull her along the narrow way. This had suddenly turned into a rock maze, a labyrinth suited for the Minotaur of the old Greek myths. “Where is my ball of string when I need it?” she murmured.
“Did you say something?” Riley asked.
For the first time since starting on this adventure, Andi had an inkling that perhaps Riley was telling the truth. She and Cory had never explored the deep innards of this rock jungle. She would not have been doing so now if Riley wasn’t tugging on her hand every few minutes.
The Minotaur and the Labyrinth
The story of the Minotaur dates to about 660 BC (before Christ). One day, a magniﬁcent white bull appeared to King Minos on the Greek Island of Crete. The sea god, Poseidon, demanded that the bull be sacriﬁced to him. King Minos did not agree. He sacriﬁced another bull instead. Angry, the “gods” punished Minos by making his wife fall in love with the white bull (yeah, that’s a stretch. The Greek myths are not known for good morals). As a result, she gave birth to a monstrous half-bull, half-man creature. This Minotaur grew into a fearsome monster that King Minos wisely imprisoned in an extensive labyrinth (maze) beneath the palace.
Later, when Crete conquered the city of Athens, King Minos required a tribute. Every nine years, seven maidens and seven youths from Athens were sent into the labyrinth for the Minotaur to eat. (Greek myths also tend to be gruesome.) Once inside the maze, the young people were hopelessly lost and eventually died.
The young prince of Athens, Theseus, was upset at this horrible tribute, so he oﬀered to join the next group of tributes. When he arrived in Crete, King Minos’s daughter, Ariadne, oﬀered to help Theseus ﬁnd his way out of the labyrinth if he would kill the Minotaur and take her away from Crete. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of red string. He unrolled it as he crept through the labyrinth.
Theseus found the Minotaur at the center of the labyrinth’s maze, killed it with his sword, and followed the red thread back to the entrance. He took Ariadne away from Crete as he promised but then left her sleeping on the beach of the island of Naxos, which set off a series of unfortunate events. But that is a story for another time.
Help Theseus Find His Way Through the Labyrinth
Click on the image to download and/or print out the PDF file. Have fun!