After sailing for a very long time, my men and I came to a beautiful island. Unfortunately, we were so exhausted from our journey that we couldnt move from the beach for two days.
Finally, on the third day I was able to drag myself up off the sand. Taking my spear and sword, I climbed up a nearby hill to explore a bit of this mysterious island. As I came to the top of the hill, I could see a nothing but forest spreading itself across the entire island. Just above the trees, a stream of smoke made its way from what I assumed was a house. I immediately headed back toward the shore to tell the men of my findings.
On the morning of the fourth day. I decided to send out half my men to find the source of the smoke. This expedition team was headed by my trusted lieutenant, Eurylochus. (you-RILL-oh-kus) My obedient soldiers set out on their pursuit with fear in their eyes, but hope in their hearts.
With in a few hours Eurylochus came running back alone to tell me of the horror that had happened in the woods. Catching his breath, he described to me how a woman called Circe (SIR-see) had invited the soldiers in to refresh themselves. Eurylochus had been suspicious so he hid himself in a nearby bush outside, and when Circe came back outside she had turned all of the men into pigs!
Eurylochus was much too frightened to accompany me in the destroying of this Circe, so I drew my sword and went on alone. Just as Circes palace had entered my sights a young man appeared in front of me.
You will never overcome this wicked enchantress by your powers alone. He said to me, Take this herb of grace, which will render Circes drugs powerless. Put it in the cup of wine she will offer you before you drink, and the drugs will have no power over you. Then draw you sword and rush at her, and make her swear to free your men and never again try to harm you. With that the man vanished. Obviously this was not a mere mortal, but instead, Hermes (HER-miz) the god, the protector of travelers and messenger of Zeus (ZOOS).
Taking the magical herb I made my way toward the palace door. Circe promptly invited me in and poured me a glass of wine. While she was putting the wine away I dropped the herb into the wine and took a drink.
After I had finished my glass, Circe bopped me on the head with her evil wand and shrieked, Now go to the sty of pigs and live with your fellows! When nothing happened I leapt at her and kept her chest at the tip of my sword. She cried, You must be Odysseus (oh-DIS-ee-us) of Ithica (IH-thick-uh), because the gods warned me that one day you would come to my island on your return to Troy. And here you are. Sheathe your sword now and let us be friends.
After she had turned my crew back into men and promised to never harm us, she invited all of my men and me to stay with her in her palace. She assured us that we would be safe and content for as long as we stayed in the palace.
After a year of living in Circes palace Circe had kept her word. My men and I were homesick, however. While I was afraid Circe would be angry when I told her we wanted to leave, I still got up the courage to tell her. She was sad but, to my surprise, she wished us luck on our journey and even gave us some advice on how to plan our course and avoid the dangers ahead.
This project was developed by Sophomore students at Sandpoint High School for the 2001 University of Idaho EdTechQuest. Contact us if you have any questions or comments.