During my long absence, by wife Penelope (pen-EL-oh-pee) had been loved and sought after for years by many suitors. She had denied them for as long as she could. Penelope had been weaving a burial shroud, and told the suitors that she would marry one of them when she was finished. Every night she would take out what she had completed that day and start over again. The suitors soon became upset and told her that she must choose one of them.
My loyal wife took my bow to the suitors. She told them whoever could string it and shoot an arrow through twelve sockets of axes standing in a row could have her hand. Every suitor tried, but all were unsuccessful. In my beggar form, I came to them and asked if I could try. They all refused, but my son Telemachus (tell-EM-uh-cuss) distracted them. I easily strung my bow and sent an arrow through the axes. I looked at Telemachus and he came to my side. We fought side by side against the suitors. We were obviously outnumbered, but we had Zeus (ZOOS) and Athena (uth-EE-nuh) on our side. Athena aided us in killing all the men except for the two herdsmen who had been so faithful to us.
Penelope did not believe it was I. She had a maid make my bed in the hall to try and trick me. I knew right away that my real bed was made out of an oak tree that I built my room around. She then believed it was I, and we were once again together.
The next day I went up to visit my old father. Meanwhile, the rest of the suitors were preparing to wage war against us. They came with armor and swords, but my father immediately killed their leader. Then Athena appeared, and instructed everyone to stop fighting. She demanded that we all live together in peace, and so it was.
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