Greek Myths 4 Kids Presents: CASE FILES
FROM THE HERCULES DETECTIVE AGENCY
CASE FILE: How It All Started
No Problem Too Large or Too Small, Reasonable Fees
Proprietor Hercules (Roman name), also known as Heracles (Greek name), also known as Herc (Nickname)
As the story goes .....
Hera, the wife of the great god Zeus, absolutely hated Hercules. Hercules was the son of Zeus, but he was not her son. His mother was a mortal. Hercules was half mortal, but Hercules even so, Hercules wanted more than anything to take his place with the gods. Besides that, he needed a job. Everyone in ancient Greece - gods and mortals - had a job except for Hercules. Hera, on the other hand, wanted Hercules dead. Even the thought of him drove her crazy with jealously. One day, while thinking up ways to kill Hercules, Hera came up with an idea. So did Hercules.
Hercules' Idea: In ancient Greece, there were special people called oracles. Oracles could predict the future, some better than others. Hercules visited the most powerful oracle in ancient Greece, the oracle at Delphi. The oracle told Hercules: "You have two problems, Hercules. You want a job and you want to be immortal. To solve both, you must visit your cousin Eurystheus. He will give you 12 labors, jobs you must complete. If you complete all 12 Labors successfully, immortality will be yours." Being an oracle, she never explained what she meant by "immortality" - would he live forever in legend or for real? Hercules never asked. (She would not have told him anyway.) Hercules could barely hear her, her whisper was that soft, yet somehow, and just as the Oracle had predicted to herself, Hera discovered what the Oracle had told him.
Hera's Idea: Before Hercules could arrive at his cousin's palace, Hera got there first. Eurystheus (Eury for short) was the king of a little village in the city-state of Argos. Hera convinced Eury that Hercules was coming to steal his crown! Eury believed her. Hera suggested that Eury challenge Hercules to 12 labors (tasks or jobs.) If he was successful, Eury would share his crown. But, if he failed, Hercules had to defend Eury from anyone who tried to take Eury's crown. Eury did not want to share his crown. He wanted to kill Hercules immediately. Hera convinced him that that was a very bad idea. Instead, they would design 12 impossible tasks. She was certain that one of the 12 labors they designed would surely kill Hercules, probably the very first one. But if not, one of the remaining labors would certainly do the trick. And no one would find them guilty of anything other than wanting to help poor Hercules find a job.
Hercules was not interested in Eury's crown, but he did accept the challenge as Hera knew he would. The rest of the story of The 12 Labors of Hercules is a bunch of little stories that together tell the tale of how Hercules used clever tricks and great courage to solve the 12 labors and stay alive to tell about it. Hercules not only lived, he had great adventures, discovered true friends, and rid the world of some really nasty critters. Here are the famous 12 Labors, if you would like to read them.
But that was not the end of the story....
Hercules still needed a job, something ongoing. Hercules thought and thought about what he could do. One day, he had a brilliant idea. He would open a detective agency - the Hercules Detective Agency - to help the Greek people fix their problems, especially problems the gods had thrust upon them. And he would charge a small fee, which would help him buy food instead of spending all his time foraging. (He was a big guy. It took a lot of food to fill his belly.) It was brilliant. Hercules was very pleased with himself for thinking of such a brilliant solution.
The first thing he did was to create a rather large sign. He hung it on the outside wall of his hut. The sign said: The Hercules Detective Agency, Founded to Help the Greek People, No Problem Too Large or Too Small, Reasonable Fees, Proprietor Hercules (Roman name), also known as Heracles (Greek name), also known as Herc (Nickname)
After admiring his sign for a considerable amount of time, Hercules began to realize that although his sign was very nice, he needed something bigger. Hercules knew he was famous. Just about everyone in ancient Greece knew he had solved the 12 labors. But that was in the past. How to get the word out that he was open for business in the present? Once again, Hercules thought and thought, but this time no brilliant solution occurred to him. He was just about ready to give up for the night and go to sleep, hoping he might dream a solution, when there was a knock on the door of his hut.
"Herc! Open up! I need your help!" shouted a harmless looking individual with tousled hair and very worried eyes.
That's how the Hercules Detective Agency found its first client.
Sometime later, once he had wrapped up the case, Hercules filed it as: The Hercules Detective Agency, Founded to Help the Greek People, Case File: The Misunderstood Minotaur