“Zeus? Zeus, are you even listening to me?” Hera shook her head at her lackadaisical husband. After trying unsuccessfully to discuss how brazen their son Ares had become recently, Hera realized she’d get nowhere with him as long as he had that thing wrapped around his neck. Gathering the folds of her toga Hera left in a huff mumbling in agitation.
One could hardly blame the queen goddess for being a bit ‘put out’ with her husband. Suffering from a strained shoulder after a particularly busy afternoon tossing thunderbolts at mortals, a favorite pastime for the god, he had been even more insufferable than usual. Finally, unable to tolerate his whining any longer, Hera sought out Asclepius to produce a poultice for her achy husband. The god of healing whipped up something in no time and quickly delivered a soothing mixture of cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus sewn into a pouch of the softest velvet and silk. Asclepius instructed Hera to heat the healing pouch of medicinal herbs until it was warm to the touch and wrap it around the offending shoulder and back of the neck.
Thanking Asclepius for his quick work, Hera set out to deliver the wrap to Zeus immediately. A little wary at first, Zeus allowed his wife to wrap the heated pouch around his neck and shoulder. As the soothing aromas of the herbs and the heat of the wrap set in, Zeus began to feel the tension drain out of him. His entire body relaxed and soon he was drifting off to sleep.
That was a week ago and Zeus had hardly done a thing but sit with his medicinal pouch wrapped around his shoulder or neck. Hera was pretty sure the pain had left him some time ago, he was a god after all, but he flat out refused to be without that damnable herbal pouch slung around his neck. This of course meant that Zeus’ napping frequency had increased ten-fold, to the point that he was neglecting many of his duties as father to the gods.
“I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” Zeus thought to himself as he suppressed a yawn. “If I want to catch a few winks, what’s it to her?” he thought contemptuously. Reclining a bit further on his chaise Zeus shifted his satchel of thunderbolts to his side, holding on to the strap with one free hand. Allowing his eyes to fall shut, he breathed in deeply the aromatic fragrance of clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus and let slip a contented sigh.
Soon, Zeus was fast asleep. As he slept, he turned on his side and in so doing let his satchel of thunderbolts go a bit slack. Slowly, as the god dreamt, one of his treasured thunderbolts began to slide loose.
Meanwhile, on earth…
“Come on, baby. You know I love you,” Antony purred to the pretty but reluctant dairy maid he had somehow convinced to leave her cows and join him in the sun-soaked pasture. The milk-maid frowned at his over-zealous proclamation. Okay, so she wasn’t quite as dull-witted as her charges, Antony thought and quickly changed tactics. “How about this. What if I swear to Zeus himself that my intentions are honorable?” seeing that he had perked her interest, after all only the suicidal would break an oath with the father of all gods, Antony continued. “Dear girl, I swear to you and the father of us all- Zeus the powerful that my intentions are nothing but honorable. Should I be lying, let Zeus himself strike me where I stand with his most powerful thunderbolt!” and he raised his hands and face to the cloudless blue sky.
Screaming in terror, the singed milk maid pulled up her skirts and fled past a pile of ash which had been Antony only seconds before.
“Zeus! You nincompoop! You did it again!” Hera was only a little disgruntled over the puny human’s death but saw it as an opportunity to nag her husband away from that annoying wrap once and for all.
Zeus only half heard his wife as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and took stock of his satchel. Sure enough, he was missing one of his thunderbolts. He really should get a better clasp for that thing, this was the third ‘accidental’ lightning strike in as many days. Shrugging his shoulders, Zeus ignored his wife and rolled over offering only one word in his defense, “Oops”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: A few days ago I acquired a strange soreness in my left shoulder right behind my shoulder blade. More than likely it is due to my constant sitting and terrible posture at work but it got bad enough for me to try a few things in an attempt to alleviate the pain. So yesterday I picked up a therapeutic neck shoulder wrap that can be heated up or frozen depending on what you need it for. It also is filled with lots of yummy smelling things like cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus that once heated fill the entire house with their soothing fragrance. I love this thing. It feels so nice, like a warm hug around my shoulders and neck. It immediately relaxes me, to the point that I just want to curl up and sleep each time I wrap it around my neck. Ahhh…
TWO: It’s been a month of bizarre weather for the U.S. of A. and even though Orlando has been spared (so far) I experienced a bit of the willy-nilly nature of, well, Mother Nature today. Walking to my back doors to call Joey inside I see a flash of light and simultaneously, KABOOM! a crack of thunder so loud and so close it rattled me. Now usually I am not shaken by a boom of thunder or strike of lightning, these are somewhat of a commonality here. What was so striking (excuse the pun) about this one was it was a bright and sunny day, hardly a cloud to be seen. I immediately shooed the dogs inside and stood staring outside wondering where in the world that had come from. I realize I live in the lightning capital of the world, but even so I got spooked today… it was pretty dang freaky. It was like Zeus misplaced one of his thunderbolts, perhaps during a siesta brought on by a therapeutic wrap filled with cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus? You never know…
Love & Squirrels.