Claudia’s story features Tarus, a terrifying part-dragon, part-crocodile monster, who almost gets the better of Hercules. Congratulations Claudia on a very suspenseful myth and on winning in the 8-11 age category! We hope you enjoy reading Claudia’s myth!
After capturing the Cerberus (the brutal three headed dog that guarded the gates of the underworld) triumphant Hercules marched on to his next quest. It was the most brutal task of them all. Hercules had to bring back the heart of Tarus. Tarus lived in the depths of a dark cave. Tarus had a hundred ghastly serpent heads and one giant human head. His human shaped body bore dragon wings and he had many crocodile tails for legs. He would slither around torturing poor humans that had done nothing wrong. Tarus whip his enemies with his tails knocking them down to the floor dead. On top of all that, he could breathe out poisonous gasses that could kill a mortal in an instant. Hercules arrived at the dangerous looking cave with jagged rocks on either side. Dare he walk in? Knowing Hercules, of course he would. He had to. It was his thirteenth and finals task to gain forgiveness. The cave’s darkness enveloped him like a blanket. The walls were damp and dingy, he could smell the fetid breath of Tarus. He followed the odour into the depths of the cave, treading carefully to avoid the rotting skeletons littering the floor. Stealth was the key to success in this his final mission. Finally, Hercules reached a part of the ominous cave that the smell was at its strongest, a flickering fire just around the corner. The giant shadow of a terrifying creature against the dripping, dank wall. He could just make out where the ferocious creature was lurking by its eyes glinting like gems in the velvety darkness. Hercules strode forwards clasping the tusk of the Erythmanthian boar held aloft. Tarus let out a deafening hiss and rose to his full height, towering over Hercules. Hercules continued forwards and lunged at Tarus; he plunged the tusk into his torso. Tarus flapped his wings in annoyance causing a gale that knocked Hercules off his feet. This was Hercules’ toughest challenge yet. Tarus breathed out his fumes whilst pinning Hercules to the floor with one of his muscular tails. Hercules grunted as he wriggled with all his might, trying to throw off the winged beast. He managed to break free, but was now backed up against the roaring fire. He could feel the heat searing into his flesh.
Tarus advanced, Hercules retreated, even closer to the dancing flames. Tarus slithered, at rapid speed, menacingly towards Hercules. Hercules darted towards the wall just as Tarus fell into the furious flames unable to stop. His disgusting remains melted, turning to ash, which made the roaring fire retreat to a trickle of flame, exposing the stone heart of the beast. Hercules looked down triumphantly at the heart of stone, and picked it up. Suddenly light surged out of the cave, and the gateway to Olympus was before Hercules. He had finished his tasks; he had found forgiveness.