Bellerophon and Pegasus
Last Updated May 31, 2023 by Tim Trott. First Published in 2013.
1,002 words, estimated reading time 4 minutes.
Bellerophon tames Pegasus and begins on a journey to destroy the terrible Chimera, determined to free the residents of the kingdom from the fire-breathing Chimera and armed with a golden saddle given to him by the Goddess Athene.
"Pegasus!" exclaimed Bellerophon.
Bellerophon initially mistook the reflection in the fountain for a large white bird. When he looked up, he was ecstatic to see a winged horse. It was the famous and lovely Pegasus. Pegasus glided down from the sky on his silver wings, as seen by Bellerophon. He landed near the fountain and started drinking. Bellerophon kept an eye on everything from behind a nearby shrub. He clutched the magical golden bridle given to him by the goddess Athene in his hand.
"Pegasus is a wild horse," explained Athene. "He has never had somebody ride on his back. But if you put this bridle on him, he'll calm down."
Bellerophon has been waiting for Pegasus for months. The winged horse did not frequently visit the fountain. Bellerophon could see that the wait had been well worth it. Pegasus was a majestic steed, with powerful wings and a strong back. He was the only horse capable of carrying Bellerophon in his big undertaking of defeating the monster, Chimera. Chimera was a genuinely dreadful beast. It had a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. It breathed fire and flames and has been stealing animals and tiny children for years. Chimera's fiery breath destroyed woods, crop fields, and entire villages, leaving only mounds of ashes in their wake.
Bellerophon was determined to defeat this awful beast, but he needed Pegasus' assistance. But first, he had to tame Pegasus. Bellerophon waited until the winged horse was munching grass near the fountain before approaching it. Suddenly he dashed towards him, took a huge leap, and landed on the horse's back.
Pegasus was so terrified that he leapt into the sky at once. He went up and up till he was above the clouds with Bellerophon. Bellerophon clutched on for dear life the entire journey. Pegasus worked tirelessly to dislodge him. He jumped. He took off again. He kicked his heels. He stood up. It was pointless. Bellerophon was still firmly on his back.
Pegasus turned his head, his teeth sinking into Bellerophon's arm.
When Bellerophon managed to slip the magical bridle over Pegasus, he instantly became calm. He stopped hurling himself around the sky, and when he gazed at Bellerophon, all the furious rage had left his eyes. Instead, Pegasus offered his rider the expression of an animal who understood and adored his master.
Bellerophon pressed his knees into the sides of Pegasus. The horse took him down to the ground again in response to this indication. Bellerophon dismounted and walked over to where he had put the weapons he meant to use to slay Chimera.
He then hopped back onto Pegasus' back and muttered, "Now, my lovely steed, let us seek Chimera!"
It didn't take long to track down the monster. Bellerophon immediately noticed burned and scorched fields under him.
'This is Chimera's malicious doing,' he reasoned. 'The monster isn't far away.'
Bellerophon observed it seated on a high ridge above the farms, satisfied with the damage it had inflicted.
"Chimera hasn't noticed us yet, Pegasus!" Bellerophon spoke in hushed tones. "We can take it by surprise. Now, my darling, we need one of your swift, quick dives to get to Chimera as soon as possible!"
Pegasus lowered his head. Bellerophon soared towards the Earth, his bow firm and steady in one hand and a slew of arrows in the other.
"Slow down now, Pegasus," he said quietly. Pegasus complied and slowed down to hover just above Chimera's head. Bellerophon quickly attached the first of his arrows to his bowstring.
Chimera looked up at that precise moment. The lion's eyes sparkled with a horrible anger and wrath, and its jaws opened to unleash a massive explosion of flame and smoke.
The flames erupted, nearly engulfing Bellerophon and Pegasus in blistering heat. It was either now or never.
Bellerophon let go of the first arrow, grabbed another, inserted it into the bowstring, and let go of the string again. The bowstring twitched again and again, and a hail of arrows began to rain down on Chimera. The creature was soon strewn with arrows and wailing in agony. Flames erupted from its lion's lips as it shouted. Chimera threshed around in vain, attempting to shake off the shafts. Then it thrust gigantic flame tongues at Bellerophon.
Bellerophon fired the final arrow and commanded Pegasus, "A bit higher, my lovely steed. I need to remain out of range of Chimera's fire while I plan my ultimate attack."
Pegasus beat his wings faster, lifting Bellerophon into the air and away from Chimera's blazing flames. Bellerophon reached into his saddlebag and drew out a massive chunk of lead. He screwed the lead onto the end of his spear and tightened it down.
Bellerophon lowered his gaze to where Chimera was writhing in agony. He was expecting the monster to look up and try to reach him with its blazing breath once more. Bellerophon kept a tight eye on things.
Then came the moment he had been anticipating. The lion's head began to rise.
"Pegasus, take me down!" Bellerophon yelled.
Pegasus' head raised and its massive mouth opened just as it reached the proper position over Chimera. Bellerophon thrust his spear deep into Chimera's mouth. Inside the monster's jaws, there was a horrifying sizzling and boiling sound. Bellerophon's ears were pierced by the monster's terrifying, screeching roar.
"The lead is melting!" Bellerophon triumphantly cried.
When he took the spear out, he noticed that the lump of lead had vanished. Chimera's mouth was on fire, and it had melted the metal. Chimera rolled on the ground and flung itself around in agony as the lead flowed down its throat and burned its insides away. The howls grew louder and louder until it finally shuddered and lay quiet.
Its dead body began to emit smoke. Chimera was quickly engulfed in a blanket of flame once fire ripped through its hide. The fire raged for an extended time. All that remained was a pile of black, burning ashes.
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