Your Paranormal
Your Paranormal

Marvels and Mysteries of the Unexplained

Jason and the Golden Fleece

Last Updated January 9, 2019 by . First Published in 2013.

1,669 words, estimated reading time 6 minutes.

Jason and the Golden Fleece

A classical story in which our hero, Jason, is on the hunt for a magical fleece that will allow him to regain his father's kingdom of Iolkos from the tyrant King Pelias.

"Well, Jason," King Aeetes of Colchis said. "You've come to get the Golden Fleece!" Aeetes regarded young Prince Jason of Iolcos, whose ship, the 'Argo,' had just arrived in Colchis.

"I must warn you that many have tried and failed before you. The dragon that guards the Fleece has slain all of them!"

Aeetes hoped Jason would be scared by this warning. As the dragon was mentioned, some young warriors who felt themselves to be brave went pale. Others had found a reason not to try to get the Fleece and had soon returned to Colchis.

Jason was not like that at all. He had, after all, pledged to find the Fleece and bring it back to Ilocos. Only then would Jason's uncle, Pelias, keep his pledge to return the kingdom of Iolcos to Jason's father, King Aeson.

King Aeetes couldn't sleep that night because he was too worried. 'I have to get rid of Jason,' he reasoned. 'I need to figure out how to keep him from taking the Fleece.'

Aeetes paced back and forth, back and forth, in his bedchamber all night. He plotted and schemed against Jason all night. Finally, as daylight broke, Aeetes devised an appropriate strategy.

"I'll assign three duties to Jason," Aeetes decided. "He can only have the Golden Fleece after he has completed all of them!"

Aeetes burst out laughing. "Jason will never complete the assignments," he grinned gleefully. "All of them are impossible! Each one is intended to kill him. He'll be killed before completing the first, and the Fleece will be safe once more."

But, King Aeetes was unaware that his daughter Medea was aware of his evil schemes. Medea was a witch with extraordinary abilities. Even though her bedchamber in the palace was far distant from her father's, she was able to understand his thoughts.

Medea was profoundly disturbed by what she discovered. She had fallen in love with Jason, even though she had never seen him before he arrived at the palace of Colchis the day before.

"I think I should warn Jason," Medea determined. "He can complete the duties my father assigns him using my magic. He'll perish if he doesn't have it!"

Medea dashed through the palace hallways to the room where Jason was sleeping. Medea ran into the room without knocking and roused him up. "Listen to me, Jason," she said passionately. "I've arrived to rescue your life!"

Jason became wide awake at that point.

"Who wants to murder me?" he inquired.

"The King, my father!" Medea responded, and she told him about Aeetes' plans.

Jason was enraged by the news. He desired to go and assassinate Aeetes there and then, before the deceitful King had the opportunity to do so.

"No way, Jason!" Medea informed him. "I have a better solution. Take this magical medicine. It will keep you safe while you complete the first job. This magical stone will be required for the second job.

"What about the third task?" Jason inquired.

"Make sure your Argonaut, Orpheus is with you... and make sure he brings his lyre, the one that plays such wonderful music. The Golden Fleece will then be yours," Medea declared proudly.

The next morning, King Aeetes summoned Jason to his throne room and assigned him three tasks.

""Now, you must tie two fire-breathing bulls to a plough and plough four acres of land with them," Aeetes ordered. So, you must sow the land with dragon's teeth. A swarm of ferocious armed soldiers will emerge from these teeth at once, and you must eliminate them all!"

"I'll do it!" Jason sobbed, pretending he was unaware of Aeetes' evil.

""You must then destroy the dragon in the magical grove," Aeetes continued. Only then can you return the Fleece to Iolcos."

Soon later, a large audience gathered in the meadows outside the palace to witness Jason complete the first two tasks. Medea and King Aeetes were both present. Except for Medea, no one believed Jason had a chance.

Either the bulls would scorch him with their ferocious breath, or a swarm of armed men would murder him.

Jason entered the arena wearing his finest armour. Many in the audience groaned and shook their heads, thinking how unfortunate it was that such a gallant young warrior would die so soon. What they didn't realise was that Jason had rubbed the magical ointment that Medea had given him all over his body and armours.

Two bulls thundered into the field, making a huge racket of hooves and a hiss of flames. Their eyes were furious, and tremendous bursts of fire leapt from their nostrils with every breath. Their hooves were formed of white-hot metal, and as they stomped on the ground, it steamed with heat.

"Jason will be burned to cinders soon!" exclaimed King Aeetes as he watched Jason march out towards the bulls. The next thing Aeetes knew, he was glowering with rage as Jason marched unharmed into the flames. He didn't feel the heat that enveloped him because of Medea's ointment.

Jason grabbed one of the bulls' horns and smashed their heads together with a swift movement. Dizzy and dazed, the animals collapsed to their knees. Jason quickly slipped a yoke over their shoulders and waited for them to recover. When the bulls staggered to their feet, all of their wrath had vanished, as had the fire in their nostrils and hooves.

The bulls were now as gentle as lambs, pulling the plough across the four acres of field as Jason directed from behind. The crowd was taken aback by the spectacle. King Aeetes was enraged.

He pondered what kind of magic Jason had used to accomplish this feat. "But, the next duty will bring Jason's demise," the King consoled himself.

But, once again, Aeetes was disappointed, and the audience was astounded. Hundreds of armed soldiers sprouted from Jason's dragon teeth. As Medea had instructed, Jason flung Medea's magical stone among them. The armed guys immediately turned on each other. Each of them accused the other of throwing the stone. They fought. They yelled. They started fighting amongst themselves. Soon, they were all dead on the field where they had barely grown minutes before.

The audience delighted in cheering, clapping, and shouting. Everyone quickly became silent, however, when King Aeetes rose to his feet and said angrily, "Enough! Two such fantastic chores are more than enough for a single morning!

"You need to rest, Jason."

"But, Your Majesty," Jason objected.

King Aeetes, trembling with fury and frustration, interrupted him. "No! Enough! I've said it! The third task can be attempted tomorrow."

"You and all your Argonauts will be dead tomorrow, my valiant Jason!" As he walked fiercely to his palace, Aeetes reflected.

Aeetes summoned the leader of his warriors as soon as he arrived. He gave him the command to assassinate Jason and his Argonauts while they slept in their rooms that night.

Medea, of course, was paying attention. She dashed over to Jason and informed him of her father's newest treachery.

"You have to get the Golden Fleece tonight!" she insisted. "Tomorrow is too late!"

That night, Jason snuck quietly from his bed, awoke the Argonaut, Orpheus, and went out to the magical grove with him.

They could see the grove before they entered it. The Fleece, which hung from a tree, sparkled so brightly that it illuminated the surrounding woods. It was so bright that Jason thought it was another sun blazing inside the trees. The dragon sat beneath it, his eyes alert and unblinking.

"This has to be the most terrifying dragon in the world," Jason said to Orpheus, looking at the creature's huge spiky tail and mouthful of sharp teeth. "But then Orpheus appears. Sing."

Orpheus plucking the cords of his lyre, he began to sing the loveliest song. The dragon pricked its ears and looked in the direction of the sound when it heard it. The music was so lovely that the dragon's eyes lost part of their ferocity. The dragon then yawned as Jason stood there watching as Orpheus began to sing. Its eyelids started to blink. For the first time in its life, it felt drowsy. The dragon then closed its eyes and flopped down on the ground, fast asleep.

"Keep singing, Orpheus," Jason said quietly. He dashed across the floor of the grove, sword in hand. Jason slashed through the sleeping dragon's neck with one swift swing of his blade. Then he scrambled up the tree's branches and unhooked the gleaming Fleece.

Orpheus assisted Jason in stuffing the Fleece into a sack. They didn't want its golden light to reveal themselves. Then they dashed back through the woods and down the tiny, tree-lined trails that led to Colchis' harbour.

Medea and the rest of the Argonauts were already in the 'Argo'. Jason and Orpheus climbed aboard. The cables that secured the ship to the quayside were cut, and the Argonauts rowed out of the port quickly and quietly. The wind filled the sails of the 'Argos,' and by the time King Aeetes realised what had happened, Jason, Medea, and the Argonauts had sailed far out to sea.

In Colchis, the triumphant Jason left a raged, enraged King in his wake.

As the 'Argo' returned Jason to Iolcos, another King was equally enraged. King Pelias, Jason's uncle, had ordered him to get the Golden Fleece, fearing the dragon who guarded it would kill him. Pelias was obligated to keep his pledge now that Jason had returned. He was forced to return the stolen Kingdom of Iolcos.

Once the evil Pelias was gone, Jason returned to his father, King Aeson, from exile. When Jason escorted his father to the throne in the palace of Iolcos, from which Pelias had driven him so many years before, it was a glorious day.

That night, there was a huge feast to celebrate Jason's return, and the Golden Fleece was hung on the banqueting hall's wall. It cast a dazzling light over a scene of intense joy.

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