Greek Mythology: The Tale of the Cyclops
From gods and kings to monsters and beasts, the tales left for us by the ancient Greeks never fail to surprise and excite us! Greek Mythology not only has many great stories, but can also teach valuable lessons. It’s amazing to think that children thousands of years ago were listening to these same tales, learning the exact life lessons as your child does from these elaborate stories. Want to turn story time into play time? Each tale has a figure from our mythical realms® collection to go along with it, this way you can make the story interactive! This story is about a cruel, one eyed monster called a Cyclops and how the clever hero Odysseus was able to outsmart him.
The Tale of the Cyclops
Once upon a time, there was a very brave soldier name Odysseus who was making his way home from war. Odysseus had been away fighting for a very long time, and faced many scary obstacles on his way home. He sailed with a crew of many brave men, and one day on their journey they came across a very beautiful land. They decided to set up camp there, and ate roasted goat on the beaches while they relaxed. Across the water was a land thick with forests and beautiful mountains. Odysseus was curious to meet the people who lived over there, and decided that he should go and see what they had to offer.
The following day, Odysseus packed a fine wine to bring as a gift for whoever lived there, and sailed across to the beautiful land with a handful of his men. After a few hours of exploring and not seeing any people, they stumbled across a cave that contained penned up sheep, as well as a large amount of milk and cheese. Odysseus assumed the man who lived here must be very rich, so they waited for the owner to return, helping themselves to milk and cheese. Right before dark herds of sheep began entering the cave, followed by their shepherd, a giant Cyclops. Angered, the Cyclops asked what they were doing there. Odysseus politely explained to him that they were exploring and wanted to see who lived in this cave. The Cyclops was a cruel giant with one large eye instead of two, and he decided that Odysseus and his men were not leaving.
The Cyclops lifted an enormous boulder and blocked the doorway, then picked up two of Odysseus’s men and ate them for dinner before lying down to sleep. Odysseus and his men mourned the loss of their companions, and Odysseus began to think of ways to get them out of this cave. The rock was far too big for them to move on their own, so he began to think of other ways to escape. The next morning, the Cyclops ate two more of Odysseus’s men before herding his sheep out the door. Once he was gone, Odysseus ordered his men to find sharp flint and sticks, and tied them together to make a very large spear. When the Cyclops returned, Odysseus politely offered him the wine he had brought. The Cyclops thanked Odysseus for the wine, ensuring him that since he was kind, he would eat him last. Then, after eating two more of Odysseus’s brave men, the wine took it’s effect and the Cyclops fell into a deep sleep. Once asleep, Odysseus and his men lifted the large spear they had made earlier that day and stuck it right into the Cyclops’ eye. Enraged, the Cyclops awoke but was unable to find the men for he could no longer see.
The following morning, the Cyclops moved the rock to allow his sheep to pass, feeling the top of each sheep to make sure no man escaped. Odysseus had anticipated this, and tied the sheep together with the men clinging to the bottom of them. Once out of the cave, the men scurried back to their boat and sailed back to the rest of the crew on the other side of the island. When the Cyclops realized the men had all escaped, he was furious! He lived the rest of his life in the beautiful mountains and forests, which he could no longer see, since Odysseus had taken his eye.
Does your child have an interest in Greek Mythology? What is their favorite tale so far? Share with us in the comment box below and don’t forget to check out our next Greek Mythology post!