The Real Story of the Minotaur

 

 

            Minos’s wife could not control her passion.  In her mind, the only way to be happy was sex.  Unfortunately, Minos wasn’t a virile man.  Pasiphae had to look elsewhere for her happines.

            Minos was the ruler of a kingdom that extended over most of the Balkans.  His great power had come from convincing people that the gods where on his side.  This did not take much convincing because any man of science could easily sway the Greek population.  Minos knew lots about biology, physics, and astronomy.  He once predicted a solar eclipse and that gave him control over all the east.  What he was most proud of was his animals.

            Using all his knowledge of biology, Minos cross breeded all kinds of animals.  With careful skill he even harvested a white bull.  Minos was a smart man.  So he told his people that Poseidon had given him this bull as a gift.  The people worshipped Minos even more.

            During his hours out with the bulls, Pasiphae was getting very unhappy.  Minos would come home late and tired.  Pasiphae needed excitement badly.  She knew that if she went with Minos to his lab maybe Minos could give her some happines.  All she needed was five minutes of his time.  The next day she went with Minos to his laboratory. 

            She was instantly enamored by the bull.  She totally forgot about the five minutes she had planned with Minos and concentrated on that bull. She knew she would be forever happy if she could have the white bull.  Then she saw the wooden cow.  She asked her husband what the wooden cow was for. 

            Her husband replied that the cow was used to collect semen from the bulls.  He was performing some very important experiments with it.  Pasiphae had an idea.  While her husband was away she hid inside the cow and prepared for the next experiment.  But Thespis, who worked in the lab saw Pasiphae walk into the cow.  He knew that Pasiphae wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the cow and him.  So he did what any man in his position would and he made the gentle maiden happy. 

            When Minos came back he asked Thespis where his wife was.  Thespis told him that she was inside the wooden cow.  Minos found his wife and took her home.  Pasiphae was pregnant.  Minos announced to everyone that Poseidon’s bull, the white one, had made her pregnant.

            Nine months later Pasiphae gave birth to Ruthven.  His father refered to him as the “bull boy.” Outside of the castle people called him the Minotaur.  Ruthven grew up.  He was a really strong kid, and ate a lot.  He won various contests around the city.  Ruthven was an angry child.  He never received any sort of love from Minos.  He played all these sports and challenged everyone to prove that he could be as powerful as Minos someday. 

            Minos really wanted to build a labyrinth.  Ruthven shared this dream with him.  At the young age of 14 he was planning who to hire and how to build it.  He thought that maybe Minos would pay more attention to him.  It was of little use.  By this time Pasiphae had given birth to a beautiful baby girl called Ariadna, whom Minos loved.

            When Ruthven turned 15 Pasiphae decided to organize a party in his honor.  Ruthven was very excited because it was the first time he had ever had a party in his name.  Ruthven invited all of his friends and all of his family.  He had girls and wine and everything that a good rich Greek kid could want.  He was missing one thing however.  Minos wasn’t there. 

            Minos was sitting in his lab with his bulls.  He knew that with enough work he could develop a type of cow that could give enough milk to feed the entire city.  He knew that today was Minos’s birthday but he didn’t care.  It wasn’t his kid so he didn’t care how he grew up.

            Minos was mad.  He couldn’t stand his father ignoring him like this.  He started throwing jars and food around.  He tossed tables and ripped togas.  He ran across the city and went into his father’s laboratory.  He started throwing everything on the floor.  He grabbed a knife and killed all the bulls including the white ones.  He threw all the laboratory items down.  He also destroyed the wooden cow, not knowing it was where he was conceived.

            He started slashing bull after bull.  Vials broke and left broken glass on the floor.  Minos knew it was time to stop him.  He picked up a syringe he had in a special cabinet meant for pacifying bulls when they become enraged.  Minos went up to Ruthven and injected him.  Ruthven tried to fight the anesthesia but not even the strongest of bulls could. 

            Ruthven was asleep.  Minos knew this was a chance to get rid of him.  He couldn’t bring himself to killing him because he was in a way his son.  He had seen him grown up.  Minos put one of the bull’s head on him.  He locked him up in a cage and paraded him around town saying that he had turned into a bull.  Minos put the “minotaur” inside the labyrinth where he could not escape.  Ruthven was lost inside the labyrinth.  He had left his cage only to wander the halls of the labyrinth.  He had enough to eat because there were trees with sufficient fruit.

            Every year Minos would grab his guards and dress them up as women.  He would take them to the labyrinth were they were going to be sacrificed to the Minotaur.  This was all a show because the “maidens” never went inside the labyrinth, they just pretended to and after much yelling and screaming the people would think they were dead.

            The Minotaur gave Minos a lot of power.  When he needed to threaten someone he would tell them that he would feed them to the Minotaur.  Thanks to the Minotaur nobody dared threaten the rule of Minos.

            A lot of people were brave enough to enter the the Minotaur’s labyrinth.  Since Minos didn’t want his secret out he got his guards to kill anybody who dared enter the labyrinth.  It also didn’t matter very much because the labyrinth was so massive that anyone who entered couldn’t possibly come out.

            Meanwhile, Ruthven was very lonely.  There was only so much to do inside the labyrinth.  He tried climbing the walls, he tried knocking them down, but he just couldn’t get out.

            After a couple of years there came a handsome young man called Theseus.  Theseus claimed to be the son of Poseidon.  He also captured the heart of Ariadna.  Ariadna told him of how there was a creature inside the labyrinth. 

Ariadna and Theseus wanted to be married.  Minos pointed out that only a man strong enough to defeat the minotaur could marry his daughter.  Minos had a plan.  He thought that if Theseus got through his guards he would just get lost in the labyrinth.  Then he would just stop throwing food over the labyrinth like they used to.   Every night Minos would through fruits over the labyrinth wall so that Ruthven could eat.  If he stopped throwing food over then Theseus and Ruthven would die.

Ariadna was scared.  She knew how strong Theseus was but she didn’t know if he was strong enough to face the Minotaur.  Besides, even if he does defeat him how was he going to get out? 

On the other side of the city Thespis sat at home all alone.  He had no family in this world, except for maybe the Minotaur.  He didn’t really know if the Minotaur was his child or if it was really the bull’s child.  He had made up his mind that it was his.  Thespis had to go and save his child. 

            Thespis knew that Theseus was planning to go to kill the Minotaur.  He thought that maybe scaring him would make him leave.  So he told them a story:

            “I was in the lab when the Minotaur suddenly appeared to Minos.  It was an angry creature.  It has 2ft long horns which can pierce even the strongest metals.  And it’s teeth could break anything.  The only reason he stays in that labyrinth is because we promised him seven maidens every year.  Which is why we always deliver in time.  It’s his lair in there, and you will be playing by his rules.  All animals obey him so he could have rats come and attack you if he wanted to.  He can also see in the dark, and can control the weather.”

            Unfortunately this didn’t bother Theseus at all.  He was determined to go inside.  Thespis tried to tear down the doors to the Labyrinth but was put in jail by the guards. 

            Ariadne suddenly thought of a way to get Theseus to leave the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur.  She would attach a rope to his belt and she would hold the other end outside the labyrinth.  As he walked in she would release more rope and after killing the Minotaur, Theseus would only have to follow the rope back. 

            And so Theseus prepared himself and went in one day.  He was instantly greeted by palace guards who were trying to kill him.  He managed to defeat them all with his great sword fighting ability.  One after the other they fell.  Theseus was indeed a skilled warrior. 

            He thought there were part of Minos’s test for his daughter’s hand so he kept going into the labyrinth.  Finally, after three days of wandering around the labyrinth he met Ruthven.

            “Who are you?” Theseus asked.

            “My name is Ruthven.  Who are you?”

            “I’m Theseus.  I’ve come to kill the Minotaur.”

            “Oh.  Well you’re too late.  I already killed him.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Look.  There’s his skull right there,” said Ruthven as he pointed to the bull’s skull that was on the floor.  “I killed him last month.  I’ve just been lost here for that long.  Do you know a way out?”

            “Well yeah but I was to marry Ariadna only if I killed the Minotaur.”

            “Ok.  I’ll cut you a deal. If you let me out you can pretend that you never saw me and pretend that you killed the Minotaur.  Here this will prove that you killed it,” said Ruthven as he gave him a shoe with Minos’s emblem on it.

            They both followed the rope back and Ruthven quickly disappeared and went to Crete.

            Theseus took Ariadna and went into Minos’s castle.  He showed them proof that he killed the Minotaur and quickly ran out.  They both went to Athens where they would live the rest of their life.

            Pasiphae spent the rest of her life mourning the death of her son.  Minos’s continued studying the wonders of science and completely forgot about his family and kingdom.  Thespis spent his life in jail.  Ruthven never bothered looking back at this town who hated him and made fun of him.