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The Third Labor






Source: Myths And Legends Of All Nations.

The third demand of Eurystheus was that Hercules bring to him alive
the hind Cerynitis. This was a noble animal, with horns of gold and
feet of iron. She lived on a hill in Arcadia, and was one of the five
hinds which the goddess Diana had caught on her first hunt. This one,
of all the five, was permitted to run loose again in the woods, for it
was decreed by fate that Hercules should one day hunt her.

For a whole year Hercules pursued her; came at last to the river
Ladon; and there captured the hind, not far from the city Oenon, on
the mountains of Diana. But he knew of no way of becoming master of
the animal without wounding her, so he lamed her with an arrow and
then carried her over his shoulder through Arcadia.

Here he met Diana herself with Apollo, who scolded him for wishing to
kill the animal that she had held sacred, and was about to take it
from him.

"Impiety did not move me, great goddess," said Hercules in his own
defense, "but only the direst necessity. How otherwise could I hold my
own against Eurystheus?"

And thus he softened the anger of the goddess and brought the animal
to Mycene.





Next: The Fourth Labor

Previous: The Second Labor



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