The Third Labor





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.





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