Once there was a hero named Hercules. He was very strong and very brave. He had big muscles— the biggest in the world. From the day he was born, he went around the world having adventures. Some people say he was not very smart, but that’s not true. And here is a story to prove it.
One day, Hercules went to work for a bad king. The king hated Hercules. He spent all of his time thinking up dangerous things for the hero to do. First, he sent Hercules to fight the fierce Lion of Nemea. The lion was eating people all over Greece, but Hercules put an end to him.
Next, the king sent Hercules to a dark swamp to face the Hydra, a man-eating monster with nine heads. As soon as Hercules cut off one head, two more grew in its place. And the last would not stop biting—even after it was cut off!
Then the bad king ordered Hercules to wrestle Geryon, a cattle rancher with three ugly heads, six legs, six arms, and six heavy clubs in his six hands.
To make matters worse, Geryon had a nasty two-headed dog with very sharp teeth! After each dreadful battle, Hercules always came back the winner with some trophy to show—a lionskin, for example, or Geryon’s wild herd of cattle, which stampeded through the court, scaring the king and making a mess!
Hercules was very proud of his prizes. But the day he brought back the three golden apples, he was proudest of all, for that’s the day he proved he was smart.
Here is how it happened….