MY TWELVE LABORS
I read a lot when I was a kid. A lot of the people I like now, the people I'm closest to, read a lot when they were kids.
I've been going through boxes lately and I found this old copy of Hercules and Other Tales from Greek Myths by Olivia E. Coolidge, published by Scholastic Book Services.
Oh, Scholastic! Like Christmas, or the Wells Fargo wagon. I remember when my teachers would pass out the Scholastic buying guides and I would carefully read the description of each book and circle the ones I wanted. Once or twice a year, there was a book fair at school and you could buy the books right there on the spot.
This is the same book I had as a kid, but it's not the same copy. I know this because I personally colored all the illustrations in mine. Green were the snakes Hercules strangled in his cradle, gold were the apples Aphrodite gave to Hippomenes in his race against Atalanta.
If you put a gun to my head I would've sworn there was a picture of Poseidon coming out of the ocean, but it was Nereus. I might have forgotten the name of the player, but I remember using a combination of midnight blue and cornflower for the water. I'm sure about that.
I know a guy, Doug Thomas. If you knew Doug, you might look at the picture of Hercules on the cover of this book and say, "that looks like Doug Thomas, except for the purple hair and the skirt and the boots" and you'd be right.
This book also contains the story of Daedalus and Icarus, the boy who flew too high, too close to the sun.
That story always made a lot of sense to me. I don't always listen to instructions and I certainly don't always follow the rules, but I understand caution.
If you fly too near the sea, your feathers might get wet and heavy and you'll drown. If you fly too high, the sun will melt the wax, your feathers will fall off, and you'll die.