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The Mighty Minotaur and the Sea Serpent

A Folk Tale

Image credit goes to: Of Monsters And Men 

Once upon a time there was a land filled with creatures both big and small, skinny and fat, short and tall but among all of them reigned the Minotaur. His great body towered above all, his horns thrust into the sky like a pointed crown, his chest was wide like a tree trunk and his arms were like great branches from his torso. The Minotaur truly believed himself to be the greatest creature of them all and he took a home upon the tallest mountain, from there he would look down upon all the creatures below him and bellow “Truly there is no creature greater than I, I am more intelligent than the wisest owl, faster than the tiny birds that flitter from tree to tree, stronger than the oldest oak of the Great Forest. Truly there is no creature on this land greater than I”. Each and every day he would bellow this from his perch upon his mountain letting his strong voice rumble down the mountains, through the trees and over the hills and not one creature dare speak against him for they all agreed he truly was the greatest creature of them all.

The Minotaur would set out from his mountain ever so often, when the desire struck him, to see if he could find any creature that could truly be better than him. He would march down the mountains, through the trees and over the hills stopping each creature he found and asking them kindly. “Have you ever seen such a creature as magnificent as I?” and each time the animals of the land would reply, “No one stands greater than you mighty Minotaur” and the Minotaur would continue his march making his way through the land.

Each day the Minotaur set out he would go further and further, yet all the animals knew his name for they could hear his mighty roar each day from his mountain top home. One day as the Minotaur set out he finally reached the shores of the place they call the ocean and made his way to the water line. He spotted a fish and asked, “Have you ever seen such a creature as magnificent as I?” 

The fish stopped and thought for a moment “Well surely you are great but you cannot be greater than the mighty sea serpent!” 

The Minotaur froze for no one had ever challenged him before and he quickly clenched his great fists and blew furiously from his snout, “How dare you! No one is greater than I! Who is this sea serpent you speak of!?” 

The fish replied calmly, “The great sea serpent that lives out deep in the ocean! How have you never heard of her? She speaks not a word but yet everyone knows of her! No Minotaur you are great but you cannot be greater than the sea serpent!” The fish then swam off into the ocean and disappeared into the darkness.

The Minotaur was furious at the fish but he had to see this sea serpent the fish spoke of, so all night the Minotaur worked on creating a boat. He pulled trees up from the ground and with his bare hands carved a magnificent boat. As the sun rose upon the horizon painting the ocean a beautiful hue of oranges and pinks the Minotaur had finished his boat and it floated proudly upon the water. The Minotaur climbed into the boat and grabbed the oars, his great arms thrusted back and forth pushing the boat out into the water. On and on the boat drifted farther and farther away from shore until the sandy beaches were no longer visible and the great blue ocean was the only thing in sight. The Minotaur stood up proud and tall and bellowed out, “Truly there is no creature greater than I, I am more intelligent than the wisest owl, faster than the tiny birds that flitter from tree to tree, stronger than the oldest oak of the Great Forest. Truly there is no creature on this sea greater than I,” and the ocean was silent.

The Minotaur huffed proudly and knew without a doubt he truly was the greatest creature in the world but the boat began to shake and the water began to churn. The Minotaur looked below and could see nothing but with a great splash arose a mighty serpent with scales that shimmered like pearl, and eyes like beautiful blue opal stones. The Minotaur froze for he had never seen such a creature as beautiful as her and suddenly he no longer felt as mighty within her shadow. The serpent said nothing and only looked upon the Minotaur her eyes piercing through him, observing him as he gazed upon her. “You must be the sea serpent! I am told that you are as mighty as I, the Minotaur,” said the Minotaur meeting her eyes with his own. 

The sea serpent spoke, “Some have said that I am the mightiest creature upon the sea, but I know not for the sea is far greater than I.” 

This took the Minotaur by surprise. “Are you more intelligent than the wisest owl?” asked the Minotaur but the sea serpent only looked confused.

“What is an owl mighty Minotaur?” again the Minotaur was taken by surprise for surely everyone knew of how wise all the owls were! 

“The owls are the wisest creatures of all the land, everyone knows that!” said the Minotaur. “Surely if you were the most intelligent creature you would know of how wise owls are! You must not be the mightiest creature if you do not know of the owls!” scoffed the Minotaur. 

“I am surely not dumb mighty Minotaur but the sea does not have the owls you speak of!” spoke the sea serpent with anger. The Minotaur then looked confused, surely they have owls down in the sea for there are plenty of owls on land! 

“Well are you faster than the tiny birds that flitter from tree to tree?” asked the Minotaur. “I know not of these birds and trees you speak of mighty Minotaur,” said the sea serpent. 

The Minotaur was taken aback at this, “If you do not have owls, tiny birds, or trees then what do you have in the ocean?” asked the Minotaur growing frustrated with the sea serpent. The sea serpent then told him of the great coral reef beds, the many fish that swam below in the sea, and all the wonders of the ocean and its vastness. Her tales of the sea captured and held the Minotaur, for he had never heard of such a place and nothing on the land was quite like it. He grew eager and hungry to learn more about the sea and asked the sea serpent, “Sea serpent, you speak of a land far more wonderful than my own may I come to you from now on and speak with you more?” 

“Only if you tell me of this mysterious place called land, mighty Minotaur.”

From then on each day the Minotaur would paddle his boat out to sea and listen to the sea serpent talk of the ocean and all its wonders. Then he would tell her of the wonders of the land from the fast tiny birds, to the wise owls and even of the strength of the oldest oaks within the Great Forest. From sunrise, when the Minotaur would set out to sea, till sunset when the Minotaur would return home to his mountain top, they would talk day and night of worlds completely different from their own. As the days passed the Minotaur began to fall in love with the sea serpent and she fell in love with him, each day they would grow closer and closer together as they learned more and more about each other and the land they came from.

Finally, after a particularly good day with the serpent, the Minotaur had decided he would leap off his boat into the ocean and swim with the serpent he loved so dearly. As he rose that morning and set his boat out into the ocean he did just that, he waited for the serpent to rise and he jumped into the warm blue water right next to her. He smiled gleefully and swam next to the serpent enjoying the coolness of the water and the closeness he could finally have with the serpent, despite knowing their worlds were so different. All through the day he explored the great ocean with the serpent by his side but no matter what each time he had to come up for air for he could not breathe water like the sea serpent. This happened for days until one day the serpent finally asked, “Maybe I can try and come upon the land with you mighty Minotaur?” this made the Minotaur smile and he gladly took her to the shores of the land. The sea serpent slithered her way up the shore next to the Minotaur but try as she might the pain was too great for she could not breathe. Each time she would slither her way up the shore but each time the sun would beat upon her scales scorching her and the lack of water would choke her. It was then the sea serpent realized, she could never be a part of this world that the Minotaur was.

From then on each time the Minotaur would row his boat out into the sea he would only find the water empty and ocean quiet, for the sea serpent was not there. Each time the Minotaur would lean out over his boat, looking into the water for his sea serpent, only to see nothing but the inky blackness below; but only if he knew the sea serpent also looked up from the ocean floor where she knew her mighty Minotaur floated above. He was angry and hurt by the sea serpent for leaving him but while he could swim within her ocean, she could not walk upon his land so the sea serpent would only look upon the Minotaur she loved so dearly from the sea bed as she knew that she could never truly be happy with a creature such as he. 

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