Hades was the king of the underworld, god of death and the dead was also the god of hidden wealth of the earth. There never was a boring moment in Hades’ life. One fine sunny morning, when all was well with the world, Zeus the lord of the sky and one of the brothers of Hades commanded Hermes, the god of thievery, trade and travel, also the messenger of all the gods to take a message to Hades. Unsuspecting Hermes took the message, which he was told shouldn’t be opened by anyone but Hades. Now you should know that when Zeus sent a message everyone quivered with fear. It took Hermes at least two months but because it was a very important message Hermes had to deliver it to Hades himself.
When Hermes reached the gates of the underworld he was told to wait for Hades’ permission. A normally in control Hades was worried and didn’t answer, Hermes waited for 5 hours at the entrance of the underworld. After 5 hours Hermes tiered, and complained to Zeus. Hermes informed Zeus that Hades wouldn’t let him in; Zeus was furious and threw one of his powerful lightning bolts right into Hades’ sanctuary, almost striking Hades himself. Zeus thundered, and demanded Hades to let Hermes in. Hermes went inside, delivered the secret message to Hades and like lightening made his way home.
Later that day some of the gods were summoned to Mount Olympus, the gods were deep in discussion about a problem when suddenly they heard the loudest explosion on earth, they could even see the smoke from Mount Olympus. Something or as the gods knew someone had caused all the volcanoes in the world to erupt simultaneously. They also knew for a fact that volcanoes only erupted when Hades got mad and this didn’t happen very often. Hades had a great sense of humor and usually never lost his temper, he was the cause of other people losing their cool. Hermes was the fastest so he was dispatched to Hades, Hermes reached the underworld and heard loud noises, and he headed to where the noises were coming from and saw Hades in his most fearful form. Hades was scalding, burning and then he grew bigger and turned to fire with lava dripping down, he also had curved horns, Hades looked majestically hideous. Hermes tried to calm him down in vain, so he went to Zeus as fast as he could and told everyone present what he had seen, “Hades will destroy the underworld if you don’t do something about it.”
Zeus managed to calm everyone down. Hades was called by Zeus to Mount Olympus, he asked Hades why he was so mad but Hades wouldn’t speak in front of the other gods. Zeus led Hades to his private chamber, they spoke in private and the matter was settled.
Just then Poseidon the god of the seas barged in with a complaint to Zeus, that every time Hades gets mad all the volcanoes blow up and because of the lava my seas evaporate, my fish die, my beloved mortals perish. Zeus was about to say something to Poseidon when Demeter the goddess of grain and fertility was mad because all of her crops were burnt and only ashes remained. Due to the volcanic eruption, a town called Pompeii with all the mortals still sleeping was buried under ash. Apollo the god of music and light reminded everyone that this had happened before, the last time Hades was mad when they were kids because Poseidon had won the bet, and as a result the dinosaurs became extinct.
“Demeter and Poseidon are right; something has to be done about Hades getting mad and volcanoes blowing up.” Zeus tried to think of something that could solve everyone’s problems but failed to come up with an idea. He asked the other gods but all of them had different opinions and couldn’t agree. If Zeus was about to use someone’s idea the other gods complained, “Why didn’t you use our idea.” Finally, Zeus asked Athena the goddess of wisdom what he should do. Athena came up with an idea in which the twelve great gods would choose a mortal to represent them in an athletic competition. Whoever’s mortal won would get to decide what the solution would be, about volcanoes erupting whenever Hades got mad. All of the gods were allowed to participate and pick their mortals, even Hades and Zeus.
The competition took place two days later, all the gods chose their mortal representatives but the most skilled of the mortals were chosen by Poseidon and Hades. During the two days Poseidon was training Acteon and so were the other gods. An hour before the competition was scheduled to start all the competitors arrived in Olympia where the competition was going to take place. All the gods were excited; at first during the 100 meter race six of the competitors were eliminated. Now there were only the mortals of Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Demeter, Apollo and Athena left in the competition. Excitement was sky high, everyone was nervous. Next on the schedule was the wrestling event after which only three mortals remained. Later in the day was the discus and javelin event in which only one of the mortal was eliminated. Boxing was the last event between Song, Hades’ choice and Acteon. It was between the strongest competitors who wrestled for a long time. At last Song was worn out and lost to Acteon and so Poseidon the god of the seas was declared the winner.
Poseidon asked Athena’s advice and decided that only one volcano would blow up if Hades got mad and there would be signs before the volcano was about to erupt so mortals could evacuate to a safe place. There wouldn’t just be lava but there would be some ash and smoke, also if the lava flowed into the water it would solidify and turn into obsidian instead of evaporating all the seas. That’s why volcanoes are not as destructive as they used to be when dinosaurs roamed the earth, so let’s try not to make Hades mad.
Before the competition Acteon was much hated, disrespected and was considered a loser, but because of winning the competition everyone started to respect him and he was greatly honored by all mortals. He has taught us that even though we might not control everything that happens to us, we must try to make the situation favorable by working to change it.