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[Tidbits] The Golden Fleece

The Golden Fleece

I would venture to say there’s the story you know and there’s the
story you don’t know. I will begin with the story you know. I will
end with the one I think you don’t know.

The one you know: There’s this guy–name of Jason–who … due to
family difficulties (I want to be king … no I want to be king kind
of stuff) … is raised by a centaur far from home. When Jason grows
up, he decides to go back from whence he came to become king. On his
return trip he meets an old woman who appears afraid to cross a
river. Noble lad that our hero is, he hoists the old crone on his
shoulder and carries her across the water. En route … he loses his
sandal. Once across the river howwever … the old lady reveals
herself to him. She’s a goddess. Hera is her name. And she becomes
his friend. When Jase gets home … wearing only one sandal … the
then king remembers that long ago an oracle foretold that he would
one day be dethroned by a man wearing one sandal. Ahh … the plot

The king … Pelias by name … in order to get rid of what seems
imminent danger to his reign… tells Jason the throne will be his
if he goes to a far away land and brings back The Golden Fleece. Not
an easy task folks … even for the brave and mighty. Never-the-less
… Jase builds a fifty oared ship and calls it the Argo. A
fantastic crew is culled to man the ship. They’re called–of
course–Argonauts. And they go forth in their quest for The Golden
Fleece … ready to face all dangers … heedless of their well
being for they are heroes and self-esteem in those days ranked well
above common sense. The rest is a mish-mash of adventures and trials
and tribulations. Needless to say … they succeed … for it is
written in the old Great Hero Book in the sky that heroes must
always … ultimately … succeed … else they would be called
losers. And this my friends … is the story you all know.

The one you don’t know: >From whence does this tale of a golden
fleece emanate, you may well ask. What are its roots, you might
surely query. And for that matter … why a fleece? The answer may
well lie in ancient methods of trapping placer gold. Miners back
then did not have the methodology afforded by modern science. They
had to be innovative. Sheep had many uses to the lonely miner …
not the least of which was mining for gold. Here’s how it worked.
Gold … due to its extreme weight … was trapped by sheepskin
placed fleece-side up in a shallow ditch. Then water and gravel
containing gold were poured through the ditch. The force of the
water carried the gravel along but the heavier particles of gold
were trapped in the hairs of the fleece. Ultimately … when the
fleece became truly yellowish … laden as it now was with gold …
it was burned. The fleece was destroyed … the gold remained …
the miner had a good day at the office and probably had lamb chops
for dinner.

So … lest you think the tales of the Golden Fleece are pure
mythology with no basis in fact … think again.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Fleece
… where you will see a grinning graphic of a ram with golden
fleece … grinning he is because of the pride he takes in his fine
woolen coat of gold.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week. Benjamin Mark

TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel – 1-800-20-TYLER