The Hounds of Zeus
Animal pins and brooches have been the vogue over the eons. I would
have to guess that if Neanderthal man had had the ability to work
gold…his significant other would have worn a dainty 14 karat
mastodon around her neck. Oh why oh why…I am sure all of you are
asking…oh why oh why do and did we wear Gryphons…or Griffins…
depending on preferred spelling…why oh why did we wear the images
of these creatures around our necks? The pain…the agony of not
knowing must surely be overwhelming. Lax up folks…I am here to
relieve your sufferings.
Our fabled beastie is all over the place…in mythology and in fairy
tales. Marco Polo said the Gryphon lives in Madagascar. Sir John
Mandeville said that Gryphons inhabit Bactria…wherever that is. To
some…India was considered the native country of the Gryphon.
Herodotus…famous Greek historian…said the Gryphon was a winged
monster always fighting the one-eyed Arimaspians–the one-eyed people
of Syria. Lewis Caroll tells how the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle
demonstrate the Lobster Quadrille to Alice in “Alice in Wonderland.”
So…just what is a Gryphon you may ask. Well…it’s a monster with
the body of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle…and a back all
covered with feathers. Unlike the lion however, and more like the
eagle…our Gryphon builds a nest of gold and lays eggs of Agate. For
the greedy…and there was never a shortage of that ilk…for the
greedy…the golden nest was temptation beyond all reason. Steal a
nest…make a fortune…retire young. That kind of thing. Of
course…our Gryphon kept vigilant guard over its nest…and I very
much doubt that anyone ever really got away with even one golden
twig. That said…it does not hurt to mention that Gryphons also had
insight as to where buried treasures lay. I’ll tell you all
something…if you can tame one of these cute little devils…you’ve
got yourself one heck of a pet. Feed him…pet him…and play your
cards right…and you’ll never have to work again. Its claws are so
large that the people who inhabit the country in which our monster
lives use them as drinking vessels.
Aeschylus…Greek poet…called our Gryphons “The Hounds of Zeus” who
never bark. They were the watch-dogs of the day…ever vigilant…
tireless…guarding with unbridled fierceness the gold of the North.
Now then folks…knowing all this…wouldn’t you want a Gryphon
brooch? Hmmm? This is not an icon to be taken lightly. This is good
stuff. If you’d like to see a picture of our cute little
monster…well…go to my home page…scroll down the table menu till
you get to the box that says Tidbits…and click on Hounds of Zeus.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.