[Tidbits] When Gods and Mortals War

When Gods and Mortals War

There was a time–as you all know–when gods and mortals mixed. Often
…when things were good…there was union between the two…and the
effects resulted in the birth of great heros…such as…for
instance…Hercules. But when things were not so good…and the
meeting between god and mortal ended in a challenge where the god
fared less than the human…ah…alas…all was then not well on
Olympus or on Earth.

As Vulcan was the smithy of the gods…so was Minerva the weaver. As
gods go…Minerva was no different than any other. She thought her
skills were unmatched by any and all…her product unapproachable in
fineness and beauty. She was the best and she had no equal. It’s the
way gods and would-be gods think. I’m sure you’ve all met folks who
thought they were gods. They carry about them the aura of the
imposter and the mantle of smug superiority.

One day…as Minerva was carrying out her godly duties…strutting
her stuff so to speak…she heard that there was a mortal lass who
claimed her weaving to be superior to that of Minerva’s. Minerva was
in a rage. Who did this peasant maiden think she was? Well…this was
not to be taken lightly. Gods of past and present alike do not like
their dominions threatened. So she went to the peasant hut where the
maiden lived…and challenged her to a weaving contest. The peasant
girl accepted.

Mistake, my friends. Huge mistake. They set up their looms and
stretched out their warps. There was no time to waste. This thing had
to be settled. So they went to work. Oh…how Minerva’s fingers flew.
Oh…how the peasant girl matched her in every weave and fancy. Heaps
of skeins of unmatched beauty lay beside each in multi-colored hues
which surpassed even those colors of the rainbow. And then they were
finished. And Minerva showed her work. Ahhh…it was beautiful. It
was a delight to the eye. It filled the optic senses with delight. It
was as good as it gets…no? No. Most emphatically…no. The peasant
girl’s work was…if not finer…than certainly just as good. Let me
digress here folks…to enlighten one and all with a pithy bit of
Even if you’re better than a god…you would be wise to
keep that knowledge to yourself. Gods don’t like to see that kind of

In a fury…Minerva slit her web and smashed the peasant girl about
the head with her shuttle. The peasant girl…disgraced and
shamed… hung herself by the neck till dead. Minerva watched the
slender young thing dangling from the silken thread she used to end
her life…and pitied her. So she lifted the maiden from her
noose…and sprinkled the juices her with the juices of aconite.
Immediately…the maiden’s hair flew off…as did her nose and ears.
Her form shrank…and her fingers cleaved to the side of her body to
serve as legs. You can all see this peasant maiden in her new form to
this very day. Her name was Arachne…and Minerva changed her into a
spider…where to this very day she weaves those intricate designs
that bested a god.

The fact is folks…I have a pin to show you…a representation of
Arachne herself…a spider pin of gold and diamonds and enamel…
created circa 1900 when the birth of insect jewelry began its ascent
into the public fancy.

So…for those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may
I direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the table menu till you get to the box that says
Tidbits…and inside the box where it says Tidbit Graphics…click on
the link that says: Spider…where you will see a rendering of our
adorable little creature.

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

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