The Chimera, according to Greek mythology, is a female fire-breathing monster, a lion in her forepart, a goat in the middle, and a dragon for her hindquarter. Bellerophon, with Pegasus as his mount, was charged with the impossible task of slaying the Chimera. The raging inferno emanating from her maw melted the tips of his arrows until he (just in time) attached a lump of lead to the point of his spear and thrust it inside her jaws. The lead melted, trickled down her throat, and suffocated her. Henceforth and rightly so, Bellerophon was regarded as a hero.
In THE DEADLIEST SPORT, Miriam is reminded of Bellerophon as she nears The Pegasus, a sleazy waterfront inn. A mural of Bellerophon’s flight on Pegasus decorates its façade:
Soon we approached the narrow, menacing lanes of the Rhakotis quarter, Orestes’s boots setting the pace while Solon’s scuffed up plumes of dust. Despite the warmth of the morning’s honeyed light, the gloom of the crumbling mud-brick buildings stippled my skin. I noticed our pace quickening once we crossed the canal, even Solon’s boots beating a steady rhythm as he and Orestes loped along the waterfront accompanied by the mournful moan of the sea. And then, as soon as I called “Here!” they lowered the chair at the foot of the walkway to the inn. Upon passing through the gate and reaching the door, I realized that like Bellerophon, I too was on my way to kill the Chimera, only I didn’t have the spear or block of lead to slay the monster.
Do you have a chimera to slay? Learn from Miriam. Just click here: