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Romulus and Remus: the True Story
“Scrolls! Scrolls! Get your early morning scrolls!” shouted the Scroll Boy under the librarian’s window. The librarian lived in the great city of Rome and was just waking up to get his morning scroll. “Hey, you! I’ll take a scroll!” he shouted at the boy. The man of books went down his stairs to meet the boy.
“Sir, may I have an extra drachma? I have to pay for my own learning,” said the small boy. The librarian took an extra coin out of his purse but he, withholding the coin, asked, “What is your name, lad?” The small boy replied, “Homer, sir.” The man mumbled that name several times before saying, “Ah! You’re my brother’s best student. He has spoken kindly of you.”
“Do you like stories?” “Yes, sir, very much.” “Very well, then come back to my house when you are finished selling your scrolls.” “Yes, sir,” replied Homer excitedly.
Knock! Knock! “Come in,” answered the librarian at 12 o’ clock. “Sir, you said you had a story for me?” “Yes, I do. However, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Cornelius Lupus and I am one of the descendants of Romulus.”
Homer took out a clay tablet and a stylus, a writing instrument, and began to write. “Have you ever heard the story of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome?” “Yes, I have and why is that important?” “That is a very good question. It is important because of this: the story you have heard is not true.”
He continued, after taking a sip of water, “The true story has been in my family for generations, and I will tell you the truth now.” Homer began to write as Cornelius cleared his throat and began to speak. “As you know, Romulus and Remus were abandoned and left in the mountains but no one knows why they were left alone. The two infants’ parents lived in a city that happened to be captured in a war. Their parents were taken into slavery and were forced to leave their babies all alone.”
“A pack of wolves was coming by the bushes where the two little boys were hidden, following a herd of deer, when the leading she- wolf heard the two babies crying.” Homer stopped writing to ask, “What really happened to the babies?” “Well, thanks to maternal instinct when the she- wolf found the boys, they were not eaten alive; therefore, they were raised with the other wolf cubs.” Homer’s stylus finally slowed.
“The two boys grew up into strong young men and, as all things do, the lead he- wolf died, while hunting a wild boar. So there was a great debate among the pack members, including Romulus and Remus. ‘We should elect our leader by the Moon Goddess’s way,’ requested the biggest wolf, Canis, who was once a friend to Romulus and Remus when they were toddlers. ‘No! We have lost so many to hunters, famines, and on hunts!’ cried Luna, the lead she- wolf.”
“All of a sudden, Canis pounced on Remus, the weaker of the twins. Romulus pulled Canis off of his brother and hit him on the head with a big rock. The rogue wolf fell down dead. ‘Thank you, brother,’ said Remus to his sibling. Romulus went to their foster mother and said to her, ‘We must go now, before we put ourselves in jeopardy.’ That’s just what they did!”
“The twins set out to find a land they could call their own. Remus would use his knowledge of the land to see if it was a proper place to settle. However, Romulus used his strength to hunt for food and tame two wild horses on which they would ride. One day, while they were traveling, Remus stopped his horse. ‘What is ever the matter, Remus?’ asked his brother.”
“He replied, ‘I see the perfect land for us to settle! Follow me, Romulus!’ He urged his horse into a gallop, but then slowed. He did not want to harm any plants in case they could help them survive in this new land.”
Cornelius looked out of his window and saw that the sun was setting. “Do you want to hear the rest of the story or go home?” “I rather stay here to get the rest of the story. My parents don’t care how late I come home,” Homer replied.
“Very well. After a few years, they had a few homes and a palace built in their new city. Immigrants from Greece came to their new city and settled their families. Then one day, the two brothers asked the citizens of their city to come up with a name for their home. ‘Rome after Romulus!’ they all shouted at the gathering. ‘That is good, for I am the strongest and the smartest,’ he replied.
“‘Romulus, I had put up with you taking the honor that belonged to me in the past but now I’ve had enough!’ Remus shouted to his brother from across the room. He stormed out of the room and was never seen again. Although,” pondered Cornelius the Librarian, “there is a wolf with human characteristics that is currently haunting the mountains. However, that is a story for another day. Go home and come back tomorrow.”