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A Present for Ares
"Ares will just love this present I am sending him for his birthday," said Hermes, the Greek god of thieves, travelers and merchants. Hermes was planning to send Ares a present. Hermes, being the god of thieves, had stolen the present right from under Ares's nose. Ares sure would get a surprise when he opened this present.
"Oh, Iris," Hermes called. Iris appeared by Hermes's side a moment later.
"Why do you call upon me, Hermes?" Iris asked. Iris was the goddess of rainbows, and she often acted as a messenger for the gods.
"Would you kindly deliver this present to Ares for me?" asked Hermes kindly, his blue eyes twinkling when he thought of the joke he was about to pull.
"I will, is there anything you wish for me to tell Ares?" asked Iris.
"Tell him 'Happy birthday from Hermes!'" said Hermes delightedly.
"Of course," said Iris as she flew into the sky, off to deliver the present and message to Ares.
Iris landed softly by Ares, who was polishing knifes and swords. Ares, who was the god of war, loved weapons.
"Why do you bother me, Iris?" Ares rudely asked.
"I come to bring you a message and a present," Iris said. Iris was afraid of Ares. Generally gods weren't afraid of each other, but Iris knew that Ares could make war break out on earth anytime he wanted to.
"Come on, I don't have all day," Are said irritably. He snatched the present from Iris. "What is the message?"
"Happy birthday, from Hermes," Iris said, and now that her job was complete, she flew off.
"It's not even my birthday," Ares muttered to himself. He had never gotten a present from any of the other gods for some reason. They seemed to hate him, and he didn't know why. The only god who paid any attention to Ares was Aphrodite, goddess of love and the most beautiful of all the goddesses. But Hephaestus hardly ever let him be alone with Aphrodite. Aphrodite had been given to Hephaestus as a reward for setting free his mother Hera, whom he had trapped.
Ares ripped open the gift, and out flew ten Stymphalian birds. They started attacking Ares. The man-eating birds clawed at him with their iron claws and pecked at him with their iron beaks.
"Noooo, stop. You are my sacred birds! You must obey me! Do not attack!" Ares screamed. "Hermes!"
Ares swung one of his swords and chopped a bird in half, killing it.
"One down, nine to go," Ares said.
There was a pop! as Aphrodite appeared by Ares. The birds were not interested in her, Ares was the one they were after.
"What is wrong, my dear?" asked Aphrodite sweetly. Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, but she loved Ares instead. Hephaestus bored her.
"These stupid birds are attacking me!" Ares yelled.
"Oh, I'm so sorry dear," said Aphrodite.
As was bound to happen, Hephaestus showed up, jealous of Ares. Hephaestus limped over to his wife and put his arm around her, laughing as Ares ran from the birds.
"Help me, Hephaestus! Call on one of you're creations!" Ares screamed. Hephaestus was the god of the forges, and was therefore a master of mechanics.
"Why should I help you?" Hephaestus said, sneering.
"Please!" screamed Ares, still running from the birds. Ares didn't like to be polite, but he was desperate.
"Very well, since you asked nicely," said Hephaestus. Hephaestus whistled and a giant automaton appeared. The automaton looked just like Ares, only bigger and made of metal. The automaton lugged itself around the room, with a vacant look on it's face.
"I am Ares. Me am dumb!" said the automaton Ares.
"Hey! That's not very nice," said Ares, appalled at the giant machine version of himself.
"Do you want help or not?" asked Hephaestus, laughing at the mechanic Ares he had created.
"Of course!" Ares yelled. The automaton took out a giant bow and some giant arrows. He shot the arrows at the birds, and they fell to the ground, dead.
"Thanks," Ares muttered quietly under his breath.
"What was that? Asked Hephaestus, taunting Ares.
"I said thanks," Ares said angrily.
Hephaestus and Aphrodite left, leaving Ares alone.
"Hermes!" Ares yelled, and Hermes appeared by his side.
"Did you like my little present?" Hermes asked innocently.
"No!" Ares yelled in Hermes's face. "I did not like your present!"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll just have to get you something better next year," said Hermes, grinning. Ares reached out to strangle Hermes, but Hermes just flew off into the sky, while Ares cursed at him.
Ares went to pick up the sword he had used to kill the Stymphalian bird. He noticed that it was broken. That had been his favorite sword, the one that Peruses had used to chop the gorgon Medusa's head off.
Ares screamed, and it shook the whole earth. The world below felt the earth shake, and Ares powers gave some of them feelings of anger. They started fighting, and thus was born the civil war.