The Mutiny of Eurylochus...?

January 16, 2009
By Seid Suleyman SILVER, Silver Spring, Maryland
Seid Suleyman SILVER, Silver Spring, Maryland
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The Mutiny of Eurylochus…?

I scream with the other men on board as our ship sails past those demons. My courage and fearlessness has been shattered by Scylla and dread Charybdis. But, oh praise Zeus and all the gods, here comes Odysseus, striding up the helm of the ship. He shouts at us to trim the sails, to fly past those fiends. We snap to attention, glad for a sound mind, someone to bring structure in this turmoil. Our ship flies across the waters, our arms powered by Odysseus’s presence. And oh, look, land is ahead of us. We all beam at each other, laughing with joy. But one look at Odysseus’s ominous face robs our happiness. I walk up to him and ask what the problem is. He looks at me and, I swear by all the gods that rule Olympus, I saw such sadness in his eyes as to make the Marshal of the Thunderclouds himself weep. He walks up to the front of the ship and with everyone in clear sight tells us that the land we are nearing is the land of that eternal light, the land of Helios the Sun. I can feel glee bubbling inside me, for if the stories be true, the land of Helios is rich with cattle whose milk never stop flowing, with ram whose horns stay ever long, and with sheep whose wool always grows. But yet again, the look on Odysseus’s face deprives us of that happiness. He looks once more at us and, with a weight on his words, tells us we cannot step foot on the island because it would mean our doom, as foretold by Circe. The Ruler of the Gods himself saw that the look on the faces of the men was like that of Agamemnon in his last dying seconds, watching his cruel wife walk away with her lover. I walk up to him, hesitantly, and ask what he means. Surely he won’t stop us from eating the food of the island? It would be madness if he did. But Odysseus continues staring, not even angered by the attack on his judgment. He explains to us that Circe and the dead prophet had made a prophecy, that if we set sail on the island, we would die. I can feel resentment inside me, trying to break through. I explain to him, like explaining to a befuddled child, that we would die on the sea if we didn’t stop. The other men, afraid to talk against their leader but heartened by my words, rise up and try to reason with Odysseus. Let us just stay on the beaches, let us get some rest, some sleep not disturbed by the rough waters. After a while, the reasoning breaks through and Odysseus consents, letting us moor at the beach. We cry with joy, and row even faster toward the shore. Upon arrival, we set up camp. We walk around, dispelling our sea legs. We gather our bows and arrows, our daggers and spears and begin to head out to hunt some sheep. But Odysseus runs in front of us, blocking our path. He begins shouting orders, telling us that we cannot, no matter what, hunt any of the animals on the island. Some of the men throw their spears on the ground in anger, walking away. But I, I walk up to him and ask why? He tells me plainly that, again, Circe and the dead prophet had told him to hunt the animals would mean our death. This time the resentment and anger break loose. I try to appeal to his logic, but he will not budge. Finally, I take the only course I can. Asking him to at least search the island for inhabitants catches the attention of the other men, who gather about. Odysseus looks around, and with a sigh, agrees. He begins to walk into the woods, but turns around and tells us, with starkness in his voice, that the hunting of animals would mean our death. He finally disappears into the wood. I immediately call the men into assembly. They ask me what we are to do. Walking around, I look at each man, each soldier, and tell them that we are going to hunt. They rush up, telling me that they have wives at home, kids to rear, that they cannot die as they are now. I silence them and tell them we will not die. Once we get the food, we will sacrifice heavily to Helios, the ever shining star. When we reach home, we will build a temple to the God of the Sun and fill every inch with gold. I tell this to each man and slowly but surely I sway them. As I pick up my spear, I look at the men and spit at the ground that Odysseus walked on. Raising my spear, I tell them that Odysseus can cower in the bed of Goddesses all he wants, but we, we men of Greece will not let ourselves be killed by hunger, the most abominable slayer. No, if we are to die, then we will die in the face of the god’s wrath, not in some dark alley with empty stomachs. I walk onward, my spear at my side, and the men, my men follow.

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