By Eduard Petiška
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Extra resources for Ancient Greek Legends
Phaethon trembled and was overcome with giddiness. The reins slipped out of his hands and fell loose on the horses' backs. The horses reared up and bumped into the stars, and then crashed down through the smoking clouds towards earth. Wherever the sun chariot came near the earth's surface flames sprang up. The soil was dried and cracked, black clefts appeared in the clay. The king of the underground depths anxiously observed the light that was pouring into his kingdom of eternal darkness through the rifts in the earth's crust.
Prometheus, son of the divine family of Titans, wandered sadly through the land, searching in vain for living beings who walked upright as he did and were like him in the face. What he saw was clay that gave life to the grass, plants and trees, and he saw heavy rain that fell upon the ground. The rain water maintained life in nature, and where there was no rain the trees died and the bushes, and that place became a desert. When Prometheus realised the power of earth and water he mixed clay with rain water to make the statue of the first man.
Flames blazed from the monster's eyes and it was entirely filled with poison. It opened a great maw with three flickering tongues and three rows of teeth and breathed over them the venomous cloud of its breath. Whomever it did not suffocate with its breath it crushed with its scaly body or tore apart with its claws. The sun reached its zenith and the shadows grew shorter, but Cadmus's men did not return. Cadmus began to fear that evil had befallen them. So he took his sword and spear and went in search of them.