Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 392

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES

Hercules could discern through the clouds, was resting upon his head! This does really seem almost too much to believe.
Meanwhile the bright cup continued to float onward, and finally touched the strand. Just then a breeze wafted away the clouds from before the giant's visage, and Hercules beheld it with all its enormous features-eyes each of them as big as yonder lake, a nose a mile long, and a mouth of the same width. It was a countenance terrible from its enormity of size, but disconsolate and weary, even as you may
see the faces of many people nowadays who are compelled to sustain burdens above their strength. What the sky was to the giant, such are the cares of earth to those who let themselves be weighed down by them. And whenever men undertake what is beyond the just measure of their abilities, they encounter precisely such a doom as had befallen this poor giant.
Poor fellow.! He had evidently stood there a long while. An ancient forest had been growing and decaying around his feet, and oak trees six or seven centuries old had sprung from the acorns and forced themselves between his toes.
The giant now looked down from the far height of his great eyes, and perceiving Hercules, roared out, in a voice that resembled thunder proceeding out of the cloud that had just flitted away from his face:
"Who are you, down at my feet there? And whence do you come in that little cup?"
" I am Hercules!" thundered back the hero, in a voice pretty nearly or quite as loud as the giant's own. "And I am seeking the garden of the Hesperides!"
"Ho! ho! ho!" roared the giant, in a fit of immense laughter. "That is a wise adventure, truly!"
" And why not?" cried Hercules, getting a little angry at the giant's mirth. "Do you think I am afraid of the dragon
with a hundred heads?"

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