By Manasvini Agarwal, 11 years
Apollo was the Greek god of music, archery, illnesses, healing, prophecy, the Sun and poetry. One day, back when the Gods were worshipped and seen everywhere, Apollo, with his curly golden hair, blue eyes and dazzling smile, was looking for inspiration on a song. Being Apollo, he won’t for anything small and common. He wanted something he had never seen before.
Apollo travelled to kingdoms far and wide and seeks counsel with the kings. He asked, “I am Apollo, here to see something I have never seen before, have you
something?”. The kings would propose exotic animals and beautiful plants but Apollo had seen it all and turned it down. One man, desperate to be remembered forever as a great king, said, “Have you seen the wisest of all men, able to answer any question?" Apollo had not. The king, whose name was Apheas, boasted,” I am that man, wise and great, and I would be honoured if Apollo, the master of music, would sing about me.
Apollo was not a fool but decided to question Apheas just to be safe. Apollo requested him to name all the gods and deities. This would be an impossible task as there were deities for everything the Greeks saw. Apollo gave him this task as he had seen through his
thoughts and found out that Apheas was a greedy king hoping to be portrayed as great. Apheas realized the trick and begged Apollo to make people remember him. Apollo did just that and made him the god of greediness but just so he could complete his task. To this day, Apheas is reciting the names of thousands of gods but Apollo's quest was still not completed.
In despair, he came to the island of Delos, his birthplace. There he hung his head and said, “There is nothing to sing and to narrate poetry about. I have searched land and underworld, sky and Tartarus, but found nothing I haven’t seen or sung about. The world is a small place.” then, he heard crying and hasty shushing noises. He got up to
investigate the source of the noise and willed himself to appear there. As his eyes flew open, he was surprised to find himself standing near where he had left.
There, behind the tree, a small family sat, a young mother, a worried father and a little toddler of about two years. Since the island of Delos was forbidden to mortals, Apollo was curious and angry that they were here. He asked them, “What are you doing here, on the sacred island of two gods?” They looked at him with confusion and they gave an
answer he wasn’t quite expecting. “Are you running, too? Poor dear, you don’t even have
somebody with you, here join us.” Apollo, overcome with shock and outrage, thought, how dare they mistake me to be a homeless person? Then he realized maybe he didn’t look as godly with one month of teleportation to different kingdoms.
He was shocked because of their kindness. He joined them and they gave him food and told him their story. When they asked him his story, Apollo simply said that he didn’t want to share. They nodded understandingly and said that they, too, would not relive their misadventures if not for each other. He was still shocked and it sounded like they had
been through many hardships and yet their first instinct had been to help him and give him food. This was alien to Apollo’s mind. If you think that’s weird, then think again, because his grandfather had swallowed his father and his stepmother had
cursed his mother, aiming to cause eternal pain but Leto (Apollo’s mother) found a way out.
This was how he discovered kindness, and decided it was the perfect thing to write a song about. Want to know what that song is? It’s the birds at sunrise. Apollo thought this was perfect. The moment he rode his sun chariot into the mortal world would be the moment the birds would sing of kindness and humanity. Never heard a bird’s song at sunrise, lying in bed? You haven’t experienced bliss.