Chimera

The Chimera is a huge fire breathing monster that has the head of a lion, the body of a dragon, and the hind legs of a goat. According to Greek mythology; the Chimera ravaged the Greek city of Lycia until it was slayed by the prince of Corinth, Bellerophon (buh-LAIR-uh-fuhn).

The people of Lycia were terrified of this immense beast. It captured and killed everyone in its path with its deadly fire breath. In fact, the fire that came from its mouth was so hot, it blackened and scorched the hills and valleys around the city.

During this time, the handsome prince of Corinth, Bellerophon was visitIng the nearby city of Argos and committed a crime of improper conduct against the king of Argos's wife. Despite this crime, the prince was well loved by the people of Argos and so the king sent him to King lohates of Lycia for punishment rather than punishing the prince himself. King lohates, however, did not want to take responsibility for harming Bellerophon. Instead, he sent the prince out on a heroic, but almost impossible, task to kill the ferocious Chimera. The king felt confident that Bellerophon would never return alive.

Bellerophon did not fear his punishment. He had always enjoyed a challenge and was pleased at the thought of such a great adventure. But he knew that in order to conquer the Chimera, he needed the help of the great white winged horse Pegasus. When Bellerophon spotted the horse drinking from a nearby pond, he quietly approached it and gently asked for its help. Pegasus knelt down, and Bellerophon placed a bridle over the horse's head. Then the two rode up through the clouds in search of the Chimera.

Just as the sun began to set, they spotted the monster standing on a pile of jagged rocks, when it saw Bellerophon and Pegasus approaching from above, it jumped and kicked, hissed and roared, as its long, slithery tail snapped against the stones.

Pegasus swooped down toward the Chimera while Betlerophon fitted an arrow to his bow. Beflerophon then readied his aim and shot the arrow deep into the monster's side. Next, he stuffed lead into the weakened Chimera's month. The lead melted from the Chimera's fiery breath and trickled down inside the creature's body, where it hardened and killed the beast.

Bellerophon returned victorious to King lobates. Free for the first time from the threat of the Chimera, the people of Lycia were relieved. The king forgave the prince his crimes and offered Bellerophon his daughter's hand in marriage.