Legends! Beasts and Monsters

Legends! Beasts and Monsters by Anthony Horowitz Read Free Book Online

Book: Legends! Beasts and Monsters by Anthony Horowitz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anthony Horowitz
after all, just assassinated the king. He was completely surrounded by the courtiers and the royal guard and he was prepared to turn the
Gorgon’s head on anyone who tried to arrest him. But no sooner had Polydectes been frozen than there was a great cheering that began around the throne and spread throughout the palace. For it
turned out that everyone on the island was tired of their cruel and scheming monarch. Perseus had finally got rid of him and, by popular acclaim, he was invited to become the new king.

    But Perseus had had enough of Seriphos. Instead he chose Dictys to inherit the throne on the grounds that an honest fisherman would be just the man to rule over a kingdom – and certainly
one that was entirely surrounded by water. He was reunited with his mother and, laden with gifts and various pieces of royal treasure, the two of them set off for new adventures. Eventually, he
became the King of Mycenae, for Athene had been right. He had a good heart and had been born to be a hero.
    He gave the Gorgon’s head to the goddess and she magically turned it into part of her armour and wore it to terrify her enemies in battle. Dictys ruled Seriphos long and well.
    As for Polydectes, he was put in the palace garden as a pleasing ornament, and he is probably still there to this day.
     

    . . . but I’m afraid I’ve made one of them up. Can you spot the intruder?

    A mythical beast found in Islamic poetry, the Al-mi’raj is a large yellow rabbit with a single horn, like that of a unicorn. It may look harmless, but the
Al-mi’raj is extremely aggressive and can kill and eat animals far larger than itself.

    This mythical animal from Asia is similar in appearance to a bison, but with long, curly horns. Its most unusual feature is its dung, which is constantly on fire.

    A variety of gnome found in Swiss folklore. They have extremely large feet, which are useful for skiing through the mountains, or surfing down avalanches.

    A sea monster from Greek mythology, which is basically a giant mouth that swallows large amounts of water (and any unsuspecting ships that might be floating in it) and
then spits it out as whirlpools.

    An interesting creature from Mapuche Indian mythology, the Chonchon is a disembodied human head. It uses its extremely large ears as wings.

    A small troll-like demon of Native American origin, the Puckwudgie has smooth, grey skin that has been known to glow in the dark. It can create fire and change its shape
and is known for causing trouble!

    In some African and Indian folklore Rompo has human ears, the head of a rabbit, a skeletal body, the arms of a badger and the legs of a bear. It is said to feed on human
flesh and sing as it eats.

    A High Priestess in Nubian mythology, this old hag had three eyes. One could see the past, one could see the future and one was blind. She lived in a cave with a talking
snake.

    Meaning ‘devourer’ or ‘bone eater’, Ammit is an Egyptian demon who is part lion, part hippo and part crocodile. In Egyptian mythology, when a
person died their heart was weighed by Anubis on a pair of scales. If the heart was lighter than a feather, the person could continue to the afterlife – if not, they were eaten by Ammit.

    The most deadly monster of Greek mythology, Typhon is as tall as the stars, with the heads of one hundred dragons extending from each hand. His lower half is made of
enormous vipers and his whole body covered with wings.

     
    ENDNOTES
    1 The most accurate picture of the dragon was painted in the fifteenth century by an Italian named Uccello. If you have any doubts about the
accuracy of my description, you can see it for yourself at the National Gallery in London.
    2 Pronounced Finn McCool
     

     
    Also by Anthony Horowitz from
Macmillan Children’s Books
    LEGENDS: BATTLES AND QUESTS
     

    First published 2010 by Macmillan Children’s Books
    This electronic edition published 2010 by Macmillan Children’s Books
a division of Macmillan

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