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Awesome Atlas

Swapna Dutta 20:44 IST
Long, long ago there was a race of some huge people known as the Titans. One of them was called Atlas. Once there was a battle between the Greek gods and the Titans.

The Titans lost and were punished by the Greek gods as a result. Atlas’s punishment was to hold heaven up on his shoulders. So Atlas held it for years and years.

Then one day he had a visitor. A Greek hero named Hercules came to see him because he needed to find some rare golden apples and only Atlas knew where they were to be found. So Atlas told him to hold the Earth while he went to fetch the apples. Hercules managed to hold the Earth because he too was nearly as strong as Atlas.

When Atlas returned with the apples, he found Hercules sweating and groaning under his burden. Then Atlas realised how tough the task of holding heaven up was! He decided to leave Hercules there and get away. That would make him a free man once more.

But Hercules guessed what Atlas was thinking, so he said: “Will you hold the Earth for a moment while I put a padding on my shoulder?” As soon as Atlas took the Earth back Hercules ran for his life! And Atlas was left holding his burden forever. After many years he turned into a stone mountain. People say that the Atlas Mountains in Northwestern Africa is actually Atlas the Titan, still holding heaven up. Atlas is considered to be a symbol of strength and endurance in western culture.

Dear readers,
It’s been a terrific ride so far and thank all of you for making it a memorable one. This will be the last issue of Open Sesame, our Friday supplement for children.
-Editor

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