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University of Toronto St. George
Claesson Welsh

Chapter 12HermesThe birth and childhood of HermesThe Homeric Hymn to Hermes concentrates upon the story of how Zeus became the father of Hermes as the result of his union with Maia one of the Pleiades the daughters of Atlas and PleioneThe infant Hermes was precocious His first day he invented the lyre By nightfall he had stolen the immortal cattle of Apollo Hermes discovered the herd very soon so he started pulling the hoofs out of the cows feet one by one and reattaching them in the reverse order the same he did to his own sandals Then he took the herd which now seemed to be walking backwards hid them inside a cave and quickly returned to his cave in Mount Cyllene in ArcadiaApollo soon found out his herd was missing and he went out searching all around The traces he saw on his way were nothing but confusing and led the god to despair Of course Apollo was the god of prophecy so he soon found out the thief and went furiously to Mount Cyllene to find Hermes in his cave Little Hermes was peacefully sleeping inside his cradle but Apollo didnt bother he grabbed the infant and took him up to Mount Olympus to be judged by ZeusBefore the eyes of Zeus Hermes first denied everything but in the end he had to confess Zeus had found the story quite amusing so he didnt punish Hermes he only asked from him to return the herd Regretful of what he had done Hermes then offered Apollo his lyre as a present a musical instrument he had created all by himself out of the shell of a tortoiseTo compensate Hermes for his kindness Apollo returned the gesture by giving Hermes a golden rod to guide the herds From that moment on there was peace
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