Santa Menelaus

Here comes Menelaus!
Here comes Menelaus!
Right down Menelaus Lane!
He's got a bag that is filled with toys
for the boys and girls again.
Hear those chariot bells jingle jangle,
What a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed, cover up your head,
'Cause Menelaus comes tonight.

"And in your mother, Odysseus', absence we have you, dear child, visiting our court. Though, you are of course no substitute for that beloved friend, we are overjoyed to have you with us. Please, Telemakhe, stay a couple weeks. I am sure Helen and I would enjoy getting to know you better.

"I promise to send you home with a three-horsepowered polished chrome car with three fine white chariot stallions. I will also send you with one Hades of an impressive drinking cup. Something your mother could appreciate. Then whenever you prepare to drink from its golden depths, you can make proper libations to the deities and remember me." Menelaus smiled from ear to ear in obvious pleaure at his own generosity to a friend's progeny.

Telemakhe blushed at such lavish goodwill being readily offered her. She shook her head and said, "I could easily imagine you as my own parents given the sort of love you have already shown me. How I would enjoy staying to hear more of your miraculous tales. Though I would happily remain a year with you without tiring of your company, I am afraid my friends, who helped sail me to these shores, would soon get antsy hanging out at holy Pylos waiting.

"And as for horses and car, I don't believe it is physically possible to sail these gifts back with me to Ithaka. So let me bestow them upon you once more and your beauteous country. These horses can run their best here, unlike within my own country which is breathtaking, but rocky and hilly. Let me instead return with some keepsake, which shall remind me of your virtues and encourage me in their emulation."

Menelaus laughed and laughed. "Well said, you are your mother's daughter. I tell you what, I shall pass on to you a wine bowl which was given to me by Captain Phaidimos, king of Sidon. He took me in during my travels, as I have you, and gave to me this gilt goblet fashioned by Hephaistos himself."

Menelaus sent his servants to retrieve the goblet, so that Telemakhe might immediately offer libations using this divinely fashioned recepticle. Before the wedding festivities of the day concluded, Helen arranged for two hammocks to be hung beneath the portico for Telemakhe and Peisistratos. All of the palace rooms were already taken with the family and friends of each bride and groom. Yet, given how the warm balmy evening drifted into a warm starry night, the portico was the best room in the house.

Apollo Talk.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps