The Origin of Stinkbugs


Looking through some old journals, I remembered that in the sixth grade, everyone had to write a Greek myth about how stinkbugs were created. The results were certainly . . . interesting. Mine was as follows:

Once, there was a son of Athena named Athenacles who went to visit his grandfather in Athens. Now, Athens’ monarchy had recently fallen, and an oligarchy had risen from its ashes. The leaders were greedy and lazy – always taking, but never giving back – and when Athenacles saw how much the people were suffering, he decided something had to be done. So the boy brought together a brave and fearless band, who would follow his lead in taking back what the oligarchs had stolen.

It all worked out at first. Every Friday night, Athenacles and his group of rebels would raid the palace where the rulers lived and not get caught. However, one night, Athenacles’ best friend and right hand man Callen was captured and imprisoned. When Athenacles saw Callen tied up, he told his rebels to retreat, but vowed that he would not rest until Callen was rescued and the oligarchs were gotten rid of once and for all. Athenacles got the whole city to rescue Callen and take the members of the oligarchy from their castle and bring them down to the city, where they saw what they had done. Then they were dumped into a pile of waste.

Athenacles prayed to his mother Athena to turn the horrible leaders into bugs (she had experience with that type of thing) and to make sure they smelled terrible forever more. Athena granted her son’s wish, turning the oligarchs into insects. The bugs (named ‘stinkbugs’ because of their stench) were driven onto a boat that was pushed off from the dock to sail to the end of the world, and Athenacles was named ruler of Athens, becoming the first tyrant, as well as one of the greatest rulers of all time.

So the people of Athens lived happily ever after (at least until someone decided Athenacles wasn’t doing a good enough job ruling).


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