98 pages • 3 hours readBernard Evslin
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Eager to get home to the Greek island of Ithaca and be with his wife Penelope and son Telemachus, Ulysses takes the helm and won’t relinquish it. Three days north of the Cyclopes’ island, he arrives at a bronze wall across the sea. Following it, the ships reach a huge gate. It swings open, sharp winds blow them through, and the gate slams shut. Beyond lies a beautiful island. Sudden winds and dark skies blow the fleet violently toward the island. Ulysses and his men are stunned into a deep sleep.
Waking, they find themselves inside the castle of the demigod Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds. The gods, fearing untamed gales, imprisoned the winds on the island’s central mountain and built a bronze enclosure around it. Aeolus is the jailer. When the gods need a wind, he releases one of them; when its work is done, he orders it back inside. Aeolus has 12 children; they take turns riding the winds, “managing the weather for each month” (30).
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In the castle, invisible hands bathe and clothe the men, then guide them to a banquet hall where Aeolus and his children greet them as they feast.
By Bernard Evslin