(Read Part III here))

The children scooted to the edge of their beds. Hephaestus bounced a little. “Wait for it,” he said, excited about the turn in the story.

Nike crossed her arms and frowned. “No, I hate this part.”

I gave Nike a sympathetic smile and continued with the story. “Papaw Cronus stormed out to the meadow where Nana Rhea was playing with their daughters. He walked up to Nana Rhea and told her that he wanted to love her that day. He wanted to love her in such a way and with such a passion as she had never experienced from him before! Well, Nana Rhea was excited because she missed her husband so she bade him to watch their daughters and ran off to prepare herself with a bath of oils and perfumes so that she would be more attractive to him.”

Hephaestus groaned. “If this turns into a Grandpa/Grandma sex scene, I’m gonna puke, Ma!”

Ares shushed him. “I hope t-there will be b-boning.” He puffed his chest up to look more important.

“Yuck! Really, Ares?” Nike shivered.

Moxie hugged Nike, burying her head into Nike’s neck. “None of us are going to unsee this.”

“Should I stop, children? This seems to be upsetting you.”

“NO!” They shouted in unison and I laughed. I leaned back in my chair and crossed my legs, smoothing my toga over my knees. “When Nana Rhea left, Papaw turned to his daughters, Hestia and Demeter, and asked them to play a game of hide and seek with him. He closed his eyes and counted to a chilio (that’s a thousand for those of you who don’t know Greek) while the girls ran off to hide. Now Papaw Cronus knew he didn’t have much time until Nana Rhea would be expecting him, so he used his Titan powers and found were Hestia was hiding.”

“T-that’s cheating! Bad Papaw Cronus!” Ares huffed a bit and frowned.

“Immortals never play fair.” Moxie passed the sage advice to her foster brother while Nike hid her face behind Moxie’s arm.

“He disguised himself as a donkey and wandered up to Hestia, knowing that donkeys were her favorite animals and she wouldn’t be able to resist. Hestia was enthralled by the beautiful and docile donkey, and came out of her hiding space so she could pet it. She was giving it a good scratch behind the ears when all of a sudden – “

My eyes widened and I raised my voice. “The donkey stood up on its hind legs, opened its mouth, and GOBBLED HER UP IN ONE BITE!”

“Great, he’s a c-cannibal too,” Ares mumbled.

Nike’s face paled and her lower lip trembled.

Moxie gasped. “I didn’t see that coming. Did you?”

Hephastus’ jaw dropped and he whispered, “Not. At. All.”

“The donkey changed back into Papaw Cronus, and he let out a loud burp. His stomach was huge now and you could see Hestia kicking around, trying to get out. So he stretched long and tall and made Hestia fit inside him, erasing all the evidence that he ate her.”

The children’s faces all turned to grimaces and there was a chorus of “Yuck!”

“Running short on time, Papaw Cronus used his Titan power to find Demeter. He found her hiding in the back of a cave that was set behind  a waterfall. Before going into the cave, he turned himself into the cutest piglet you had ever seen. His skin was bright pink and his tail was exceptionally curly. He walked into the cave, making little piggy grunts and snorts to let Demeter know he was there. She couldn’t resist her favorite animal, especially one that was so cute and cuddly, so she came out of her hiding spot behind some rocks and sat down on the ground in front of the piglet.”

“Aww, piglets are adorable. I don’t blame Auntie Demeter for coming out,” Nike giggled lightly, the shaking caused her wings to ruffle a little before settling.

“Demeter crossed her legs in front of her and urged the little piglet forward so she could snuggle with it. She wasn’t worried about Papaw Cronus finding her because she was an expert hider. The piglet crawled into Demeter’s lap and snuggled into her body, looking for head scratches and affection. She fell in love with the little pig instantly and she got up, determined to take it home to show her father. Just before they reached the cave opening, the piglet jumped out of her arms and ran away!

Demeter went running after it, but stopped suddenly once she passed through the waterfall because there was no little piglet in sight, just a grown pig.

“He’s gonna eat her, isn’t he?” Hephaestus pouted a little.

“He’s fakin’ bacon!” Moxie giggled “Squee, squee!”

This sent all the children into a fit of giggles and I had to wait several minutes for them to calm down. I didn’t rush it, though. It’s rare for adult Gods get along so well, so I let them enjoy their childhood together as much as I could. When they had finally calmed down, I continued.

“Demeter hesitantly held out her hand for the grown pig to sniff so it knew she wouldn’t hurt it. It dug one of its back hooves into the dirt and huffed, but still Demeter persisted. Finally, the pig took a step towards her and she smiled brighter than the sun had ever shined.”

Moxie clenched the blankets. “Run, Demeter!”

Ares shook his head. “S-she’s a goner.”

“And then suddenly!” I raised my voice and scooted to the edge of my seat. “The pig reared up on its back legs, opened its mouth, and SWALLOWED HER WHOLE!! Papaw Cronus changed back into his Titan form and burped again. He stretched tall and long to make Demeter fit in his belly with her sister. When he was sure there was no evidence that he had eaten his daughters, he went and washed himself in the nearby lake and then went back home to see Nana Rhea.”

Moxie gasped. “Run Nana Rhea!!!”

Hera (CJ Landry)
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