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Pegasus, the Flying Horse

Perseus, the son of a mortal woman and the king of the Greek gods, Zeus, was sent to capture the snake-haired Medusa's head. Even though one look at Medusa could turn anyone to stone, Perseus used his shield as a mirror and successfully sliced off her head. Blood flowed from the dead monster's neck and into the ocean. From this water sprang the white-winged horse known as Pegasus, the child of the sea god Poseidon and Medusa.

With Pegasus' help, the hero Perseus next rescued a princess. Afterwards, Athena, the goddess of war, entrusted the Muses, a group of sisters who inspired poets, with Pegasus' care. When he met them, Pegasus was so excited that he beat his hooves against the side of the mountain, producing a magical well that gives inspiration to all who drink from it. One of the Muses foretold that Pegasus would go on to greatness.

Bellerophon, a lesser-known Greek god, longed to capture and tame Pegasus. Upon capturing Pegasus, Bellerophon used the mighty-winged horse as a vehicle in his quest to kill a creature known for having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. After the slaying, Bellerophon ordered Pegasus to fly him up to Mt. Olympus, the home of the gods. This angered Zeus so much that he had a fly sting Pegasus, causing him to buck his rider. Bellerophon fell to his death, while Pegasus flew to Mt. Olympus, where Zeus turned him into a heavenly constellation. Pegasus is said to carry Zeus' lightning bolts across the sky, and as he rushes across, his hooves create rumbles of thunder.

     
  1.

What was so difficult about Perseus' first mission?

       
    (A)

He couldn't look at the person he needed to kill.

    (B) He knew he was going to turn to stone.
    (C) Medusa was pregnant with a flying horse.
    (D) Poseidon would not allow Perseus to kill his wife.
       
  2. Why might the well Pegasus created inspire those who drink from it?
       
    (A) Athena was the goddess of war, so the spring stands for peace.
    (B)

The Muses inspire poets, and they now care for him.

    (C) Water is a symbol of life, and Pegasus was born in the sea.
    (D) Writers are often inspired to drink in order to get creative ideas.
       
  3. What was the result of Bellerophon's attempt to fly to Mt. Olympus?
       
    (A) Zeus destroyed Mt. Olympus.
    (B) Bellerophon committed suicide.
    (C) He killed Pegasus.
    (D)

He upset Zeus.

       
      hooves   the hard part on the bottom of the feet of animals such as horses, sheep and deer
           
      buck   (of a horse) to jump into the air and kick out with the back legs
           
      constellation   any of the groups of stars in the sky which seem from Earth to form a pattern and have been given names
           
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  Answers : 1) A    2) B    3) D
 
 
 
 
 

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