Scylla and Glaucus

Scylla and Glaucus, by Dumont

The story of Scylla and Glaucus is a kind of twisted love story. Before I begin, let me tell you of Glaucus. Glaucus was a young man, a fisherman, and one day, after a long day of fishing, Glaucus emptied his catches onto the ground. Much to his suprise, the fish - some dead for hours, began to revive and "run" back to the ocean and swim away. For a minute Glaucus thought he was insane, but then he looked closer at the spot where he'd emptied his nets. There were some strange looking herbs on that particular spot, and being the intelligent young man that he was, Glaucus leaned over and picked some up and ate it.

Almost immediately, a change began to come over Glaucus, he had this CRAZY urge to run and jump into the water. He ran into the water yelling "Cannonball" (well, maybe not, but he SHOULD have) and as he touched the salty water his stringy blond hair turned green as seaweed, his already broad shoulders grew broader still, and his legs grew scales and turned into a tail. This was all very confusing, but the Gods seemed to accept it as one of life's little twerks, and made Glaucus a sea-god. He lived happily in the water for a time, flirting with nymphs and racing fish, just having a good time, until one day he met Scylla.

Scylla and Circe

Scylla was a total babe. This wasn't too surprising because she was a water nymph (a daughter of Phorcys), but still, she was extra special. She was actually a favorite among the nymphs. Glaucus kept hanging around, trying desperately to get a date, but she just wasn't interested. So, Glaucus got desperate. He went to his old pal Circe. She was chillin' on her island (see, that right there is a tip off - no one should live all alone on their own island - nice people have FRIENDS, notice Circe's absence of . . . ) Aeaea. Feeling sorry for himself, he told Circe all about his girl-trouble. He talked about how he was "in love" and how he could never love anyone else, and how Scylla kept rejecting him.

I don't know what Glaucus was trying to accomplish by telling Circe this, but it probably WASN'T what he got. Circe, who had a thing for Glaucus herself, was NOT happy to hear about her crush's infatuation with the pretty Scylla. So Circe went down to Sicily, where Scylla lived, and while the nymph was bathing, she slipped some herbs into the water. They were magic (shocker there) and the herbs changed the parts of Scylla that they touched. Below her waist the pretty nymph grew six monstrous barking dogs that devoured whatever came into their reach (whatever came into their reach that WASN'T Scylla, that is). Poor Scylla couldn't deal with this and hid herself at the Straits of Messina, where the horrible dogs ate any unsuspecting sailors that happened by. Poor chica.

That's it! A sucky ending to the story, I know - but watch out if you're ever passing the Straits of Messina, 'cause rumour has it, she's still there.

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Last Updated January 17, 2008