Orion The Hunter And His Fight With The Bull
from Things To See In Springtime
In the 49th Tale I told you there were two giants among the mighty hunters in the sky, Boötes, whose adventure with the Bears you have already heard, and Orion. (O-ry´-on).
Orion was the most famous of all. In his day men had no guns; they had nothing but clubs, spears, and arrows to fight with, and the beasts were very big and fierce as well as plentiful, yet Orion went whenever he was needed, armed chiefly with his club, fought the wild beasts, all alone, killing them or driving them out, and saving the people, for the joy of doing it. Once he killed a lion with his club, and ever afterward wore the lion's skin on his arm. Bears were as nothing to him; he killed them as easily as most hunters would rabbits, but he found his match, when he went after a ferocious wild Bull as big as a young elephant.
As soon as the Bull saw him, it came rushing at him. It happened to be on the other side of a stream, and as it plunged in, Orion drew his bow and fired seven quick shots at the Bull's heart. But the monster was coming head on, and the seven arrows all stuck in its shoulder, making it madder than ever. So Orion waved his lion skin in his left hand, and with his club in the right, ran to meet the Bull, as it was scrambling up the bank from the water.
The first whack of the club tumbled the Bull back into the water, but it turned aside, went to another place, and charged again. And again Orion landed a fearful blow with the club on the monster's curly forehead.
By this time, all the animals had gathered around to see the big fight, and the gods in heaven got so interested that they shouted out, "Hold on, that is good enough for us to see. Come up here."
So they moved the mighty Hunter and the Bull, and the River and all the animals, up to heaven, and the fight has gone on there ever since.
In the picture I have shown a lot of animals besides Orion and the Bull, but the only things I want you to look now in the sky, are Orion's belt with the three stars on it, and the Pleiades on the Bull's shoulder, the seven spots where the seven arrows struck.
And remember these stars cannot be seen in summer, they pass over us in winter time. You can find Orion by drawing a straight line across the rim of the Dipper, beginning at the inner or handle side, passing through the outer or Pointers side, and continued for twice the length of the Dipper, handle and all, this will bring you to Betelgeuze, the big star in the Giant's right shoulder, below that are the three stars of his belt, sometimes called the "Three Kings."
Next: The Pleiades That Orion Fired At The Bull
Previous: The Pappoose On The Squaw's Back