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My Myth

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Midas, king of Phrygia, decided one day to become a follower of Panas, the god of pastures, a fact that offended Apollo, the god of music, because the two of them were already in a dispute over who was the best musician.

The river god Tmolos was appointed as the judge in the music competition between Pan and Apollo and when Panas started to play his flute, everyone liked his happy melodies. But then Apollo took his lyre and his beautiful music flooded the air. Without hesitation, Tmolos declared Apollo the winner. Midas, however, had objections and got into the middle of the dispute.

“I prefer Panas’ music,” he said.

“What have you been listening to?” Tmolos asked him.

“My ears are fine,” Midas replied confidently, not knowing what awaited him. Apollo became furious. “You are not worthy to have human ears,” he told him. “If you use them that way, you only deserve to have donkey ears.” And so Apollo gave Midas’ long, gray and hairy ears. “Maybe with these big ears you will be able to hear better,” he said satisfied.

So Midas returned to his kingdom, full of shame for his donkey ears, which he was trying to hide under a scarf. But his barber found out and because he could not keep such a big secret to himself, he went to a field, dug a hole and whispered it to the ground. Then he covered the hole and left.

But no secret remains hidden. A clump of reeds sprouted where the barber had buried his secret and as the wind whistled between

them, the reeds murmured:

“King Midas has donkey ears!”

Thus, the secret was revealed and soon the whole kingdom knew the truth about Midas’ donkey ears, who realized his mistake and regretted his impudence towards Apollo.

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