When the prince and the children
arrived on the island of Crete, King Minos and his daughter, the
Princess Ariadne, came out to greet them. The king told the children
that they would not be eaten until the next day and to enjoy
themselves in the palace in the meantime. The Princess Ariadne did not
say anything. But her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. Late that night, she
wrote Prince Theseus a note and slipped it under his bedroom door.
Dear Theseus (Ariadne wrote)
I am a beautiful princess as
you probably noticed the minute you saw me. I am also a very bored
princess. Without my help, the Minotaur will surely gobble you up. I
know a trick or two that will save your life. If I help you kill the
monster, you must promise to take me away from this tiny island so
that others can admire my beauty. If interested in this deal, meet
me by the gate to the Labyrinth in one hour.
Yours very truly,
Prince Theseus slipped out of the palace and waited patiently by
the gate. Princess Ariadne finally showed up. In her hands, she
carried a sword and a ball of string.
Ariadne gave the sword and the ball of
string to Prince Theseus. "Hide these inside the entrance to the
maze. Tomorrow, when you and the other children from Athens enter the
Labyrinth, wait until the gate is closed, then tie the string to the
door. Unroll it as you move through the maze. That way, you can find
your way back again. The sword, well, you know what to do with the
sword," she laughed.
Theseus thanked the princess for her
"Don't forget, now," she
cautioned Theseus. "You must take me with you so that all the
people can marvel at my beauty."
The next morning, the Athenian
children, including Prince Theseus, were shoved into the maze. The
door was locked firmly behind them. Following Ariadne's directions,
Theseus tied one end of the string to the door. He told the children
to stay by the door. Their job was to make sure the string stayed tied
so that Theseus could find his way back. Theseus entered the maze
He found his way to the center of the
maze. Using the sword Ariadne had given him, Theseus killed the
monstrous beast. He followed the string back and knocked on the door.
Princess Ariadne was waiting. She
opened the door. Without anyone noticing, Prince Theseus and the
children of Athens ran to their ship and sailed quietly away. Princess
Ariadne sailed away with them.
On the way home, they stopped for
supplies on the tiny island of Naxos. Princess Ariadne insisted on
coming ashore. There was nothing much to do on the island. Soon, she
fell asleep. All the people gathered to admire the sleeping princess.
She was a lovely sight indeed. Theseus sailed quietly away with the
children of Athens and left her there, sleeping.
After all, a deal is a deal.