So we’d been living quietly enough in the swamp, the hydra and me, and if it wasn’t a glamorous life it wasn’t so bad, either. The fat days had ended, presumably because the mother hera had gotten bored, or hydra, she’d grown big enough, either way, but we didn’t go hungry. There’s plenty to eat in a swamp if you’re not picky.

Anyway like I said, we were living quietly, just the two of us, talking about the old times and the old folks, when news came through the grapevine that her brother the lion had been killed by some dingus and that she was next on the list, even though she wasn’t doing anybody any harm that didn’t come into the swamp first. Meat’s meat, as they say, and a gal’s gotta eat; you can’t blame someone for that, or who their parents were, or anyway you shouldn’t.

Anyway, eventually he rolls up, big and brawny and brooding, handsome enough if you’re into that sort of thing, growling and sobbing from underneath the hood he’d made out of her brother’s skin, weeping and penitential and determined, swinging around a sword and firing off those flaming arrows like a real jackass. Hydra, well, we’d put together that this was what the mother hera had been after anyway, and death or glory, y’know, so, out she goes.

I go out with her; I’m not so big and my parents weren’t fancy, but you do what you can. I took a good couple of chunks out of his toes with my claws before he kicked me way deep in the swamp. By the time I got back hydra was dead, all except the one head that couldn’t die, and he’d buried that under a boulder.

I dug down deep, for years and years, and I’d still be digging if I hadn’t died first. She’s still down there, far as I know, that stubborn central part of her; I like to think she’s grown back, spread subterranean back to the swamp. Always good times there. It’s okay up here looking down, but it’s not the same.