Zeus had many children, but the cleverest one was Hermes, the God of thieves. When he was only a day old, he snuck into his brother Apollo’s (the God of Light and music) pasture and stole 50 of his best cows. He attached bark on the sole of their hooves and a broom on their tails. This would eliminate their footprints and clean their tracks. Then Hermes sacrificed two cows to the gods and hid the rest. He then raced back to his mother and pretended to be asleep.

But Apollo wasn’t fooled. An oracle had revealed to him who had stolen the cows and he confronted Hermes But the baby God denied it claiming to be too young to know what a cow is, let alone steal one.

Enraged, Apollo chased Hermes to the top of Mount Olympus where their father, Zeus, kindly told the younger brother to return the cows back. Apollo was satisfied until he realized that two cows were missing.

To quiet his brother’s renewed fury, Hermes produced a lyre he had created from the intestines of the cows he sacrificed, attached to the shell of a tortoise. Mesmerized by the music Apollo offered Hermes his whole Herd in exchange for the instrument.

Hermes agreed and harmony between the two brothers was restored.



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