I’m no longer able to respect how normal people suffer from hunger and shiver from the cold in humble huts, while the Gods live a luxurious life in warmed castles on Olympus, with sumptuous banquets, balls and an excess of everything. It was harrowing to witness the scandalous revelry, their childish arguments, and their selfish behaviour compared with the difficult living conditions suffered by the people on earth. I decided to help humanity and provide them with the means to make their own tools,to bake bricks and to prepare their food better: I decided to steal the secret of fire from the Gods!

Yes, dear people, thanks to me, things are significantly better for you. You have control over your environment, and your prosperity and welfare has increased enormously. But unfortunately, fire can also result in devastation. Not only does it make tools possible, but also weapons; it not only makes it possible to bake bricks, but also to burn villages to the ground; you can’t just prepare food with it, but also punish people in a terrible way. I understand why the Gods were reluctant to provide humanity with fire! But nevertheless, I believe that I did the right thing. If only you were somewhat wiser, then I wouldn’t have this ongoing feeling of guilt.

I’ve paid the price for my deed. I was bound to the Caucasus Mountain where the eagle, Ethon, pecked at my liver every day. It was terrible! But the worst thing was that I wasn’t allowed to simply die. Every night the liver grew back and the next day the cursed bird returned. Happily, Heracles eventually succeeded in freeing me, but now it continues to play on my conscience. I hope that humanity will continue to make good use of my gift. Taking care of a gift from the Gods is a tremendous responsibility!

Text: Han Heijmans

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