Will Zeus ever forgive me, if I do this?
The coals glow on Hestia’s hearth,
casting their warmth outward in a living blanket
of bright radiance that calms and cheers
everyone that rests under that mantle of heat.
Below, on Terra, the mortals suffered,
huddled in their caves as a storm raged overhead,
casting down rain.
The winds lashing all who ventured out,
the thunder’s roars loud enough to penetrate
even down into the depths of the caves where they dwelled,
the children crying out in terror
even as they clung to their parents for warmth.
He was decided, then:
My brothers may languish in Tartarus,
but I am here, and I can act.
I remember the Golden Age,
when mortals loved us unconditionally,
and we, them.
I think of all the things this fire can be used for,
beyond the most basic:
cooking food, eating homes, and giving light, yes, but—
A sheet of wildfire races across a fallow field,
clearing it for planting.
A torch is used to sear closed the stump of an arm
that a lion has bitten off, keeping a man from
bleeding to death.
A young boy chars the tip of a stick in a cookfire,
then begins to draw upon a wall.
Fire is used to soften up logs, so they may be more easily
chopped to build a house.
Agriculture. Medicine. Art. Architecture.
And so much more.
My theft is not one gift, but a thousand gifts.
I scoop hot coals into the hollow reed I have prepared, and flee.
I will pay the price for my theft in time…
but it will be worth it.