Odysseus and his crew were just leaving the Land of the Dead on their way to Kirke’s island to bury Elpenor as Dawn’s finger tips of rose slowly crept over the morning sky. Odysseus was telling his men the stories and prophesies he had just learned when the sky started to darken. A storm was upon them. The wind started to pick up as waves crashed harder and harder against the side of the boat until finally the men no longer could grip the oars and they lost control. All they could do was pray to the Gods for mercy and hang on for their lives. Suddenly, as quickly as the storm arrived it left. The skies lightened, the seas calmed, and the winds stopped. The men stood up and looked around wondering where they were. Finally, one of the men spotted land not too far away.
As they neared the island, it seemed perfect. It was like paradise. There was lush vegetation, numerous trees, and plenty of animals. The closer they got the better it looked. What Odysseus and his men didn’t know was that it was the island of Arachnia, goddess of spiders. She put many spiders on her island that wove giant invisible webs to trap any intruders. The men circled the island looking for a space to land. It didn’t take them long. They quickly landed and sent out a scouting group. The others started to inspect the damage to the boat from the storm. The group thought there would be no dangers, as the island seemed so perfect. How wrong they were. Soon after they were out of sight of the boat one of the men was trapped in a giant spider web. The more he squirmed the more stuck he got. The others had no idea what was going on. It looked like he was insane. He appeared to be floating since his legs were so entangled they no longer touched the ground. The others, out of fear, ran swiftly back to the ship.
Odysseus, great conqueror, asked, "Where is the fifth man I sent out with you?"
The leader answered, "We don’t know what happened to him. As if by magic, he just started floating in the air. He then started frantically squirming and yelling. ‘Get me out, I’m stuck!’ We tried to cut him loose from whatever he thought he was stuck on, but our swords merely made a loud noise as if we had struck the metal of a shield, yet we saw nothing but the land ahead."
"Hmm. . .," Odysseus thought, "I shall go with two of you and two of my strongest men. We shall go to him and try to find out what happened. You two, you shall come with me and these two who have already been, Nausicaa, I leave you in charge!"
"Yes, sir!" Nausicaa gladly accepted.
Odysseus and his group wandered for hours trying to find the crew member. Soon night fell, and the men decided to rest. As the rest of the men slept, Odysseus lay awake. Hermes came to warn him of Arachnia’s spider webs.
"Odysseus," Hermes called, "come with me and I shall tell you how to conquer the secrets of the island and rescue your lost man."
"Continue . . .," Odysseus replied interestedly.
"Well, you have landed on the island of Arachnia, goddess of spiders. She has made this island appear to be perfect, but there is one danger. On the island, she put spiders that weave invisible webs as strong as metal and very sticky. This is what happened to that man of yours. Now, there is only one way to prevent getting stuck in her webs."
"Ho do I prevent my men and me from getting stuck?" Odysseus asked.
"You must rub aloe all over yourselves," Hermes replied.
"Can we put it on our swords to cut down the webs?’
"If you could, it wouldn’t help, because the webs are as strong as metal. Instead use my sword. It can cut through anything," Hermes answered.
"If there are these giant spider’s webs, the spiders must be gigantic to weave webs that big."
"I was getting to that. They are huge spiders, but they are not what you should worry about. They merely carry you to Arachnia. You remember the drink Kirke gage