Saturday, 10 September 2016

Lurching from one mistake to another

Daily Draw: Ship of Fools Tarot, King of Coins.

The image here is of Midas complete with ass's ears praying for his golden touch to be revoked. It is somewhat anachronistic as legend has it the ears arrived after he had learned his first lesson. 

With hands back to normal, Midas turned his back on wealth and splendour, relocated to the country and became a follower of Pan, the god of the fields and satyr. 

One day Pan had the audacity to challenge Apollo to the ancient version of an X Factor sing off. Pan insisted that his little reed flute could make more beautiful melody than Apollo's harp. The two agreed to a contest complete with judging panel which included KM. 

After hearing both performances all but one judge (Midas) hailed Apollo as the winner. There are different versions of the exchange that followed. In the first Apollo whispered gently, 'I see the problem. It's your ears. They are too small to hear properly. Let me fix that for you.' In version two he was more succinct: 'Must have the ears of an ass'. Either way the outcome was the same... 
King Midas felt his ears quiver. His ears sprang out and turned into the large hairy ears of an ass. Mortified he grabbed his ears crying. 'Pan, help me!' he cried. But Pan, with one eye on Apollo, turned his back. 
King Midas tried to hide his ears by wearing an impressive variety of hats, helmets and headdresses. The only person who knew his secret was his barber who was sworn to secrecy. 
The barber kept his word (at first). But the burden of the secret began to wear him down. Eventually he dug a hole in the midst of some reeds and whispered into it 'King Midas has the ears of an ass. King's aaaass ears! King's aaaass ears!' 
Alas, for King Midas, the barber had dug into a piece of echo who ever after whispered over and over, 'King's aaaass ears, king's aaaass ears'.
Before long the whole kingdom knew Midas's secret. 
There's a lesson in there about overcompensating for one mistake and in so doing making another. 


  1. I bet Freud could have a field day with the Midas story, especially on the subject of over-compensation. :D

  2. I think Apollo is an ass himself and a bully too . What is childish and spoiled reaction :D

    1. I love your interpretation. I don't tend to have strong opinions just flip flop like a fish out of water. But now you say it I can hear apollo's bullying roar.