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#actuallyautistic voices

A King Among My Flock

A few of our students are reading Homer's Odyssey right now, and Jack asked us to publish his narrative that continues the story of Polyphemus, the Cyclops blinded by Odysseus.

In case it's been a minute since you've read the Odyssey, here's a recap of the story at this point.

Polyphemus makes a show of hospitality at first, but he soon turns hostile. He devours two of Odysseus's men on the spot and imprisons Odysseus and the rest of his men in his cave for future meals. Much to his own detriment, his gluttonous nature takes control, leaving him in a drunken stupor and most vulnerable. Odysseus blinds the Cyclops, steals some of his sheep, and is made to look very foolish in the eyes of the gods.

Jack continues the story by answering the question: How does Polyphemus' life change after his father Poseidon confronts him for being fooled by Odysseus.

We think Jack's take on things is downright amazing! Enjoy!


As thunder rolls in the distance and waves crash onto the shore, so stormed Poseidon into his son's cave, bellowing like a hurt ewe. "Polyphemus!" he roared. "Explain to me how a son of mine was bested by that farm boy from Ithaca." With a crash of his trident, Poseidon swept through the cave. There was no response. He looked around and saw it was empty. "My son!" he raged. "First he was blinded by that farm boy and now he has disappeared." The angry god left the cave.

Far in the distance he spotted Polyphemus, surrounded by his flock. Making his way across the land like a cloud forming before a storm or wind gathering speed, Poseidon confronted his son. "I am here to take you home, foolish boy. What good is a blind shepherd? Rotten, eyeless invalid! I never thought I would be a caregiver to my own child."

Polyphemus turned his large head toward his father. Poseidon heaved a troubled sigh, unsure if his son even heard him. "Get up," he said loudly and slowly as if talking to a child. "Listen to your father." Polyphemus clicked his tongue like bats do. "Hello, Poseidon. You look angry," he said calmly. Poseidon foamed at the mouth. "How would you know?" snapped the god. "Disabled idiot, you have no eye."

"No eye, maybe, but my sight has never been clearer. The Ithacan opened my mind by taking my eye. I will not go with you. I do not need you to care for me. I am not a body to be pitied. I am a king among my flock. Like an owl learns to see in the dark and a bat hunts with sound, so I adapted to this new life." Poseidon smugly and silently picked up a sheep. Hearing it bleat, Polyphemus said, "You won't trick me. I'm blind, not stupid. And while I'm dismantling these mythical structures of patriarchy and ableism, this whole god and goddess business is a sham. You only exist because people believe in you, much like patriarchy and ableism. I'm done believing."

Polyphemus breathed in an enormous sigh of relief and dipped his toe in the puddle of water that had been Poseidon. He clicked at his sheep. "Drink up, friends."


The author points to letters to spell her poetry.


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