Caspian and Greek Myths
It all started with a cat.
There’s an outdoor cat in our neighborhood that is a little shy. He’ll calmly sit and observe you from a distance, but will run away if you try and get close. One day, when Caspian and I were driving home, I pointed the cat out to Caspian and waved, but then said, “I don’t think he saw us.”
After thinking this over for a minute, Caspian replied, “Oh, he did see us!”
Since I was distracted and it wasn’t an immediate response, I parse that as “Odysseus!” and thought that Caspian knew the cat’s name. That led to a confusing “Is his name Odysseus?” conversation. Since then, Caspian has gotten much better at sorting out such misunderstandings. Anyway, we ended up nicknaming the cat Odysseus.
Then came the Narnia movie.
Shortly after seeing it, I was trying to explain Satyrs and Fauns to Caspian. I ended up drawing some stick figures of mythological beasts, including a cyclops. Since they were stick figures, the cyclops was the only one with an eye. Which led to Caspian asking about it… which led to telling him the story of Odysseus and Polyphemus.
Which led to every car trip for a few weeks starting off with Caspian asking, “Tell me a story about Odysseus!” It’s amazing how much of your Fifth Grade mythology courses come back in a pinch. Polyphemus, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens – good stuff. Caspian loves it.