So let us recap the past four tasks that Heracles had to complete up to this point.
1. Slay the Nemean Lion
2. Slay the Lernaean Hydra
3. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis
Now it was time to get serious, so Eurystheus put on his serious face and gave Heracles his next task:
Clean the Stables of Augeas in a single day!
You maybe laughing at the trivial nature of this task compared to these previous four tasks, but this seemingly simple task would prove to be much more difficult.
You see Augeas (which means "bright") was the king of Elis and a former Argonaut. Now his stables housed the greatest amount of cattle in the entire country and they were immortal to boot. Due to Augeas' laziness and the fact that the cattle were immortal, the stables were never cleaned for 30 YEARS. I think Jeff Goldblum would best surmise this situation for me.
Well said my fellow yinzer, well said
So you get the idea, Heracles basically had to clean a giant pile of crap in one day. And to add an incentive, Augeas promised to give 1/10 of his herd to him. So Heracles began to think like a Winnie the Pooh (If of course Pooh was a gassed up demigod) and finally the little lamp popped up above his head.
Huzzah, and I only destroyed ten villages!
Heracles came up with a brilliant plan he redirected TWO RIVERS (The Alfeios and the Pineios) with his BARE HANDS!!! The rushing waters smashed into the Augean Stables and 30 years worth of shit was spread across the land (so I guess Heracles was the first to use manure as a fertilizer.) But you remember how I said Augeas name means "bright" well that doesn't seem to apply to him.
Couldn't find a picture of Augeas so here is a sneak peek of JP4 ;)
Augeas didn't hold onto his side of the bargain, so Heracles did the heroic thing and killed him. Augeas' exiled son Pyleus became king and soon afterward Heracles apparently founded the Olympic games. But Herc was in for a rude revelation when he returned to Eurystheus' palace.
The face we assume Eurystheus was making when Heracles returned
Like the slaying of the Hydra, Eury made this task pointless due to fact that water, not Heracles, cleaned up the Augean Stables. And so Heracles now two more tasks added to the original ten and that is where I will leave off till next week