During the peace that followed the clash of the gods and the Titans, the sea nymph Metis became pregnant by Zeus. The Oracle of Gaea—Mother Earth—warned Zeus that if Metis had a son, he would be greater than Zeus himself. Zeus, remembering the defeat of his own father, Kronos, borrowed a move from his father’s playbook and swallowed Metis whole.
Many months later, Zeus began to suffer from terrible headaches. He went among his friends and begged them to split his head open to allow the pain out. Neither the gods nor the Titans dared do such a thing, except for Prometheus. Prometheus was so progressive and forward-thinking, he had sided with Zeus in the war against the Titans and was rewarded with a place among the Olympian gods.
“The pain will be sharp,” said Prometheus, “but then you’ll feel better. Now put your hands over your eyes.”
Zeus did as he was told. Prometheus brought his ax down, and crack went Zeus’s skull.
As soon as his skull opened, Athena—Zeus’s brilliant new daughter—leapt from his forehead, dressed in a glimmering warrior’s armor and sounding a warrior’s cry.
Prometheus patched up Zeus’s skull with clay, while Zeus roared with laughter.
“What an entrance for a child! Full grown and only seconds old.”
“Father, dear,” said Athena “I have many things in mind.”
“Indeed you have. I shared all my thoughts with you before you were born,” said Zeus.
— Recently, I tried to cure my incessant migraines by pouring holy water from the island of Tinos over my head — last in a long line of potential magical cures.
I don’t know if it worked quite yet, but if it didn’t, it can mean only one thing: an Olympian god is gestating in my forehead.
Now all I need is a Prometheus.
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