THE CHARIOTEER

At the end of the great hall on a throne of shimmering jewels sat a man crowned with pure radiant light. Near the dazzling throne stood the four seasons. The beautiful Spring played at his feet, covered in flowers that were woven into her hair. Summer stood next to him wearing emerald green and holding sheaves of golden grain. Nearby was Autumn in a robe of red, yellow and orange leaves, holding freshly harvested grapes with hands and feet stained purple from stamping grapes for wine. To the side, away from the others stood Winter, bent and old with blue hair and icicles for beard.

The man on the throne looked down at Phaethon and asked, "Why have you come to the ends of the earth my son?" "Are you the great Apollo?" the boy replied. The Sun-god smiled and nodded. "Are you my father?" Apollo nodded again. "I have come to prove that you are truly my father," the boy challenged. "I am your father," Apollo said gently. "Ask me for whatever it is that you wish and I will give it to you."

Without hesitation, the boy replied,
              "I want to drive your chariot for the day."