Bull
Bull

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Annotation: Presents a modern take on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, told in verse.
Catalog Number: #138903
Binding Type: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 186 p.
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-61060-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97194-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-61060-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97194-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016014200
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Language: English
Reviewing Agencies:
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Thu Dec 01 00:00:00 CST 2016)
Starred Review Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Voice of Youth Advocates
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.3 / points:5.0

PROLOGUE

There beneath the palace walls
the monster rages, foams, bawls,
calling out again and again,
Mother!
Mother!

No other sound
but the scrape
of horn
on stone,
the grinding cranch of human bone
under callused human foot.

BOOK I

POSEIDON

Whaddup, bitches?

Am I right or am I right?
That bum Minos deserved what he got.
I mean, I may be a god, but I'm not
Unreasonable, and when I am, so
What?

Like I said,
I'm a god.
Reason's got nuthin'
To do with it.

But let's get back to where it all started:
Minos comes to me,
Mewling like a baby,
Frowny-faced, heavy-hearted.
He's got a hunger, he says,
A hankering, a jones, a thing.
But not for a woman!
This jerk wants to be king!
Of CRETE!
An island so dazzling
It could cure the friggin'
Blind. But it's not the friggin'
Scenery this friggin'
Minos has in mind.

Not the harbors or the shores,
The god-possessed waters.
Not the sheep, the trusty shepherds,
Their warlike sons, their lusty daughters.
Not the olives or the figs,
The sacred, long-lived trees.
Not the amber honey
Or the honey-making bees.
Not the thyme-drunk lovers
Who sigh among its flowers.

No,
All this clown wants
Is a little power.
He's got an appetite for obedience,
But no imagination.
And he doesn't ask for much--​
Just his own private nation.

So he wonders
If I'd give the people
An omen,
A sign,
Something impressive,
He says, something divine.
Anything to prove
He's the man
For the royal job.

So what the fuck, I think.
I'm gonna help this slob.

Why not?
I got plenty o' nifty tricks
Up this metaphorical sleeve.
And you mortals?
You're ready to believe
Anything to prove
A god's on your side.
Besides, I got no dog in this fight.
No skin off my hide.
So, I wave my trusty trident;
Ain't nuthin' for me.
And abra-cadabra!

A milk-white bull
Comes walking
Out of the wine-dark sea.

The oldest trick in the book!
A piece o' cake.
But it doesn't take
Much to bring you
Mortals to your knees.

Yeah, you're hard to respect
But easy to please.

So Minos gets it all--​
The palace, the power.
Big Man on Knossos.
Man of the Hour.

But all of a sudden,
He won't play nice.

Look,
He was supposed to sacrifice
That bull
To me!
Poseidon, baby!
King of the Sea!
Tamer of Horses!
Old Earth-Shaker!
And one helluva troublemaker
When some jerk shirks
His responsibility and
Won't keep his word.

So this Minos,
This "king,"
This two-faced
Turd,
Hid my bull and
Sacrificed another.
Like I'm some kind of mark!
A pigeon!
His younger brother!
A harebrain!
An idiot!
A jamook!
A snot-nosed kid!

The guy's all ego.

BUT I'M ALL ID.

I could have turned his eyes
Into a nest for seething wasps.
I could have turned his face
Into a snapping clam.
I could have given him hooves
Or studded the roof
Of his mouth with thorns.
Could have fitted him with horns.
Flippers.
Feathers.
Fits.
Made him smell like an outhouse.
Covered him with zits.
Turned his arms into eels.
His teeth into snails.
Bleat like a sea cow.
Blow like a whale.
Boils!
Scabs!
Gills!
A snout!
Turned his
Ding-dong
Inside
Out!
I could have.
But I didn't.

Parlor games.
A touch too mild.
Child's play.
And Poseidon's no child.

He needed something
He'd remember
His whole stinkin' life.
That's why I bypassed him . . .

And went after his wife.

When you play with the gods,
You're playing fast and loose.
Enough small talk--​
I've got a sea nymph to seduce.

SEE THE STORY OF THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT Minos thought he could Pull a fast one On me, Poseidon God of the Sea But I'm the last one On whom you Should try such a thing. The nerve of that guy. The balls. The audacity. I AM THE OCEAN I got capacity Depths Darkness Delphic power So his sweet little plan Went big-time sour And his wife had a son Born with horns and a muzzle Who ended up In an underground puzzle. What is it with you mortals? You just can't seem to learn: If you play with fire, babies, You're gonna get burned. Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters.