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TalesfromtheOdyssey
BookFive:ReturntoIthaca
By:MaryPopeOsborne

Answerallquestionsattheendofeachchapter.Makesureto
usecompletesentences
andthatyou
readthequestionsfully.Youshouldhighlightunknownwords,newcharacters,andimportantorinteresting
pointswithinthestorywhenyouarereading.
Writenotesonthesideitletsmeknowwhatyoure
thinkingwhenreading.
Ifyouhavequestionsthatcomeupwhenreading,writethemdownontheright
handsidesometimesaskingyourselfquestionswhenreadinghelpsyoubetterunderstandthetext.

Chapter6:TheMysteriousShepherd
Questions/Comments/Notes

WhenOdysseusawoke,hefoundhimselfsurroundedbyamist.
Throughthehaze,hesawstrangewindingpathsandghostlyhigh
cliffs.Nothinglookedfamiliar.Whenhesawthegiftsfromtheking
pilednearhim,hefellintodespair.

WhydidKingAlcinousorderhismentosailtothisplace?
he
wondered.
Whyhavetheyabandonedmehere?

Odysseuspacedupanddownthebeach,angryatthekingfor
sendinghimtoanunknownshore.Whenhesawayoung
shepherdcomingtowardhim,herushedtomeethim.

Greeting,friend!Odysseusshoutedthroughthemist.Ibegyou
nottofearme,buttotellmethetruthwhereamI?Whatcountry
isthis?

Sir,youmustbeastrangertothisregion,ifyoudonotknowthis
island,saidtheshepherd.Itisknownfarandwide,fromtheglow
ofdawntothegloomoftwilight.Itisaruggedplace,notgoodfor
horses,butitgrowsgrainandgrapes.Itreceivesplentyofrain,so
ithasgoodwaterandgoodgrassforgoatsandcattle.Eventhose
whohavetraveledfromasfarawayasTroyknowtheislands
name:itisIthaca.

Odysseuscouldnotbelievehisears.
Surely,Iwouldrecognizemy
owncountry,
hethought.Hefearedtheshepherdmightbetrying
totrickhim,sohequicklyinventedastory.


Ah,yes,Ithoughtso.hesaid,ImyselfcameheretoIthacato
escapepunishmentforkillingathiefwhotriedtostealmytreasure
fromtheTrojanWar.Hepointedtothegleaminggiftsonthe
sand.

Theshepherdsmiled.Then,inthewinkofaneye,theyoungman
wastransformedintoatall,strikingwomanwithgray,glinting
eyes.

Athena,breathedOdysseus.

Odysseus,youaretheworldsmostcunningstoryteller,shesaid.
Butstillyoudidnotknowme,yourguardianandprotector.Ihave
comeheretohelpyouagain.Ididnotcomeheretohelpyou
again.Ididnotwantotherstoseeyou,soIagainshroudedyouin
amist.Itmadeyoursurroundingslookunfamiliartoyou.Butnever
fear,thisindeedyourhomeland.

Goddess,howdoIknowyouaretellingmethetruth?said
Odysseus.HowcanIknowthatIhavereallycomehome?

Athenawavedherwand.Lookaboutyounow,Odysseus,she
said,andyouwillseetheolivetreeswiththeirlongleaves.You
willseetheduskycavewherenymphsweavetheirseapurple
webs.Youwillseethespringsthatneverrundry.Behold
Ithaca.Asshesaidthesewords,thegoddessdispersedthemist
thatsurroundingthem.

Inthebright,clearair,Odysseussawallthethingsthegoddess
haddescribed.Joyfullyhefelltohiskneesandkissedtheground.

Come,saidAthena,letushidethesetreasuresinthecaveof
thenymphs.Thenwewillmakeaplan.

TogetherOdysseusandAthenastowedthegoldandbronzeand
wovenclothesinthecave.ThenAthenarolledastoneoverthe
cavesentrance.

Whenthestonewasinplaceandthetreasuresweresafe,Athena
andOdysseussatonthegroundbeneathanolivetree.There
Athenatoldhimallaboutthesuitorswhohadinvadedhishome.


Forseveralyears,Penelopefoughtofftheevilmen,shesaid.
Finally,shepromisedtochooseonetomarry,butshenever
intendedtodoso.Oneofhermaidsreportedherdeceitandthe
suitorsragedagainsther.Nowtimeisrunningout.Shemournsfor
youbutdoesnotgiveuphope.

Odysseusfoughttocontainhisangeragainstthosewhohad
tormentedhisfaithfulwife.Hequietlyaskedthegoddesstohelp
him.Tellmewhattodo,hesaid.Givemecourage.Withyour
help,Icanfightthreehundredmen.

Youwillfightthem,saidAthena.Butnow,youmusttellnoone
whoyouare.Sufferallyouhearandseeinsilence,untilyoucan
takeyourrevenge.

Butmightnotsomeofmycountrymenrecognizeme?said
Odysseus.

Iwillseetoitthattheydonot,saidAthena.Iwilldisguiseyouas
anoldman.Iwilltakethehairfromyourheadandwrinkleyour
fleshanddimyoureyes.Iwillgiveyouragstowear,likethose
wornbyawretchedbeggar.

Withthesewords,Athenaraisedherwandandpasseditover
Odysseus.Sheshriveledthesmoothskinthatcoveredhisbody.
Shetookthehairfromhisheadandthelightfromhiseyes.She
drapedaraggedcloakabouthisshouldersandgavehima
walkingstickandatatteredbag.

Beonyourwaynow,thegoddesssaid.Gotothehutofyour
swineherd.Heisagoodandhonestman.StaywithhimwhileIgo
toTelemachus.Iwillbringhimhomefromtheseawhereheseeks
somesignthatyouarestillalive.

Ogoddess,whydidyouletmysondriftindespair,searchingfor
me?askedOdysseus.Whydidyounottellhimthetruth?

Donotfear,Iwaswithhimformuchofhisjourney,saidAthena.
Andeventhoughevildoersplottomurderhim,Ipromiseyou
they
willsoondieinstead.

Questions:

1. WhoshowsuptohelpOdysseus?
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2. WhatisOdysseuschangedintointhischapter?
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3. BasedoffofwhatAthenatellsOdysseusaboutthesuitors
intheendofthechapter,predicthowthiswillhappen.
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Chapter7:TheSwineherd

Odysseusleanedonhiswalkingstickandtrodslowlyoverthe
stonypaththatledawayfromthesea.Hehobbledthroughthe
woodsandoverthehillstohisestate.

FinallyOdysseuscameupontheswineherdwhohadlongtended
hishundredsofhogs.Theoldmansatinfrontofacrudestone
shelterneartheswinepens.Hewasmakingapairofleather
sandals.Nearhimlayfoursavagedogsthatguardedthehogs.

WhenthedogscaughtsightofOdysseus,theylungedforward,
snarlingandgrowling.

Odysseusthrewdownhisstickandcrouchedontheground.The
swineherdrushedforward,shoutingandthrowingstonesatthe
viciousdogs,drivingthemaway.

Youarelucky,oldman,theswineherdsaidtoOdysseus.In
anotherminute,theymighthavekilledyou.Standandcomeinto
myhut.Iwillgiveyoufoodandwine.Thenyoucantellmeyour
storyfromwhereyouhavecome,andwhatsorrowsyouhave
known.

Keepingthedogsatbay,theswineherdledOdysseusinsidehis
simplehut.Hemadeaseatofsofttwigs,covereditwithashaggy
goatskin,andinvitedOdysseustositdown.

Youarekind,sir,saidOdysseus.MaymightyZeusblessyoufor
yourhospitality.Mayhegrantyourgreatestwish.

Ihaveonlyonewishthatmydearmasterwasstillalive,said
theswineherd.Hadhelivedhewouldsurelyhavegivenmea
rewardforcaringtenderlyforhislivestockthesemanyyears.He
mighthavegivenmeahouse,awife,andapieceofland.But
alas,mygoodmasterhasbeengonefortwentyyears.Hediedfar
awayfromhome,returningfromthewarwithTroy.Stormspirits
destroyedhisshipsandallhismen.

Andwhatofhisfamily?Odysseusaskedsoftly.

Ah,hiswifewaitsforhiminvain,whileothermentrytoforceher
tomarry.Hismothergaveuphopeofhisreturnlongagoanddied
ofgrief.Hisfatherwishestodienowalsotheoldmannolonger
livesinthepalace,butsleepsaloneinthevineyards.Asforthe
sonofOdysseusthepoorboywanderstheearth,lookingforhis
father.Itistragicindeed.

Thefaithfulswineherdsigheddeeply,thenstoodup.Letmefeed
younow,goodsir,hesaid.

TheswineherdsetaboutpreparingamealforOdysseus.He
servedhimmeatstillhotonthespitandsprinkledwithbarley
meal.Hegavehimwineinacupmadefromivywood.

Astheyateanddranktogether,theswineherdcomplainedto
OdysseusaboutPenelopessuitors.Theybutcherthebesthogs
ofthefarm,hesaid.Theyslaughterthecattleandrobthe
storehousesanddrinkmymasterswine.Worstofall,theytorment
mypoormistressnightandday,demandingthatsheforget
Odysseusandmarryoneofthem.Ah,butsheisfaithfulbeyond
compare.Sheweepsforherlosthusbandandwillnotgiveup
hopeforhisreturn.

Dohersuitorsnotheedherwishes?askedOdysseus.

Nay,thesemenwillnotleaveheralone!Theyarecrueland
withoutpity.Ihearrumorsthattheynowlieinwait,plottingto
murderherson.

Odysseussaidnothing.Butinhismind,hecoldlybroodedupon
revenge,andtheseedsofthesuitorsdeathsweresown.

AsOdysseusandtheswineherdfinishedtheirmeal,astorm
begantoblowoutside.Windandrainpeltedtheroofofthesmall
hut.TheswineherdgaveOdysseusmorewineandaskedhimto
tellabouthimself.

Odysseuslied.HesaidthathewasborninCreteandhad
wanderedmanytownsuntilhehadcometoIthaca.ButImusttell
youthis,hesaid,onmytravels,Imetakingwhotoldmethat
OdysseusofIthacaisstillalive.ThekingsaidOdysseuswillreturn
homeonadarknight,whenthenewmoonishidden.Hesaidhe
mightreturnopenlyorhemightreturninsecret.

Theswineherdshookhisheadsadly.Donottrytoraisemy
hopes,friend,hesaid.Inthepast,otherwanderershavepassed
throughIthacawithrumorsaboutOdysseus.Eachtime,theyhave
tormentedhispoorwifewiththeirfalsehoods.Againandagainshe
hasimaginedthatshemightsoonseeherhusband.Longago,I
myselfbelievedamanwhotoldmethatmymasterwouldreturnin
summerorinautumn.ButOdysseushasnevercomebackand
neverwill.Iamcertainthatthefishhavedevouredhimbynow,
andhisbonesliedeepinthesandofsomefarawayplace.

Asrainydarknessdescendeduponthestonehut,theswineherd
madeOdysseusabedofsheepskins.Hespreadathickcloak
overhim.

Thenthefaithfulservantwrappedhimselfinthehideofagoatand
leftthehut.Hewentoutintothedark,windynightandlayunder
theshelterofarock,guardinghismastersswine.

Questions:

1. Whatdoestheswineherdthinkhashappenedto
Odysseus?
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2. Whatdoyouthinkthephrasetheseedsofthesuitors
deathsweresown.means?
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3. Whatkindofmooddoestheweatherattheendofchapter
create?
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Chapter8:ReturnoftheSon

WhileOdysseushadbeenmakinghiswayhometoIthaca,hisson
Telemachushadstayedonasaguestinthepalaceoftheking
andqueenofSparta.

Formanydays,Telemachushadwonderedwhattodo.Onenight,
ashetossedrestlesslyinbed,thegoddessAthenaappearedin
hischambers.

BeforeTelemachuscouldspeak,Athenagavehimurgentadvice:
Lingerherenolonger,Telemachus.Gohomeatonceandprotect
yourhouse.Butbewareyourmotherssuitorsplantokillyou.
Rightnow,theywaittoambushyouinthestraitbetweenIthaca
andtheislandofSamos.

WhatshouldIdo?askedTelemachus.

Sailquicklythroughthepassage,huggingneithershore,said
Athena.Thegodswillsendafairwindtospeedyourshipontoa
safeport.Whenyouland,sendyourcrewtotown.Thengoalone
toyourfathersswineherd,themanwhotendshishogs.Sendhim
toyourmothertotellherofyoursafereturn.

BeforeTelemachuscouldaskmorequestions,Athenavanished
fromtheroom.Telemachusdressedhurriedly,thenrantoKing
Menelauschambers.Mylord,Iamsorrytotakeleaveofyouso
soon,butImustsetoffforhomeimmediately.

ThekinghatedtoseethesonofOdysseusleaveSparta,buthe
consentedandorderedthatachariotbepreparedforhim.

AsTelemachussaidfarewelltoKingMenelausandQueenHelen,
astrangesightappearedinthesky.Aneagleflewoverhead.It
clutchedagreatwhitegooseinitstalons.

Menandwomenranacrossthefields.Theypointedattheweird
sightandcriedoutinamazementandfear.

Whatomenisthis?someoneshouted.

Whatcanitmean?

QueenHelencalmlyanswered.Thegodshaverevealedtomy
heartthemeaningofthissign,shesaid.Theeaglestandsfor
Odysseus.Thegoosestandsforhishome.Afterhehastraveled
farandwide,OdysseuswillreturnhometoIthacaandtakehis
revenge.

Maythegodsmakeitso,saidTelemachus.Withthat,thesonof
Odysseussnappedthereinsofthehorsesandbeganhislong
journeyhome.

TelemachuschariotracedacrosstheplainsofSparta,thenonto
theharborofPylos.ThereTelemachusfoundhiscrewandship
waitingforhim.Hequicklyboardedthevesselandorderedhis
mentoraisethesail.Athenasentafairwestwindtostartthemon
theirway.

Ontheirjourney,TelemachuswascarefultoheedAthenas
advice.Heorderedhismennottosailclosetoeithershorewhen
theypassedthroughthestraitbetweenIthacaandtheislandof
Samos.

Astheblackshipspedsafelytowardhishome,Telemachus
rememberedmorewordsfromthegoddess:
Whenyoulandin

Ithaca,sendyourcrewtotown.Thengoalonetoyourfathers
swineherd,themanwhotendshishogs...

JustbeforetheyreachedtheportofIthaca,Telemachusordered
hiscrewtostriketheirsailandrowtoland.Whentheshipwas
anchored,thecrewwentashoreandmadeafiretocooktheir
meat.

Afterallhismenhadeatentheirfill,Telemachusspoketothem.
Now,rowontothecitysportwithoutme,hesaid.Imusttravel
aloneandseekoutmyfathersswineherd.

Oncethemenhadcastoffandtheshipwasonitsway,
Telemachuslacedhisfineleathersandalsandpickeduphis
mightybronzespear.Withrapidsteps,heheadedforthe
farmsteadwheretheswineherdkeptwatchoverthehogs.

Questions:
1. WherearethesuitorswaitingtoattackTelemachus?
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2. WhatwastheomenthatTelemachussawinSpartaand
whatdoyouthinkitmeans?
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ChapterNine:Reunion

Morningwasbreakingovertheswineherdshut.Theswineherd
hadbuiltafireandwaspreparingbreakfastforhimselfand
Odysseus.Ashepouredtheirwine,thedogsbeganyelping
outside.

Yourdogssoundhappytheydonotsnarlorgrowl,Odysseus
saidtotheswineherd.Theymustbegreetingsomeonetheyknow
andtrust.

BeforeOdysseuscouldsaymore,ayoungmanappearedinthe
doorwayofthehut.


Theswineherdjumpedup,droppingthecupsofwine.Heranto
theyoungmanandtearfullykissedhim.Telemachus!Myeyes
sweetlight!theoldmansaid.

Odysseusgazeduponhissonshandsomeface.Hewasunableto
moveorspeak.Whenhehadlastseenhisbelovedboy,
Telemachushadbeenababy.Nowhewasayoungmanwith
broadshouldersandaproudchest,reddishhair,andlively,bright
eyes.Indeed,helookedverylikehisfather.

Telemachussmiledattheswineherd.Youareawelcomesightto
myeyes,too!hesaid.Tellmefirsthowismymother?What
hashappenedtohersinceIleft?

Wordcametoherthatyouwereingravedanger,saidthe
swineherd.Shewillbeoverjoyedtohearthatyouhavefound
yourwayhomealive.Comeinside.Eatandrest.

AsTelemachusdrewnearthehearth,Odysseusrosesilentlyfrom
hisseatandofferedittohisson.

Telemachusshookhishead.Keepyourseat,oldman.hesaid.
Anotherwillservemeaswell.

Odysseusnoddedandtookhisplaceagain.Hisfacehalfhidden
bythehoodofhiscloak,hecontinuedtogazewithwonderupon
theyoungman.

Theswineherdthrewfreshlogsonthefireandspreadafleeceon
thegroundforTelemachus.Thenhepreparedmeatfromthe
previousnightsmealandabasketofbread.Heservedhoneyed
wineinwoodencups.

Whenthethreemenhadfinishedtheirmeal,Telemachusspoke
softlytotheswineherd.Tellme,wheredoesyourguestcome
from?hesaid.Whatshipandwhatcrewbroughthimhere?

HecomesfromCreteandhastraveledovertheworld.Iputhimin
yourhandsnow.Offerhimthehospitalityofyourfathershouse.

Telemachusshookhisheadsadly,HowcanItakeaguestinto
ourhousewhenitisoverrunbymymotherssuitors?Icanonly
offerhimgifts.Iwillclothehiminacloakandtunicandgivehim
finesandalsandaswordandsendhimwhereverhewantstogo.
Butfornow,Iwillvisitwithhim,whileyouhurrytomymotherand
tellherofmysafereturn.

Theswineherdnoddedandstoodup.

Speaktoherinsecret,saidTelemachus.LetnooneelseknowI
amhere.

Iunderstand,saidtheswineherd.Thenhetookhisleaveof
TelemachusandOdysseusandsetoffforthepalace.

Aftertheswineherdhadleft,Odysseussawatall,fairwoman
appearinthedoorwayofthehut.Telemachusseemednottotake
noticeofher,butthedogswhimperedandcoweredinfear.

ThewomanbeckonedtoOdysseus.Hequietlyleftthefireand
steppedoutside.Hefollowedhertoastonewall.Facingthe
womaninthemorninglight,Odysseussawthatitwasthegoddess
Athena.

Odysseus,itistimetotellyoursonthetruth,thegoddesssaid.
Thenthetwoofyoumustplanyourrevengeonthesuitorsand
makeyourwaytotowntogether.Iwillfollowcloselybehind.Iam
readyforafight.

AthenatouchedOdysseuswithherwand.Instantly,theragged
garmentsfellawayfromhisbodyandhewascladinafinetunic
andcloak.Hewastallerandlookedmuchyounger.Hisfacewas
bronzedhischeeksfull.Hehaddarkhairandadarkbeard.

AthenahadrestoredOdysseustohisstrongest,mostvitalself.
BeforeOdysseuscouldspeak,thegoddessvanishedinthe
morninglight.

Odysseusreturnedtothehut.WhenTelemachussawhim,alook
ofwonderandfearcameoverhisface.Hecouldbarelyspeak.
Strangeryouhavechanged!hestammered.Youmustbea

godfromMountOlympus!Sparemeharmallowmetomakea
sacrificetoyou!

Odysseusspokequietly.Iamnogod,Telemachus,hesaid.I
amtheoneyouhavemournedfor,theoneforwhomyouhave
sufferedgreatpainandinjury.Iamyourfather.

ThetearsthatOdysseushadlongheldbacknowstreameddown
hisface.ButTelemachusshookhishead.Noyoucannotbemy
fatheryouareademoncastingaspell,oryouareagod.You
wereanoldman,andnowyouareyoung

Iamnotanimmortal,saidOdysseus,butIhavebeenblessed
byagoddess.Aftertwentyyearsofwanderingandtorment,
AthenahasbroughtmehometoIthaca.Shechangedmeintoan
oldman,andnowIamayoungmanoncemore.Itiseasyforthe
godstocastamandownandthenraisehimupagain.

Hearingthesewords,Telemachusbegantoweep.Hegrabbedhis
fatherandhuggedhim,andthetwosobbedtogether.Theircries
werewildandpiercing,likethoseofeagleswhoseyounghave
beenstolenfromthem.Aftertwentylongyears,fatherandson
werefinallyreunited.

Questions:
1. WhydoesTelemachussayhecannottakeaguestintohis
house?
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2. WhenOdysseusreturnsfromtalkingtoAthena,whodoes
Telemachusthinkheis?
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3. Theauthorusesasimileinthelastparagraph.Whatisthe
simileused(youcanwritedownthesentencebelow).
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Chapter10:APlanforRevenge

Sittingtogetherintheswineherdshut,OdysseusandTelemachus
askedmanyquestionsofeachother.Whatshipbroughtyouhere,
Father?saidTelemachus.Whereisyourcrew?

OdysseustoldhowKingAlcinoushadsenthimhomewiththehelp
ofthebestsailorsintheworld.Isleptallthroughthevoyage,he
said,onlytowakeandfindmyselfaloneonshore,surroundedby
goldandbronzetreasure.WiththehelpofAthena,Ihideverything
inthecaveofthenymphs.ThenAthenasentmeheretofindyou.
Shewishesusnowtoplotrevengeagainstourenemies.

ItmaybehardforustofightallofthemsaidTelemachus.We
areonlytwo,andtheynumbernearlyonehundredandtwenty.

ibelieveAthenawillhelpus,saidOdysseus,aswillherfather,
Zeus.Doyouthinkwewillthenbestrongenough?

WiththehelpofZeusandAthena,wewillsurelydefeatour
enemies,saidTelemachus.Tellmewhatwemustdo.

Tomorrowatdaybreak,youmustgohomealone,said
Odysseus.Iwilldisguisemyselfasabeggaragainandtravelto
thepalace.DonotprotestifthesuitorsabusemewhenIarrive.
Eveniftheyshoutnamesatmeorthrowthingsatme,donot
speakawordinmyfavor.

Whenwillwefightthem?askedTelemachus.

WhenAthenawhisperstomethatthetimehascome,Iwillnodto
you.Yourmustthentakealltheswordsandspearsandshields
fromthehallandhidetheminanupstairsroom.

WhatwillItelltheotherswhentheyaskwhyIamdoingthis?
askedTelemachus.

Saythatyouareremovingtheweaponssotheywillnotbe
harmedfromthesmokeofthefires.Leaveweaponsonlyforyou
andmetwoswords,twospears,andtwoleathershields.And
remember,mysontellnoonethatyouhaveseenmenotthe

swineherd,noranyoftheservants,normyoldfather,noteven
yourmother...

Asthedayworeon,OdysseusandTelemachusmadefurther
plans.ThoughOdysseushadfinallyreturnedtoIthaca,heknew
hecouldstillnotrest.Therewasonemoregreatbattletofight
butthisonehewouldfightwithhisson.

Questions:
1. WhatistheplanthatOdysseusandTelemachushave
comeupwithtodefeatthesuitors?
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