Interview with Centaurs
The following conversation was found on one of those websites where you ask a question, and random people provide answers. You have to be careful with these, because you never know who's answering, but we found the following interchange to be pretty informative—for the most part.
Just_wondering: What is a centaur?
Pirithous_King: Horrible creatures with the lower bodies of horses and the upper bodies of men.
Just_wondering: They sound cool. Why so horrible?
Pirithous_King: Well, for starters, they wrecked my wedding. They drank all the wine, got totally wasted, and tried to take off with Hippodamia, my beautiful bride.
Theseusiscool: They got what was coming to them! We showed 'em whatsup! The Centaurmachy ruled!
Pirithous_King: For real! I have to say I didn't feel too bad about massacring them after that.
Horseman_Eurytion: And people call us brutal?! How can you talk about us like that? We're your brothers!
Pirithous_King: Half-brothers. And our dad Ixion was just about as awful as you all.
Horseman_Eurytion: He wasn't so bad. And he doesn't deserve to be tied to that spinning wheel of fire for all eternity.
Pirithous_King: He was terrible. He made you creatures when he forced himself on Nephele, the cloud nymph, thinking it was Hera. All you centaurs were brutally conceived, so it's no wonder you're so awful.
Horseman_Eurytion: Whatever, you and Theseus kidnapped Helen when she was like twelve. And then you two numbskulls tried to kidnap Persephone. Did you really think Lord Hades was going let you get away with that?
Pirithous_King: Okay, yeah that wasn't one of my finest moments.
Horseman_Eurytion: And humans say we're brutes. Whatevs.
Just_wondering: How did Heracles die?
Nessus_is_the_bestus: An amazingly clever and ruggedly handsome centaur named Nessus devised an ingenious stratagem to take him down.
Just_wondering: Okay, what was it?
Nessus_is_the_bestus: Well, Nessus... or Nessus the Totally Amazing as he was called... was gallantly escorting Heracles' fiancée Deinara across a river, when the brutish Heracles came along and murdered the noble centaur by shooting him with a wicked arrow dipped in Hydra venom...
Just_wondering: Alright... and then?
Nessus_is_the_bestus: As he lay dying, the centaur gave Deinara a potion made of his blood and told Deinara it was a love potion to be used on Heracles if he ever tried to leave her. Eventually, the unfaithful "hero" tried to abandon his wife for a hot young thing named Iole, so Deinara doused a cloak in the potion and gave it to him...
Just_wondering: Enough with the "..."! Just get to the end of the story!
Nessus_is_the_bestus: As soon as the sun hit the places where the cloak had touched his skin, Heracles started shrieking in pain. See, the potion was made from the gentle centaur's blood, which was full of Hydra venom. So the awful man died by the same venom by which he murdered Nessus, the Totally Amazing.
Strongguy99: You're so full of it, Nessus!
Nessus_is_the_bestus: I bet I know who this is.
Strongguy99: Yup, it's Heracles. Listen, Just_wondering, this guy is a liar. I did die that way, but I definitely didn't "murder" him. He was trying to steal my fiancée and have his disgusting way with her when I killed him. He's just like the rest of the centaurs—brutes!
Nessus_is_the_bestus: You are a murderer and a centaur-hater and everybody knows it! You even killed Chiron, the gentlest, wisest centaur of all.
Strongguy99: You know good and well that was an accident. I shot him with my poison arrow when I was hunting down a whole tribe of centaurs who had attacked me.
Pholus.Centaur: They would never have attacked you if you hadn't opened my jar of wine. I told you not to.
Nessus_is_the_bestus: Horrible, horrible, horrible. You were a guest in Pholus the Centaur's house, and you took advantage of his hospitality.
Strongguy99: I was thirsty.
Pholus.Centaur: And then I died when I accidentally dropped one of those blasted poison arrows on my hoof!
Nessus_is_the_bestus: Tell the truth, Heracles. Why did you become a serial centaur-killer? Why do you hate us so much? You killed me, Pholus, and countless others.
Strongguy99: You're all beasts! Wild beasts! Who cares?!
Chiron: Do you think of me as a beast, Heracles?
Nessus_is_the_bestus: Oh, snap! Now you're in trouble.
Chiron: I ask again, Heracles. Do you think I'm a beast?
Strongguy99: Of course not. Everybody knows you're totally different from the rest of them. You're more like a human than a horse—more man than beast.
Chiron: You've never acted like a "beast"? You're widely known for your taste for violence.
Strongguy99: Yeah, I guess.
Chiron: Ponder this: perhaps my wilder cousins are simply the "beast" in humanity. They're the animal-part that human beings try to suppress. They symbolize an aspect that you can never escape, but from which you will always run.
Just_wondering: Whoa, this just got way too deep for me.