Study Guide

The Lightning Thief Chapter 4

By Rick Riordan

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"My Mother Teaches Me Bullfighting"


  • Sally drives fast down dark country roads. The hurricane howls.
  • Percy asks Grover how he knows his mom. Grover says he'd never met his mom, but that she knew he was watching over Percy.
  • Percy asks Grover if he is a donkey, and Grover tells him he's, ahem, a goat. A satyr to be more precise.
  • Percy is confused – aren't satyrs those things in the myths they studied in Mr. Brunner's Latin class?
  • Grover tells Percy that Mrs. Dobbs wasn't just a myth, that the three old ladies at the fruit stand weren't just a myth.
  • Percy is confused about why no one ever told him this before.

    "The less you knew, the fewer monsters you'd attract," Grover said, like that should be perfectly obvious. "We put Mist over humans' eyes. We hoped you'd think the Kindly One was a hallucination. But it was no good. You started to realize who you are." (4.22)

  • Percy really wants to know what's going on now and wants to know who he is exactly.
  • Sally tells Percy that there's no time to explain. They have to get him to safety.
  • The "Lord of the Dead and a few of his blood-thirstiest minions" are chasing Percy (4.27).
  • Gabe's camaro seems to explode, and Percy's head is thrown into the back of the driver's seat. Grover is knocked unconscious as a result.
  • The car has been struck by a lightning bolt and lies on its side in a ditch. The roof of the car has been blown out.
  • Sally tells Percy to get out of the car and run as fast as he can past the tall pine tree on the crest of the hill near them.
  • Percy refuses to leave his mom behind, but she tells him that the thing that's chasing them wants Percy only.
  • But Percy still refuses to leave without Sally and Grover, so Sally helps him pick Grover's limp body up and carry him up the hill towards the pine tree.
  • The monster we learn is "Pasiphae's son," whatever that means. He can't hear or see very well, but he can smell them.
  • The monster destroys Gabe's car completely, causing the gas tank to explode.
  • Sally tells Percy that if the monster charges at him to jump out of the way at the very last minute. This monster is bad at changing directions.
  • The monster gets closer and closer, and Sally tells Percy to go on without them, to run as fast as he can.
  • Percy does so, but when he realizes that the monster is charging at him, he follows his mom's advice and jumps to the side just before the monster gores him with his horns.
  • The monster is furious that he missed his target.
  • Now the monster focuses on Sally, who has just laid Grover's body down on the ground by the pine tree.
  • Sally inches her way downhill, and the monster grabs her by the neck.
  • Suddenly Sally turns into a glow of light and is gone.
  • The monster next makes a bee-line for Grover, who is still lying on the ground.
  • Blinded by anger and sadness at having watched his mother disintegrate, Percy waves his red raincoat at the monster and gets his attention.
  • The monster charges at Percy, and Percy jumps straight up using the monster's forehead as a springboard. He lands on the back of the monster's neck, holding onto his horns.
  • Percy doesn't know how he did this, but he doesn't have time to think about it.
  • After a huge struggle, Percy pulls one of the horns of the monster's head and falls backwards off of the monster. His head hits a rock.
  • The monster is really miffed now and charges at Percy. Percy drives the broken-off horn into the monster's ribcage.
  • The monster dissolves into a sand-like substance, just like Mrs. Dobbs did.
  • Percy is grief-stricken thinking about his mom, but he knows he has to take care of Grover.
  • He carries Grover down the hill and into the valley below. He walks towards the farmhouse his mother told him to find.
  • He falls barely conscious on the steps of the farmhouse, vaguely seeing the faces and hearing the voices of Mr. Brunner and a pretty girl with princess hair.
  • The pretty girl says, "He's the one. He must be" (4.142).

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