Nanny Piggins tells the children the true story of the Trojan Horse and how an apple caused the whole drama.
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The Trojan Horse as told by Nanny Piggins
Derrick, Samantha had just come home from school, so naturally they were eating a little light afternoon tea with their Nanny – a banoffee pie, a block of chocolate and a gallon of chocolate milk each – to overcome the trauma of a day spent in institutionalised education, when Michael cleared his throat to ask a question.
‘Nanny Piggins, do you know anything about the Trojan Horse?’ asked Michael. ‘I’ve got to write a report about it for school.’
‘Oh my dear, I know the whole tragic story,’ said Nanny Piggins.
‘You do?’ asked Michael, hopefully. I
f Nanny Piggins could tell him the story it would be so much better than reading a book. And not just because it would save him having to read words on a page, but because she was bound to know way more interesting details than any historian.
‘Oh yes,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘The most tragic of tales. And do you know how it all started?’
‘Um, with a war?’ said Michael.
‘The Trojan War,’ added Derrick.
‘Yes, but do you know how the war started?’ asked Nanny Piggins.
‘Er… not really,’ admitted Michael.
‘An apple,’ said Nanny Piggins.
‘Really?’ said Derrick.
‘Oh yes,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Fruit and vegetables have caused so many problems throughout history.’
‘They have?’ asked Samantha.
‘Think about it,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Adam and Eve. What got them in trouble? An apple. George Washington got in trouble for cutting down what – a cherry tree. The Irish potato famine - caused my what – potatoes. Vegetables have a lot to answer for.’
‘But how did an apple cause the Trojan War?’ asked Michael.
‘Vanity,’ said Nanny Piggins.
‘There was a vain apple?’ asked Samantha.
‘No, although the apple in question was far to flashy for it’s own good. The problem in this case was the vanity of the Gods,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘You see the Trojan Wars happened back in the ancient Greek story days. And in ancient Greek stories, the ancient Greek gods were always at the root of every problem.’
‘The gods?’ asked Michael. He was getting very confused. He thought his project was going to be about a horse. Now he found out it was going to include an apple and gods.
‘Yes, the ancient Greek Gods were just dreadful people,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Of course, they weren’t actually people. So they thought they didn’t have to behave themselves at all. They were forever fighting with each other and kidnapping each others true loves. It was worse than any episode of ‘The Young and the Irritable.’
The Young and the Irritable was Nanny Piggins favourite day time soap opera. It was, to her mind, the greatest drama ever written.
‘So the whole Trojan war started because the Greek Gods were up in heaven having a dinner party. They were all there at the table having a fantastic time. When Eris turns. Now she is the Goddess of Discord so naturally she wasn’t invited to the dinner party. If you were going to have a mixed martial arts bout – she’d be perfect company. But invite the goddess of discord to a wedding and you’re asking for trouble.
So she was all persnippty about not getting invited. So she sets about doing her thing – causing discord. And as I say there is no fruit in history more discordant than an apple.
She brought an apple with her.
Nanny Piggins paused for dramatic effect at this point.
The children didn’t really no what to think. They didn’t find an apple as horrifying as Nanny Piggins evidentally did. But they were prepared to be shocked.
‘Now this apple was a really good one,’ continued Nanny Piggins. ‘You know how sometimes you get an apple and it looks really nice and shiny, but when you bight into it it’s actually disgusting and floury, or sour and gross, or all bruised and brown?
The children nodded.
‘This apple was nothing like that – it was beautiful and golden and shiny, and you could just tell it was going to be fabulously delicious. And I say that as someone who doesn’t really care for fruit. This apple was so good, even I would have considered eating it.’
So anyway, this trouble making goddess rocks up with her fabulous apple, she tosses it onto the table and says “to the fairest.”
The whole party came to a screeching halt. There was complete silence. There were three women there – Athena, Hera and Aphrodite. They were all goddessess and they were all super hot. So they’re looking ath the apple and they’re looking at each other.
And they don’t want to appear greedy, but obviously, they want to be the one that everyone says – that apple is totally for you. Meanwhile all the other guests realise this is going to turn ugly. They’re trying to get out of saying who they think should get the apple. So the three goddesses ask Zeus, king of the gods, who he thinks should get it.
Now you don’t get to be king of all the gods, without having the good sense to see this is a question you should never try and answer. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Zeus wasn’t silly enough to scorn two women at once. So he starts saying, you know I left my reading glasses in my other toga, I can’t really answer that. You need to ask someone else.
And the goddesses, won’t stand for that. They want to know – who.
And Zues doesn’t want to get any of his buddies in trouble, so he just says the first person he can think of – Um.. I don’t know… you should really ask the true heir to the Trojan throne.
The goddesses look at him. Baffled. And who is that exactly. Zeus consults his records. It’s a dude called Paris. He doesn’t realise he’s the true heir to the throne.
Which by the way is totally another story, because in the ancient Greek story times – kings were forever abandoning their children in the wilderness, then they’d be found by shepherds and raised in poverty. It was the way they did things back then. I suppose it was a cheap way to get child care.
So the three goddesses were all right – lets settle this then. They all flew over to the field on the hillside where Paris was shepherding and appeared before him.
The poor boy was obviously shocked. He didn’t’ realise he was the true heir to Troy. And now he had three goddesses demanding he decide which one of them was the most beautiful. Even a young shepherd knew enough to know that he shouldn’t answer that. So he said – I don’t know. So the goddesses started bargaining with him.
‘Bargaining,’ said Samantha. ‘But why? Bargaining wouldn’t make they the prettiest. It would just make them the best at bargaining.’
‘Yes, I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But never in the ancient Greek story days, did any of the gods let good sense or reason influence their behaviour – let me tell you.’
‘So the first goddess is offered him something crazy, if you say I’m the fairest – I’ll give you a sports car.
‘And Paris was all – but sports cars haven’t been invented yet, nor has petrol, nor have roads really. Where would I drive it?’
And the next goddess is like – if you say I’m the prettiest I’ll give you a robot that makes sushi.
But Paris was all – but I don’t know what a robot is – and I like my fish cooked – hard pass.
So now Athena stepped forward and she said – if you say I’m the fairest – I’ll fix it up so you can marry the most beautiful woman on earth.
And Paris was like – deal! ‘Ill take that one. You’re the fairest.
So Athena got the apple and she totally rubbed her friends noses in it. She ate it. Even though she’d much rather have a slice of cake, just to spite them.
And Paris was all pleased with himself. Woohoo! I’m going to go get myself the most beautiful woman on earth.
Now, this is where we get to the problem. You see, the most beautiful woman on earth was a woman was called Helen and she was already married – to the King of Spart. But this was the ancient story days and people didn’t care about things like that.
Paris just went and kidnapped her. The King of Greek was all – hey where are you going with my wife. And Paris, was like – it’s all good, Athena said I could take her. But the King of Greek did not see it that way. He got totally mad saying – no way dude. That is my wife.
Paris was like – nahuh. There was a whole deal about an apple and now she’s mine.
The Greekn king was like – right that’s it. It’s war time. He got together all his ships. Which was a lot and sailed them over to Troy. To totally kick Paris’ behind.
‘So did Paris live in Paris?’ asked Derrick.
‘No,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘There was no Paris in the ancient story times. Paris was a person back then. Paris the place hadn’t been invented. It was just wilderness with uncivilised gaullish tribes.’
‘That’s very confusing,’ said Michael.
‘Paris the place wasn’t even named after Paris the person,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘Because it would be silly to name a place after a superficial degenerate kidnapper. The name thing is just a bizarrely confusing coincidence. But we mustn’t judge the French too harshly – they are very good at making desserts. So that makes up for their other flaws.
‘Excuse me,’ said Michael. His head was hurting trying to follow all this detail. ‘But where does the Trojan Horse come in to all this?’
‘I’m getting to that,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘So the Greek army arrived at Troy ready to do some warring, but when they got there they were stumped. You see the Trojans had this amazing piece of military technology that they could overcome. They had a wall.’
‘A wall?’ aske Derrick.
‘Yes, I know it doesn’t sound impressive now,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘But think about it. Someone had to think of building the first wall. It was a big deal back then. It was like iphone now. Everyone was like – wow, so high tech.
It totally stumped the Greeks. They had no idea how to over come this wall thing. They tried running at it with their swords drawn. Didn’t work. They tried sneaking up on it slowly with their swords drawn. Didn’t work. They tried climbing over it with ladders made out of panty hose. But that didn’t work.
In all they spent ten whole years trying to overcome the wall, so they could crush the Trojans for kidnapping Helen, because Paris had told Athena she was pretty, because Athena wanted an apple.
At the end of ten years, as you can imagine, the Greekns were all very tired, they were literally getting old. They hadn’t been home for ages. They were forgetting what their families looked like. It was very grim. Then one fellow, called Oddesseyus, or Ulysees as you may know him (because of course, in the ancient story days it was never enough to have one hard to pronounce name when you could have two ), anytway he had an idea.
And he was the first one of them to have an idea in ten years so it was a big deal.
Ulysees said, how about – we build a great big wooden horse. Then 23 of us hide inside it. The whole rest of the army get on the boats and pretend to go back to Greece.
We leave the wooden horse in front of the gates of Troy with a note saying, ‘Sorry about the war. We give up. You can keep Helen. And here’s a nice big horse to show there’s no hard feelings.’
It seemed like a crazy idea – But they had all been fighting a war on the beach for ten years so they probably had heat stroke. And that’s what they did.
And the weirdest part is – it totally worked. The Trojans were all like – cool a new toy. Let’s bring it inside and play with it.
They had a huge celebratory party because the Greekns had finally left and they had a cool giant horse.
After they all went to bed, the soldiers snuck out of the horse, opened the gates of Troy. The whole Greek army snuck in and they killed everyone. The end.
‘I know,’ said Nanny Piggins. ‘History stories are always the most horrible. But still it teaches us a valuable lesson. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it won’t keep the Greek army away. So if three goddess turn up in your field with an apple related dispute settled – run away screaming. If only there had been a chocolate shop on Mount Olympus, no one would have looked twice at the apple and there wouldn’t have been a problem. The end. Time for bed.