The Odyssey

Charybdis and Scylla

     Circe had warned Odysseus about Charybdis and Scylla, but he did not tell his crew about them, as to not create unnecessary fear. Their boat had drifted between two high black rocks. Under the rock on the left side, was a boiling whirlpool known as Charybdis, which sucked up all that came near its powerful gulf and which no ship could survive. The rock opposite of Charybdis proposed no danger, but Odysseus had been warned by Circe about Scylla, the monster who lived in a cave in the rock. Scylla had a shrill yip, like that of a dogs, and six grisly heads. Each head was supported by a long, thin neck and in each mouth, there were three rows of razor sharp teeth, hungry for flesh. On each head there were two long feelers that had claws on the end, that dropped down and grabbed a sailor for each head. Circe had advised him to go to Scylla's side, for it would be better to lose just six men, instead of your whole crew and boat. Odysseus felt powerless because he could not stop Scylla from taking six of his men. The ship kept going through the narrows and finally into the open sea.