Apollo tamed the nine muses, the nine wild goddesses of nature. He pursued one of the muses, Daphne, who did not want all his attention and she prayed to Mother Earth. When Apollo caught her, Daphne's prayers were answered and she was turned into a laurel tree. Apollo wears a laurel wreath in her memory.
Apollo set out to kill the giant python that had chased his mother. He shot the python with one golden arrow and then follwed it by a trail of blood leading into a cave. When the animal was trapped in the cave, Apollo shot it full of arrows. The kill took place at Delphi and later a temple was built to honor Apollo.
The arrows of Apollo brought death and disease but also great healing power. This power was passed down by Apollo to his son Asclepius. Asclepius became a great doctor, but then he took advantage of his special power by reviving people from the dead. This angered Hades (Pluto), the god of the underworld. He reported this to Zeus, telling him that he was to be in charge of the dead. Zeus then took the life of Asclepius and in revenge Apollo killed the Cyclopes. As punishment Zeus was going to send Apollo to Tatarus, a place where evil people were sent and tortured. Leto pleaded with Zeus to forgive Apollo, and Zeus eventually gave in.
Marsyas, a satyar (a mischeavious demigod with the tail and ears of a horse) claimed that he was a better musican than Apollo. Apollo accepted his challenge. Apollo palyed the lrye and Marsyas played the flute. Apollo then directed Marsyas to sing while playing the flute upside-down. This could be done with a lrye but not a flute. In the end Apollo won and the loser Marsyas was put to death.
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