Once upon a time there was a potter. Every week he would go to the market to sell his delicate ceramic jugs. It took a very long time to get there, because the roads were winding and full of potholes and the jugs were very fragile and could crack easily.
He always rode slowly and carefully, but the pottery in the wagon would shake and rittle-rattle anyway and the tinkling noise would echo in the hills.
One day, heavy rains came and they didn’t stop for almost a week. It kept pouring down. The streams were full of rushing water that overflowed into fields and flooded the roads, forcing the potter to stay at home and wait for the rain to stop.
When the sun finally came out, the potter jumped for joy and loaded the wagon with his best, most beautiful jugs. He set out early in the morning, but after an hour on the road, his wheels started digging into the muddy ground. His dappled horse, pulling the heavy wagon behind her, began to get very tired.
Soon the road was so muddy that the wooden wheels got completely stuck and the horse couldn’t pull the wagon even an inch further. The potter prodded her and tried to get her to move. But the horse was absolutely exhausted and only neighed and panted. After a long while, the potter desperately started yelling.
“Why does all of the bad luck in the world have to befall me? No one wants to help me. I always have to do everything alone! Where is Hercules when a man needs him? What did the gods give him all that strength for if he won’t even bother to come and help a poor potter like me?”
Hercules immediately heard…