Sowing the Dragon's Teeth
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
JASON was required by AEetes, the king, not only to tame the brazen bulls, but with them to plow the grove of Mars, and sow in the mellow ground, the same dragon's teeth from which Cadmus raised a crop of warriors. When Medea, the king's daughter, who had promised to show him how to tame the fiery animals, met him in the moonlight on the palace steps at midnight, she carried a basket on her arm, with the dragon's teeth which he needed for seed. When the brazen bulls rushed at him with their fire, he caught one by the horn, and the other by the tail, and when they felt his magical influence, they subsided, submitted to the yoke, and drew the plow, with which he prepared the field for the seed. He sowed the dragon's teeth ; the same night while the moon was in the heavens, the seed began to sprout. First there appeared the heads of spears, then brass helmets, then the bearded faces of soldiers, and then the breastplates, and the shield upon the arm, and out from the earth, a man ready for battle, sprang from every dragon's tooth. They were full of hate, and crazy to find someone to slay. Catching sight of the prince, they rushed at him and would have killed him, but the princess, who had accompanied him to the field, told him to throw a stone at them, which he did. The stone struck one man's helmet, glanced to the shield of another, and struck a third between the eyes. Each of those who had been hit, supposing that his companions had done the deed, fell upon his neighbor, and a general fight ensued, in which all of the soldiers but one were killed, and he had been so badly hacked to pieces that he had only time to say " Victory," and then die.
Vice has in it the element of self-destruction. The wrathful and the vicious take delight in preying upon one another ; in betraying, stealing from, and murdering each other.
There are many wars that are justifiable and beneficial; there are many others in which the soldiers fall upon and kill each other, not knowing the reason why.