Hercules Detective Agency Case Files are Copyrighted with the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress

No Problem Too Large or Too Small, Reasonable Fees
Proprietor Hercules (Roman name), also known as Heracles (Greek name), also known as Herc (Nickname)

Hercules was not a plant guy, although he thought plants were very pretty. Some were green. Some had flowers. But all seemed to need some sort of care. Hercules simply had no time to care for them. The Minotaur, on the other hand, loved to cut up branches. It made him feel good. The Minotaur often took a stroll through the forest, looking for plants he could dig up and bring home to plant along the courtyard wall, the courtyard he shared with Hercules. Sometimes Hercules even noticed when a new plant arrived, but usually Tor (the Minotaur) had to point it out. Hercules always oohed and aahed and quite honestly agreed that the plants added a great deal of warmth to their courtyard.

One day, while Herc was off visiting Olympus, and the Minotaur was busy cutting branches, some people stopped by. They were terrified at the sight of Tor cutting and snipping and snarling at branches. Tor was having a very nice time, but the people were frozen in place at the sight of him.

"Oh, hi," said the Minotaur. "If you're looking for Hercules, he won't be back for a day or two. I'll take a message for him."

One brave villager explained, "Our village has been taken over by bandits. We need to hire Hercules to save us."

"Why don't you just leave?" suggested Tor in his practical way. "It's what I would do."

"We can't leave. We have farms and flocks and family. They're all hiding on the hill near our village. No one can go home. It's too dangerous. We're afraid the bandits might find us any minute now. It's especially hard to keep the children quiet, and of course, animals are never quiet. We need help right away. Is there any chance you can get a message to Hercules. We really need help now!"

"I have no way to get him a message, because I don't know exactly where he is, only that he will be back soon. But I'll see what I can do."

The people were eager to agree. They would have agreed to nearly anything to get away. The Minotaur was a frightening sight. They did not get far before they heard the Minotaur pounding after them. They began running. So did the Minotaur. The whole group ran nearly all the way back to the village under attack. The Minotaur easily took the lead. He turned and put one finger on his lips, the universal sign for shush.

"Stay here," the Minotaur whispered. "Let me see what's going on."

The Minotaur snuck up on the village. Sure enough, bandits were making themselves at home. They were more like terrorist than bandits. No, more like bullies.

Tor was not a fan of bullies. He decided to convince the bandits that the village was haunted. Hiding behind trees and bushes, Tor kept bellowing moooooooooo.

The bandits were startled. But they did not leave.

The Minotaur kept this up for a while. Although the bandits did begin to look a bit nervous, they still were not leaving. The Minotaur decided to scare them with shadows. He positioned himself so the sun cast his big shadow and his long horns. He threw up his head and moooooooed even more loudly than before.

The bandits were visibly startled, but they did not leave.

The Minotaur was not about to give up. The people needed his help and he really did not like bullies. Perhaps the problem was that he was trying to scare them while they were together in a group. Sometimes bullies can feel a lot safer with other bullies beside them. The Minotaur crept around the village, seeking one bandit by himself. He found one. The Minotaur jumped out and screamed boooooooooooo.

The bandit shrieked and ran away. "I saw a ghost! I saw a monster. That's what we've been hearing! A monster!"

"Don't be ridiculous," another bandit scowled.

By then, the Minotaur had found another bandit alone. He leaped out from behind a tree shouting moooooo! Once again, the bandit ran away in terror.

"I saw a monster! With sharp huge horns and a horrible face," he screamed. "Let's get out of here."

"But we haven't even eaten all the stores. Or finished their wine. Or anything."

"If we don't get out of here, I think we are the ones who are going to be eaten," snapped the bandit.

'I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting out of here," decided another.

The Minotaur had been eavesdropping. It seemed like the perfect time to take on the group. The Minotaur leaped out from behind a tree and started boooooing as loudly as he could. He waved his arms, lowered his head, and ran full tilt toward the bandits.

That did it. Without taking anything with them, the bandits ran away as fast as they could, screaming all the way. The Minotaur moooed and boooed after them until they were out of sight.

Feeling very proud of himself, he headed up the hill, towards the villagers. "It's safe," the Minotaur told them. "If they ever bother you again, come get me. The next time I get rid of them, I won't be so nice."

All the villagers thanked him. They were no longer afraid of the Minotaur, not even the smallest of them. They thought he was a pretty neat guy!

"We saw you, we saw you!" one little boy shrilled excitedly. He lowered his head and used two fat baby fingers to make himself a pair of horns.

One young girl crooked one finger in the 'come closer' universal sign that all people use.

"You have saved us," she whispered. "I'm going to give you a kiss." And she did.

The Minotaur blushed bright red. It was his very first kiss. It meant the world to him.

When Herc got home, the Minotaur told him all about it. They got a great laugh out of it.

Then Herc asked, "Did they pay you?"

The Minotaur gently touched his cheek. "Yes." he told his friend. "Something very special."

Hercules was going to ask what the special thing was, but something in the Minotaur's expression made him decide not to ask.

Instead, Hercules said, "What do you want to name your very first case?"

The Minotaur thought it over. "Do you think The Minotaur to the Rescue is too vain?"

Hercules smiled at his friend. "I think it sounds perfect." Hercules bought an empty file outside. The two friends sat in their courtyard, while Hercules wrote down what had happened. He closed the file. "And I mark the cover PAID IN FULL, right?"

"Right," agreed the Minotaur, remembering.