The Trojan Horse

Troy was a wealthy city in ancient Turkey that the Greeks wanted to conquer. Nine years had passed, and the Greeks still couldn’t get hold of Troy. No enemy had been able to breach the walls of the city.

Many great heroes died during this Trojan War, and it was Odysseus who came up with a cunning plan to conquer the city of Troy.

The Greeks sailed their ships back to sea, and it seemed that after ten years of war, they finally accepted their defeat and were going to return home. But that was part of the plan. The ships remained hidden behind the hills of a nearby island.

Men were left behind with the task of building a giant wooden horse. The wooden horse was to provide space for thirty to forty soldiers who could hide inside the belly of the enormous structure.

The Trojans thought that the Greeks had given up the fight when they saw the Greeks’ ships leaving. They rushed through the gates, headed towards the abandoned camp, where they found the enormous horse. At first, the Trojans were a little afraid of it, but that didn’t last long. They found it to be a magnificent structure, and the young people asked if the horse could be pulled to the city of Troy.

Not everyone was impressed with the horse. The priest Laocoön warned the people, “It could be a trick of the Greeks. Why would they want to give us a gift? I think we are being lured into a trap.” He then picked up a spear and threw it at the side of the horse, and it gave a hollow sound.

At that very moment, people heard screams. Some Trojan men pulled a man out of the crowd. His hands were tied behind his back. He appeared to be the only survivor of the Greek army. He said his name was Sinon. His leader had tied his hands behind his back and was going to sacrifice him to the gods. He had then hidden, waiting for his people to leave with their ships at sea.

The Trojan people felt sorry for the poor man. “Release his hands,” said the king. He asked the Greek to forget his people and become a Trojan.

“But tell me,” said the king. “Why did the Greeks build this great horse?”

Sinon replied, “It is an offering to the goddess Minerva and made so large to prevent it from being carried into the city. The prophet Calchas told us that if the Trojans were to possess it, they would surely win the war with the Greeks. It would make the Trojans invincible.”

When the Trojan people heard this, they rejoiced and began making plans to drag the horse into the city, despite Laocoön’s pleas. Suddenly, two immense serpents appeared out of the surf of the beach that ran along the abandoned camp. The snakes wrapped themselves around the poor Laocoön and devoured him in seconds.

“That’s an omen!” cried the people. “The priest Laocoön is being punished by the goddess Minerva before our eyes for his deeds! Because he threw his spear at this holy structure, and now he is dead.”

The Trojan people immediately began making a large opening in the city wall. The horse was decorated with green branches and flowers and dragged into the city across the plain. There was a celebration that day. The Trojans felt safe and invincible. They left the large gates unguarded, and when no one was looking, Sinon opened the hidden door of the great horse.

Odysseus and the Greek soldiers crawled out carefully. They opened the city gates and signaled to their army. Silently, the ships arrived and anchored. That night, the Greeks overpowered the city of Troy. The king was killed, homes were plundered, and then the Greeks set the city on fire until nothing was left.

Sinon had touched the hearts of the Trojans with his story of suffering and false tears, achieving with a cunning plan what a thousand ships and ten years of war could not.